The award-winning video game rating app from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is now available for Microsoft Windows Phone 7. This free mobile app, from the organization that assigns age and content ratings for computer and video games, allows easy access to video game ratings and detailed rating summaries. For parents, it’s as simple as snapping a photo or typing the name of a game to quickly determine if it is right for their family.
“Summertime can mean video game time for many families, whether playing in the car, on the plane or in the living room. But just like movies, not all games are appropriate for every child,” says ESRB president Patricia Vance. “So before 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. Today we added our ESRB app to Windows Marketplace, further expanding parents’ access to a game’s rating or rating summary, anytime, anywhere.”
The ESRB mobile app 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, which are not displayed on game boxes like 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. The ESRB app is a great way to put this information in parents’ hands right from the video game store, where it is often needed most. Rating summaries are available for games rated since July 1, 2008, which means that most of the games on kids’ wish lists will have rating summaries.
“Microsoft is very excited to offer parents this new free tool to help them find the information they need about the games their kids want,” said Aaron Kornblum, Director of Security Policy for Microsoft Corporation’s Interactive Entertainment Business. “Whether using the built-in camera or keyboard, Windows Phone 7 empowers shoppers by delivering this important ratings guidance whenever and wherever they may need it.”
Since their inception in 1994, the ESRB ratings have become a trusted resource for parents when choosing computer and video games. According to the latest research conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates and commissioned by the ESRB, 85% of parents with children that play video games are aware of the ESRB ratings, two-thirds use them regularly, and over three quarters consider the rating system “very helpful” in allowing them to choose games for their children.
In addition to the mobile app, parents may also want to check out ESRB’s Facebook page or follow ESRB on Twitter (@OKtoPlay). Ratings information, including rating summaries and additional resources for parents are also available on the website, ESRB.org, and mobile website, m.esrb.org.