ESRB Partners With Clearspring Technologies To Launch New Video Game Ratings Search Widget

April 1, 2008

NEW YORK, NY – The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) and Clearspring Technologies, a leading provider of widget syndication services, today announced the launch of a new ESRB ratings search widget that is available for free use and download by consumers. The widget allows users to search for ESRB ratings for more than 14,000 computer and video game titles in a portable application that can be placed directly onto their desktop, as well as imported onto their personal and social networking web pages. Several consumer and parenting websites will begin offering the widget as well.

“Our single most important message to consumers, particularly to parents, is that they should always check a game’s ESRB rating when considering a purchase or rental for their children,” said ESRB president Patricia Vance. “Parents are hungry for this information,  and research shows that three-quarters of parents regularly check ESRB ratings when making purchase or rental decisions about which games to bring home. Our ratings search widget makes checking the rating that much more convenient. We’re very excited to be offering this widget with the help of Clearspring.”

The ESRB ratings search widget, which is customizable by color, size and language (English, Spanish and French), can be grabbed using Clearspring’s sharing menu. It can be easily embedded on blogs and social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace or shared with friends via email. The widget can also be downloaded onto desktops using Microsoft Vista and Macs running OSX, as well as Windows XP machines using Yahoo! Widgets. Additionally, the widget is being made available on various websites and widget galleries, including Google and Yahoo!, where users can grab and place the widget onto their personalized homepages.

“We’re very pleased to be teaming up with ESRB to make this tool available to consumers,” said Clearspring vice president of sales and client services, Steve Touhill. “The most successful widgets provide access to functionality that users genuinely need or want in an easy-to-use application. Offering a way to quickly get to ratings information for the video games they’re considering buying has real value for consumers.”

“Last year, the ratings search feature of our website was incredibly popular, with more than 4 million ratings searches having been conducted,” added Vance. “There’s clearly a huge appetite among consumers for ratings information, and providing this widget will make it that much easier for them to make informed purchase or rental decisions.”

Since its inception in 1994, the ESRB ratings have become a trusted resource for parents when buying or renting computer and video games. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a report1 last April which found that nine in ten parents of children who play video games are aware of the ESRB ratings, 87% expressed satisfaction, and nearly three- quarters use them regularly when choosing games for their children.  ESRB ratings are  also featured in the parental control settings of some of the latest game console hardware (i.e., Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360), and supported by all leading game retailers in the U.S. and Canada.

A complete list of ratings, content descriptors and their definitions can be found on the ESRB website at www.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 applies computer and video game content ratings, enforces advertising guidelines, and helps ensure responsible online privacy practices for the interactive entertainment software industry.

About Clearspring

Clearspring is the market’s leading widget syndication, tracking and monetization service, used by the world’s largest media companies and advertisers, and independent widget developers. Clearspring helps publishers and marketers extend their reach to the leading social networks, start pages and blogs and to respond to growing consumer demand for a more personalized desktop, Web, and mobile experience. Headquartered near Washington, D.C., Clearspring offers a comprehensive set of widget creation, distribution and management services. For more information about Clearspring and how to use widgets in your business or to join the Clearspring developer community, please visit www.clearspring.com.

1Federal Trade Commission Report to Congress on the Marketing of Violent Entertainment to Children, April 2007


Eliot Mizrachi, ESRB
[email protected]

Bill Rubacky, Clearspring
[email protected]