ESRB Adds Voice Search To Video Game Rating Mobile APP

November 14, 2011

Just in Time for Holiday Shopping, Free Mobile App Offers Parents Easy Access to Detailed Video Game Content Information

NEW YORK, NY – Type it. Photograph it. And now, just say it. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) – which assigns the age and content ratings for video games – today released a new version of its award-wining, free mobile app, now with voice recognition. Parents can now access a game’s in-depth “rating summary” by simply saying the name of the game into their iPhone®, Android™ or Windows® Phone – just in time for the Holiday shopping season.

“Rating summaries offer a comprehensive and detailed description of the types of content a parent would want to know about before making that final decision to buy a game,” says Patricia Vance, ESRB president. “Putting that level of detail into parents’ hands where they often need it most – in the store – is what makes our mobile app such a valuable resource. And now, with the addition of voice recognition, that information is even easier to access.”

Video games are once again expected to top holiday wish lists this year. But, just like movies, not all games are appropriate for every child. Rating summaries provide parents with a detailed, straight-forward explanation of the content that factored into a game’s rating, including specific examples. While the rating symbol and brief content descriptors are displayed on the game box, rating summaries can only be accessed online or via the ESRB mobile app.

The app offers fast access to ESRB rating information for over 20,000 titles by just saying or typing the name of the game, or taking a photo of the game box. Rating summaries are available for many of the games rated since July 1, 2008, which means that most of the ones on kids’ wish lists this year will have rating summaries.

“While parents find the ESRB ratings to be a useful source of guidance, sometimes there’s a need for a more detailed account of a game’s content before bringing it home,” added Vance. “With a quick search and a glance at the rating summary, a parent can confidently decide whether a game is right for their child.”

The updated ESRB app also gives users the opportunity to enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win a brand new video game console or $200 GameStop gift card. Entries must be received by December 23, 2011.

The ESRB rating search app is developed by Point About, visual search is powered by IQ Engines and voice search is powered by MeMeMe. This is the first app powered by MeMeMe’s voice recognition technology to be launched across all three major mobile operating systems (iOS, Android and Windows). In April 2011, the ESRB mobile app received a Parents’ Choice Gold Award.

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 (65%) use them regularly when selecting games for their child; and
  • over three quarters (76%) consider the rating system “very helpful” in allowing them to choose games for their child.

In addition to the mobile app, parents may also want to check out the new Parent Resources section on the ESRB website, like the ESRB’s Facebook page or follow ESRB on Twitter (@ESRBRatings). Rating information, including rating summaries and additional resources for parents are also available on the website, ESRB.org, and mobile website, m.esrb.org.

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About Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)

The ESRB is a non-profit, self-regulatory body established in 1994 by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). ESRB independently assigns computer and video game content ratings, enforces advertising guidelines, and helps ensure responsible online privacy practices for the interactive entertainment software industry. Visit www.esrb.org for more information.


Beth Llewlyn
[email protected]