Choosing apps for your kids isn’t always an easy feat. First, you have to wade through the multitude of options. Then, you’re looking for an app that has some quality (and preferably not too many ads). Finally, you want it to be age-appropriate. Nothing like handing your kid a game that looks tame, only to have one of the characters cursing, or displaying over-the-top violence. With video games, we have the ESRB ratings. And while I’m always shocked at the number of parents who simply ignore them (should your 12-year old play a game that involves rape? I’d argue no…), there are plenty of us who find them a useful tool for decision-making. There’s good news for those of us who like a little extra help. Verizon has announced that they have added the new app rating system developed by CTIA (International Association for Wireless Telecommunications) and the ESRB to their app store. And not only will new apps have ratings, but they’ve added ratings to older apps as well.
The rating system, announced in November 2011, was designed with assistance from AT&T, Microsoft, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular, Verizon, and a panel of developers. It is very similar to the ratings you may be familiar with from the ESRB. Parents should expect to start seeing widespread adoption of the ratings across carriers.
As mobile gaming is on the rise, the new rating system will be a great tool for parents looking for quality content for their kids.