Gaming’s ESRB turns 20

For ESRB 20the past two decades, if you’ve wanted to get a video game into Wal-Mart, Target or any other brick and mortar retailer, you’ve had to go through the Entertainment Software Ratings Board first.

The ESRB isn’t just the gatekeeper of what can and can’t appear in a video game. It’s also proven to be a helpful tool for parents, a shield against those who wish to demonize an industry, and a thorn in the side of game makers hoping to reach the biggest audience possible.

It turns 20 on Tuesday, and while vidoe game ratings are now ubiquitous, that wasn’t always the case.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

ESRB: ‘Mature’ games only 9% of industry

They’re gta-v-mature-gamesat the center of an increasingly heated debate these days, but when you look at the hard numbers, games carrying a ‘Mature’ rating aren’t quite as big a part of the video game industry as they seem.

The ESRB — the board that assigns ratings to games released in the U.S. and Canada — says only 9 percent of the 1,218 games released last year received an ‘M’ rating. Such games are intended for those 17 and up and “may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.”

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Opinion: ESRB Mobile App Initiative Underscores Industry Power Shift

Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris picks apart the ESRB’s recent push into the mobile app space, and wonders how these ratings will fare without Apple and Android’s support.

While you have to admire the Entertainment Software Ratings Board’s push into the mobile app space, it’s hard not to be disappointed with Tuesday’s joint announcement with CTIA.

Getting AT&T, Microsoft, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless on board is a step, yes, but it’s akin to announcing a new Grand Theft Auto that’s being made by first year game development students. It sounds great, until you think about it for a couple seconds.

Read more at Gamasutra

Video game ratings board to add apps to its duties?

The Entertainment Software Ratings Board is about to expand its territory.

The ESRB and CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association) have called a press conference for next week to announce a new rating system for mobile applications – an area the video game ratings board has had an interest in for some time.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog