With an angry mob of politicians and parents (and pareticians) waving their pitchforks and torches at the ESRB's front door these days, launching a new ad campaign might be a wise move -- at least a good deal wiser than dumping gallons of hot oil on your detractors. The powers that be at the ratings board have tapped none other than the Penny Arcade crew to create a new marketing initiative aimed specifically at gamers, one that hopes to illustrate the importance of those letters you may have glimpsed on American game covers.

Thanks to the involvement of people who have actually played games before, it's a safe conclusion that we'll be spared from the usual in-your-face X-treme to the max gamer representatives that only exist in the minds of ill-informed marketing types. Instead, Gabe and Tycho have spent the last few months creating a series of characters, each one being paired with one of the ESRB ratings. As you might have expected, Tycho has already written short narratives for all the characters that explain just how the ESRB impacts upon their lives. These will no doubt be filled with words too gigantinormonomical to comprehend.

Though some teaser images were already shown at E3, Penny Arcade says that the full campaign will be invading magazines and websites very soon.  We're hoping that 'ole DivX machine will be teaching us the ins and outs of the M-rating.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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