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ESRB, CTIA Teaming Up For Mobile App, Game Rating System

The ESRB is teaming up with the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association trade group to create a standardized rating system for mobile apps and games "based on age-appropriateness of their content and context."
The ESRB is teaming up with the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association trade group to create a standardized rating system for mobile apps and games. The groups teased the existence of the new new ratings system, which will be "based on age-appropriateness of their content and context," ahead of an official announcement event taking place next Tuesday in Washington, DC. There is currently no unified standard for content-based ratings across mobile platforms. Since 2009's iOS 3.0 update, Apple has rated content on its App Store on a scale from 4+ (containing no objectionable material) to 17+ (purchase limited to adults). Developers can set their own labels for apps on Google's Android Market, indicating they're appropriate for Everyone or those with Low, Medium or High Maturity. Since its creation in 1994, the industry-backed ESRB has rated over 21,000 console and PC games released in the United States. In April, the group introduced an automated system to aid in rating the high number of digitally distributed console games. Australia's Classification Board began mulling the addition of mobile games to its purview back in 2009, but just last month decided against requiring ratings for mobile content. In July, Korea's Game Ratings Board relaxed a requirement that all mobile games receive a rating from the organization. Apple and Google had shut down the localized version of their App Stores to protest the requirement.

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