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ESRB's updated app finds game ratings with a click

Updated iPhone and Android apps try to make it easier for parents to determine why a game earned its respective rating. The apps offer info on over 20,000 games.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger

The game industry's software rating board has updated its iPhone app and unveiled a new, identical Android app to try to make it easier for parents to decide if a title is right for their kids.

A new feature in the the Entertainment Software Rating Board's Rating Search App, allows people to snap a picture of a video game box to get more information about the title. According to the ESRB, the app identifies the title in the game and then displays a "detailed, straight-forward explanation--including specific examples--of the content that factored into a game's rating." The goal, the ESRB said, is to ensure "parents can make truly informed game choices for their children."

The app's new feature is an upgrade over what the program used to offer. When it was first unveiled last December, the iPhone app allowed people to search for rating information only by typing the name of the game into the app.

The ESRB's mobile app features information on over 20,000 titles, the group said. All games rated since July 1, 2008, are included.

The ESRB Rating Search App is available for free in both Apple's App Store and the Android Market.

Check out what the folks on CNET's preGame podcast had to say about the ESRB's update by clicking here.

Below is a video from the ESRB on the apps.