ESRB streamlines ratings icons for digital and mobile age

By Stephany Nunneley, Friday, 2 August 2013 16:55 GMT

The Entertainment Software Rating Board is changing the look of its video game ratings icons in order to make them more clear and easy to understand given we’re now in the digital distribution age.

According to Polygon, the ESRB removed the phrase “content rated by,” leaving only its logo beneath the rating.

Rating titles now appear in black text on a white background, and while the changes aren’t drastic, the images are more streamlined and ratings easier to discern.

“The goal is really to ensure that our symbols are displaying as clearly and legibly as possible in the increasing variety of environments that they’re being displayed [in], including online and [on] mobile devices,” said Patricia Vance, ESRB president.

“As our ratings are increasingly used in digital environments we’ve recognized the need to tweak them so they’d display a bit more clearly, especially on smaller screens like mobile devices. So, for example, removing the small ‘Content Rated By’ text just helped create a cleaner look without losing any of the symbol’s meaning.”

The new icons will take effect immediately, but it will be a slower process in some circles.

“Publishers are being asked to begin using the new icons going forward, and materials like retail signage will be swapped out over time as opportunities to do so arise,” said Vance.

“We believe that consumers, especially parents, benefit from having a consistently applied set of ratings for games rather than a fragmented array of different systems. So we continue to keep a number of game and app storefronts apprised of our efforts and will continue to work toward broadening the use of our rating system.”

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