How we keep players safe.

ESA members employ a multi-faceted approach that maximizes player safety while working to create positive environments where everyone who plays can have fun and feel like they belong. The industry is continually developing and deploying new and sophisticated technologies and practices to create a positive environment and protect players online:

  • The use of advanced technology tools
  • Human intervention on networks
  • Codes of conduct that set expectations and penalize disruptive behavior
  • Tools to control a player’s communication with others, to report bad behavior and to incentivize good behavior through a reward system
  • Cooperation with law enforcement and trusted third parties

For 30 years, the video game industry has worked to ensure that consumers—especially parents and caregivers—have comprehensive information and resources needed to make informed decisions about video games.

Tools for parents and caregivers to protect children. 

Our member companies invest in the development and evolution of safety and wellness features, prioritizing player safety above all. The video game industry regularly updates parental controls and other product features and tools to help consumers navigate the ever-changing world of video games.

Ratings for video games

Since 1994, the video game industry’s self regulatory body, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), has provided parents with age and content ratings for video games and apps to help them make informed decisions about which products are appropriate for their family. These tools have a high level of awareness and use among parents. 

Parental controls

Offered on virtually all video game devices, parental controls offer parents the ability to efficiently set preferences that are appropriate for their household. These controls enable parents to: 

  1. Filter video games by age rating category
  2. Manage the amount of money their kids can spend playing video games
  3. Limit the amount of time, and times of day, kids can spend playing video games
  4. Restrict or block user-to-user communication

Smartphone apps for console management

In addition to being able to set parental controls directly on the console, parents can download easy-to-use smartphone apps for each console to manage what, when and with whom their children can play. ESRB provides a centralized place for parents to obtain step-by-step parental control guides for all the game consoles, Windows computers and other platforms at

In-game tools

The industry also provides in-game tools to enable players to mute or block other players online and to report unwanted interactions.

Information on violence in video games.

Real-world evidence makes it clear that there is no causal link between video games and violent behavior. 

In study after study, leading independent researchers have found no scientific evidence to link video games and real-world violence. 

Most of the three billion video game players around the world enjoy the same video games—including those containing violent content. Despite this, violent offenses in foreign markets where those same video games are sold are far less common than they are in the United States, suggesting that other factors (e.g. background of the individual, the availability of and access to guns, mental health considerations, etc.) are more relevant to understanding the cause of any particular offense.

Learn more here.

Key Issues

Artificial Intelligence

The video game industry has been using artificial intelligence for decades to help create games and improve the player experience. New AI tools have the potential to drive further innovation.

Digital Wellness

Billions of people globally, of all ages and backgrounds, play video games in a healthy, balanced way.


Competitive video gaming creates jobs, spurs economic growth and encourages tourism.

First Amendment

Freedom of expression helps ensure the creativity and innovation of video games.

In-Game Purchases

In-game purchases make additional content and ongoing online services possible, offering consumers the option to pay for what they want and skip what they don’t.

Inclusion & Belonging

When players see characters and stories that reflect our diverse society, we can expand their understanding, challenge stereotypes, and foster empathy.

Intellectual Property

Strong intellectual property laws promote creativity, promote innovation and protect the investments that make video games possible.


The video game industry provides consumers with transparency, choice and control when it comes to managing personal information.

Right to Repair

Right to repair mandates present unique security and piracy risks to the video game ecosystem.

Subscription Services

Subscription-based models save consumers money, provide predictability and allow customized experiences.


Fair and open access to international markets fuels the industry’s potential for growth.


Video game companies work diligently to attract and employ the best talent available to continue growing the industry and contributing to the U.S. economy.