The Entertainment Software Rating Board is rolling out a public awareness campaign to educate parents and other videogame buyers about its rating system and its related free mobile app. For added gamer cred, the artwork in the print and online spots is by the creators of the hugely popular gamer webcomic Penny Arcade.

The ESRB rating search app obviously includes a game’s rating, but it also explains what it is about the game that makes it deserve the rating. That makes it possible to make more informed decisions before buying, from any iPhone, Android and WP7 phone, while in the store or reading about a game,

The Penny Arcade caricatures are based upon real parents and gamers, each of whom conveys a different perspective about using the ESRB ratings and tools like rating summaries and the ESRB mobile app. They were selected via an ESRB-sponsored micro-essay contest on Facebook.

“Our new PSA campaign is designed to get the message to parents that there are tools they can use to make informed choices about video games for their children and families, even beyond the rating on a game’s package,” said ESRB president Patricia Vance. “We felt there was no one better to share insights about the ESRB ratings than real parents and gamers who use the ratings themselves.”

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