ESRB getting into mobile app ratings

CTIA - The Wireless Association announces partnership with game rating group for new system to assess digital storefront offerings; details coming tomorrow.

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The Entertainment Software Rating Board was established in 1994 to assign content ratings to video game releases and has been largely dedicated to the console and PC space since then. With the rise in popularity of mobile applications on smartphones, the regulatory body is set to expand the coverage of its rating system.

Perhaps they'll set up a separate ratings board for software that isn't entertaining.

CTIA, the international organization that oversees the wireless communication industry, announced today that it has partnered with the ESRB to introduce a content rating system for mobile applications. Full details will be revealed tomorrow at 10 a.m. Eastern time, but CTIA did indicate that "applications will be rated based on age-appropriateness of their content and context."

The group refers to the new plan as a "mobile application rating system," suggesting it will reach beyond the realm of games. Traditionally, ESRB ratings have been applied only to video games, but mobile apps introduce a range of different experiences that may benefit from a formal rating process.

The Apple App Store and Google Android Marketplace currently feature user-based quality rating systems, and their own proprietary content ratings systems. Apple employs a numerical rating system (4+, 9+, 12+, and 17+), and the Android Marketplace uses a descriptive text-based system (Everyone, Low maturity, Medium maturity, and High maturity). Although it is unclear how and if the ESRB's new system would be integrated into existing stores, it could provide a more universal scale.

Discussion

20 comments
dxdevilex0
dxdevilex0

@dawnofhero That's the point,people don't give a damn about the rating system.

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

@dxdevilex0 Tell me about it. Kids who aren't even old enough to play Smash Bros Brawl are playing M rated games and their parents don't give two s#!ts in the pants about it...

Zer093
Zer093

To be honest, I'm glad. I'll trust the ESRB over Apple and Google any day of the week. While I might not like it, mobile apps are getting bigger and bigger and should have more regulation than just these big companies. Of course, parents still need to watch their kids' gaming habits and hopefully these ratings should help. I would love to see how they try to play catch up considering the vast number of apps.

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

How about no. Wonder how long it'll take for them to rate the entire back catalog of violent Android games. Seems like a waste of effort

RavageCobra
RavageCobra

dxdevilex0 Um, it's called "Careless parenting."

ziproy
ziproy

Just what all us gamers have been clammering for...

dxdevilex0
dxdevilex0

Mobile gaming is still considered entertainment software right? And it's kinda funny how COD is rated M yet a lot of players are 9 year old kids.

moviequest14
moviequest14

As long as it doesn't put a ban on under-aged buying I don't see why anyone should care.Most titles are self-explanatory and most smart phones are owned by one person thus meaning a rating system doesn't really matter.

moviequest14
moviequest14

@Super-Poke-Bros : Actually the irony comes in is that in the same article we see ESRB talking about experimenting non-gaming aspects for their rating saying that it ''reaches beyond the realm of games''..just because the only thing ESRB has done is games doesn't mean that it is their only purpose.Just because apps need a rating because of mature content doesn't justify them as full-fledged games.

thenerd64
thenerd64

NO!!!! They are going to ruin it some how just like they ruin everything else. Does anyone here think that they almost always overate games. does anyone else think it is a bit ironic that COD is rated M, while Soul calibur and Tekken remain T

Tsuchikage
Tsuchikage

This seems like a good idea to me.

XboxGuy1537
XboxGuy1537

Well they can have fun with that....

Super-Poke-Bros
Super-Poke-Bros

@ earlier comments The point of the article here isn't that the ESRB is too controlling or that they're wasting time. It just shows that mobile phones are being considered a gaming platform by more and more people. It's official really, tablets and smart phones are a gaming platform.

LunchSackSal
LunchSackSal

They should also get into rating Vegetables and Fruit. Whatever keeps them busy... as no one cares anyway.

MW2ismygame
MW2ismygame

there is just no way to make these as**oles happy is there? whats next? the commercials on tv will be rated. you know we wonder why our economy is crap when we *!tch about such trivial matters.....this site needs a *bang head on desk* emoticon.....BADLY

netflixman
netflixman

most of them are child-friendly, so it's kinda pointless