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Half of parents said planning to buy games

Nearly half of all U.S. adults with children plan to give video games as gifts this holiday season, according to a survey conducted by the trade group representing the video game industry and released Monday.
/ Source: Reuters

Nearly half of all U.S. adults with children plan to give video games as gifts this holiday season, according to a survey conducted by the trade group representing the video game industry and released Monday.

In total, the Entertainment Software Association said, 47 percent of adults with children plan to give a video game as a gift, and 37 percent of Americans expect to either give or receive a video game as a gift this holiday.

The ESA represents the $10 billion U.S. video game industry, which expects to have its best holiday season ever this year.

The figure was up slightly from 2002, when 36 percent of people expected to give or receive a game as a gift, the ESA said. There was no comparable survey in 2003.

More than a month before Christmas, two games -- "Halo 2" and "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" -- have already reached blockbuster status, selling more than 2 million units apiece in less than a week of sales.

Both those games carry "Mature" ratings, meaning they are not intended for children under age 17.

Members of Congress joined the association in urging parents to check game ratings before buying this year.

"I understand that it's easy just to grab whatever's on the shelf, but I encourage all parents to check a game's rating to make sure that what they're giving as a gift is OK to play," said Virginia Sen. George Allen in a statement.

The ESA data came from a nationwide poll of just over 1,000 people conducted by phone in October by KRC Research.