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ESRB Eyeballing Ratings For iPhone Games 72

Kotaku reports that the ESRB is thinking about expanding their game ratings to include games sold on the App Store. They realize that evaluating every single game is not feasible, but they may still be underestimating the amount of work they'd be taking on, and it could negatively affect some developers. Quoting: "'ESRB has seen increases in rating submissions each year since its founding and has always been able to keep pace,' the ESRB's Eliot Mizrachi told us. 'We have rated more than 70 mobile games to date and will undoubtedly rate more in the future as the market grows.' Seventy? Over the past, what, four or five years? It's a piddling number when you think of the hundreds of games available through the App Store. Further, many of them are mobile adjuncts to console releases, a different sort of beast from iPhone games. Not all of those need or deserve a rating; but if Apple brings in the ESRB to rate games, with the idea that it'll help parents control what their kids buy for their iPods, then unrated games are likely to be blocked by such filters. The incentive would definitely be there to get a game rated. And what of the cost? Getting a game rated isn't a free service; the ESRB levies a fee that covers the cost of looking through the code and rating the game."
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ESRB Eyeballing Ratings For iPhone Games

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  • Re:Seems pointless (Score:3, Interesting)

    by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Monday June 15, 2009 @07:06AM (#28333479) Homepage

    so why would the ESRB need to get involved?

    Probably pressure from "concerned parents" and/or government officials.

  • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Monday June 15, 2009 @07:26AM (#28333567)
    This is to protect all those young, impressionable minds out there that can afford a $400 phone and $100 a month for 3G service! Seriously, if a kid has one of these, he has more important things to worry about than "mature" elements in the games. Like getting mugged for this very expensive piece of hardware for instance. Won't somebody think of the children, and not load them up with this expensive shit that is just an invitation for them to get jacked?
  • Re:Seems pointless (Score:4, Interesting)

    by broken_chaos ( 1188549 ) on Monday June 15, 2009 @08:16AM (#28333823)

    Why wouldn't they? If someone reports it as incorrectly rated, I would think Apple would either take it down or (hopefully) correct the inconsistency - and in either case, contact the developer.

  • Uhhhhh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday June 15, 2009 @10:33AM (#28334999)

    So what, you think they just tell the government "Hey, you are never allowed to regulate us," and the government says "Ok,"? Wow, I had no idea it works that way! You really should go let the hedge fund managers know, the government is currently piling tons of new regulations on that which they don't like. If only they knew all they had to do was tell the government to stay out and they will! ...

    Ya, sorry, doesn't work that way. The government has the authority to regulate basically anything they like. More to the point, they will start regulating something if people demand it, and you know there are all sorts of "parents" groups that would cry about the evils of unrated videogames. Thus a preemptive strike, self rating, is teh way to maintain independence.

  • Re:Cashgrab (Score:3, Interesting)

    by twidarkling ( 1537077 ) on Monday June 15, 2009 @11:40AM (#28335919)

    Actually, probably the best reason is this: Why should Apple get a free ride on its games? The PSP and DS need their games rated, and the iPhone is being pushed as a viable gaming platform, with an install base reaching the PSP's. If Apple's platform is outside the established ratings, and becomes very much popular, the voluntary ratings system falls apart. The ESRB is administered by the industry, which is preferable to a governmental agency doing so, and remember, the government over the years has said that if movies or video games didn't handle it themselves, they would.

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