MINNEAPOLIS, April 12 /-/ -- Microsoft Corp.'s Family Gaming bus arrived in Minnesota for a three-day stop starting at the state capitol in St. Paul today and ending at a Minnesota Twins game on Saturday. The bus tour is part of a national campaign called "Safety is no game. Is your family set?" whose goal is to help parents and caregivers make the appropriate gaming and entertainment choices for their family when using the Xbox 360(TM) video game and entertainment system, as well as the new Windows Vista(TM) operating system. In addition to stopping at the capitol and the Twins game, the bus will stop at the Boys & Girls Club of West St. Paul this afternoon, the Science Museum of Minnesota and Cottage Grove Junior High School on Friday, and the Best Buy in Eden Prairie on Saturday.
"With success comes responsibility," said Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft, creator of the popular Xbox(R) and Xbox 360 video game consoles. "We are unwavering in our commitment to address the genuine concerns of families about how to make interactive entertainment safer and more fun for our children."
Microsoft launched the "Safety is no game. Is your family set?" campaign in October 2006 with its partners, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Best Buy Co. Inc. St. Paul and Minneapolis are the 17th and 18th stops in the campaign's 20-city nationwide tour.
"I commend Microsoft, Best Buy and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for coming together to help parents and guardians protect children from inappropriate entertainment choices," said Paul Thissen (DFL), Minnesota state representative and chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee. "In this new world of interactive digital media, it's important that information about parental controls and ratings systems get into the hands of parents and guardians so they can help ensure their children's safety."
The campaign showcases ways that parents can help limit children's exposure to inappropriate video games and movie content using tools such as Xbox 360 Family Settings and Windows Vista Parental Controls. The campaign also highlights the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings.
Microsoft, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and Best Buy launched the campaign based on feedback from parents and caregivers. According to a recent independent survey* of parents who have a video game console in their home, almost four out of five parents and caregivers (78 percent) are concerned about the content in the video games their children play and the movies they watch on their video game consoles or systems. A majority of parents said they want to be the ones who decide what is right for their family. To help them make those decisions, most parents said they would be interested in having a parental control setting on video game consoles or systems that would easily allow them to limit their children's access to mature content, with over one half (52 percent) saying they would be "very interested" in such a feature.
"We joined Microsoft and Boys & Girls Clubs of America to continue educating families about the options available for a safer and more secure entertainment experience, a long-standing commitment for us as a company, in stores and online," said Jill Hamburger, vice president of Gaming at Best Buy. "We're proud to be part of this campaign. The bus tour will be a fun way to connect with families, share a lot of useful information and play some great games."
Additional information related to the campaign is available at the expanded Family Settings Web site at http://www.xbox.com/isyourfamilyset.
About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox Live(R) online gaming service, and unique interactive entertainment experiences that revolve around gamers. Xbox 360 has a catalog of more than 160 high-definition games and is available in 37 countries. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (http://www.bgca.org) comprises a national network of some 4,000 neighborhood-based facilities annually serving more than 4.6 million young people, in all 50 states and on U.S. military bases worldwide. Known as "The Positive Place for Kids," the Clubs provide guidance-oriented character development programs on a daily basis for children 6-18 years old, conducted by a full-time professional staff. Key Boys & Girls Club programs emphasize leadership development, education and career exploration, financial literacy, health and life skills, the arts, sports, fitness and recreation, and family outreach. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.
About Best Buy Co., Inc.
Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE: BBY) is an innovative Fortune 100 growth company that continually strives to create superior customer experiences. Through more than 1,100 retail stores across the United States, Canada and in China, our employees connect customers with technology and entertainment products and services that make life easier and more fun. We sell consumer electronics, home-office products, entertainment software, appliances and related services. A Minneapolis-based company, our operations include: Best Buy (BestBuy.com and BestyBGuy.ca) Future Shop (FutureShop.ca), Geek Squad (GeekSquad.com and GeekSquad.ca), Pacifica Sales Kitchen and Bath Centers (PacificSales.com), Magnolia Audio Video (Magnoliaav.com) and Jiangsu Five Star Appliance Co. (Five-Star.cn). We support our communities through employee volunteerism and grants from The Best Buy Children's Foundation.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
* The survey was conducted utilizing a random-digit dialing (RDD) methodology to help ensure that every American household with a telephone had an equal chance of being contacted. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 4.7 percent at the 95 percent level of confidence. The data collection was performed at a computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) center, and the results were analyzed by StrategyOne in its Washington, D.C., office. StrategyOne is a national, full-service public opinion research and strategic communications agency with offices in Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago and London.
NOTE: Microsoft, Xbox 360, Windows Vista, Xbox and Xbox Live are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.
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