Aim. Snap. Learn. It’s just that easy for parents to get detailed information before buying a video game this holiday season. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) – which assigns the age and content ratings for computer and video games – has released an online video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Gs_BRexfrY) announcing the upgraded version of its free mobile app, which includes the ability to search for rating summaries using the phone’s camera. Now parents can quickly and easily look up a game’s in-depth rating summary by simply snapping a photo of the game box with their iPhone or Android phone.
Video games are once again expected to top holiday wish lists. But just like movies, not all games are appropriate for every child. Rating summaries, which are available at esrb.org but are not displayed on game boxes as are the ESRB ratings and content descriptors, provide parents with a detailed, straight-forward explanation – including specific examples – of the content that factored into a game’s rating. By using the ESRB mobile app to access rating summaries, parents can make truly informed game choices for their children.
“When buying a video game for a child it’s important to check the game’s rating and understand its content to determine if it’s the right choice. And for a parent who still isn’t sure about whether a game is OK for their child after checking the rating information on the box, rating summaries provide exactly the types of examples that help parents make that final decision,” says ESRB president Patricia Vance. “With our new mobile app all you have to do is snap a photo of the box to access a game’s rating summary right from the store, where this information is usually needed most. By using the ESRB ratings—and tools like rating summaries— parents can be confident that they’re giving games this holiday season that are not only fun, but also age-appropriate.”
The ESRB mobile app is available for free via the Apple App Store or the Android Market. It offers easy access to ESRB rating information for over 20,000 titles by either taking a photo of the game box or typing in the name of the game. Rating summaries are available for all games rated since July 1, 2008, which means that most of the games likely to appear on kids’ wish lists this year will have rating summaries.
In addition to the mobile app, parents may also want to check out the ESRB Facebook pagefor valuable tips and resources for choosing age-appropriate video games, or follow ESRB on Twitter (@OKtoPlay). Ratings information, including rating summaries, and additional resources are also available on the ESRB’s website (esrb.org), and mobile website (m.esrb.org).