Our BFFs over at Joystiq ran a blurb yesterday about the ESRB’s newly-updated mobile ratings decoder for video games shoppers. This app, available for Android and the iPhone, lets you snap a pic of a game’s cover and read an expanded explanation of why a game was rated the way it was. Perfect for modern dads that might have fallen out-of-touch with the current game market while they were busy at PTA meetings.
The best thing about this app is the detail. Want to know why Call of Duty: Black Ops was rated “M for Mature”? The box may only say “Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language”, but upon snapping a pic of the box, the ESRB’s app will tell you, among other things:
“…Combat can generate pools of blood and dismembered limbs. Players can use enemy bodies as human shields and execute them at close range. In one sequence, broken glass is placed into the mouth of a man while he is repeatedly punched, causing blood to spill from his mouth. Language such as “f**k,” “b*tch,” and “sh*t” can be heard in the dialogue.“
This is helpful; although taking the ESRB’s ratings and summaries at face-value is generally enough to make a decision for youngsters, it’s tough to decide whether your teenager might be “mature enough” for a game based on a ballpark summary. If you come from the “some violence is okay” gaming attitude, or just want to know exactly what “nudity” could possibly be in a God of War game, this app is for you.