Videogame ratings: Ask the app while shopping

By Anne Collier

This is smart. Now, while you’re standing in a store aisle staring at a bunch of videogame titles – or right when your kid’s saying, “That’s it, that’s the game on my list, Mom/Dad!” – you can get details from the game-rating source on the spot, pretending you got a text message (feigning disinterest so s/he’ll be surprised later). Sure, a lot of us shop online, but the convenience is real, and it’s fun to picture parents and kids shopping together, most of the time with phones in pockets (just the other day, while getting some shoes with my 14-year-old, I had to reign in my on-phone work to enjoy that time with him – sound familiar?).

Anyway, in time for holiday videogame shopping, the Entertainment Software Rating Board has updated its game-ratings phone app so that you can verbally ask your phone about a particular title. With the voice recognition feature, parents can “access a game’s in-depth ‘rating summary’ by simply saying the name of the game” into their phone, according to the ESRB’s press release. The app – for iPhones, Android phones, and Windows phones – accesses information on more than 20,000 titles, it adds. The ESRB’s research found that 65% of parents “use the ratings regularly” when shopping for games for their children. [See also “CTIA And ESRB To Unveil New Mobile App Rating System” at TechCrunch.]

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