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ESRB Announces New Rating Service for Digitally Delivered Games

The Entertainment Software Ratings Board has announced a new “Digital Rating Service” which looks to streamline some of the aspects of being rated by the ESRB. Parallel to this, the non-profit self-regulatory body for the video game industry has introduced some new information symbols. Pay attention, there’s a test later!

“Consumers have grown accustomed to using ESRB ratings when making decisions about the appropriateness of the games their families play. With the explosion of devices from which consumers can access games today, our goal is to ensure that those same tools are available everywhere games can be found,” said ESRB president Patricia Vance. “More recently, parents’ concerns have begun to extend beyond just content to include the sharing of their kids’ personal information or location and interactions with other players. ESRB’s Digital Rating Service now offers all digital platforms, storefronts and networks the opportunity to empower their customers with consistent, credible, familiar and useful upfront guidance no matter where their family chooses to play games.”

The streamlined rating process makes obtaining an ESRB rating fast and easy by assigning a rating immediately. By simplifying the process and eliminating the cost to developers, the ESRB expects to broaden adoption of its ratings among game providers of all types. The resulting ubiquity of ESRB ratings will ease a parent’s job by presenting a single ratings standard across the many platforms on which their children access games. Increased adoption of ESRB ratings also means that developers will no longer be subject to differing and oftentimes conflicting rating systems and standards for their digitally delivered games. ESRB’s Digital Rating Service complements the CTIA Mobile Application Rating System with ESRB, a program launched last year through which ESRB assigns ratings to mobile apps using a similar process.”

Commit these new tags to memory!

 “Shares Info” indicates that user-provided personal information (e.g., e-mail address, phone number, credit card info, etc.) is shared with third parties;

 “Shares Location” indicates the ability to display the user’s location to other users; and

 “Users Interact” indicates possible exposure to unfiltered/uncensored user-generated content, including user-to-user communications and media sharing via social media and networks.

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