ESRB Extends To Digital Games

-Marcus Lawrence

Digitally-distributed games will now be rated by the ESRB’s new system specifically designed with digital content in mind. The news was announced this morning that ESRB would be launching a new Digital Rating System. So digital games sold off Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, Wii Shop Channel, Nintendo eShop and much more will have the ESRB’s seal of approval in the form of a rating.

The ESRB has the process nailed down, allowing games to be giving a rating in a fast and efficient manner. These ratings will be covering all types of games to come. “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,” the ESRB said in a statement. “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.”

“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,” ESRB president Patricia Vance added. “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 ratings will still have the E, E10+, T and M that many have come to recognize. In addition to the familiar categories, content descriptors and Interactive Elements can be read upon as well. The ESRB also stated  “while adopters of ESRB ratings may choose to not display all three parts, complete rating information is always available by searching the ESRB website at ESRB.org.” 

I certainly feel this is a step in the right direction. It allows parents to know just exactly what their child is playing online and what steps to take.