ESRB plugs in ratings widget

Ratings board teams with Clearspring Technologies to offer free download that gives easy, mobile access to game-content evaluations.

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The Entertainment Software Rating Board has undertaken a number of initiatives over the years to increase the visibility of its game-rating system, including teaming up with various politicians and parent groups on ad and awareness campaigns. Now tech-savvy parents have one more way to easily access game ratings. The ESRB has teamed up with Clearspring Technologies to offer a free, downloadable ratings-search widget that can be accessed from a computer's desktop or embedded into a Web page.

The ratings whatchamacallit.
The ratings whatchamacallit.

The widget is currently available through the ESRB's Web site, and the ratings board notes that several consumer and parenting Web sites will also begin offering the tool in the near future. With it, consumers can readily search for the rating of the more than 14,000 games currently in the ESRB's online database. The widget offers a number of customization options, including color and size, and displays information in English, Spanish, or French. It is compatible with Microsoft Vista, Apple's OSX, and Windows XP operating systems by way of Yahoo! Widgets.

"Our single most important message to consumers, particularly to parents, is that they should always check a game's ESRB rating when considering a purchase or rental for their children," said ESRB president Patricia Vance. "Parents are hungry for this information, and research shows that three-quarters of parents regularly check ESRB ratings when making purchase or rental decisions about which games to bring home. Our ratings-search widget makes checking the rating that much more convenient. We're very excited to be offering this widget with the help of Clearspring."

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