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GooglePlay Becomes Family Friendly By Revamping Ratings

Google has been making itself more family friendly. In March, they implemented a content rating system for apps and non-mobile games and YouTube recently released YouTube Kids.  Now, Google Play is making it even easier to make parents able to dictate what apps and games are safe for their children by improving the way it rates it's apps.

Google Inc has hired experts to properly label apps instead of having developers to self certify their products. The ditch of low, medium and high maturity classifications is a move to show Google is taking its responsibilities seriously.

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The labels used to provide guidance about suitability of boxed video games will be used to rate apps, rather than Google Play's own proprietary classifications. The new International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) was founded 2 years ago and is made up of members who have been in the age classification business.

The five member panel consists to be made up of the five major age classification boards across the world - The Australian Classification Board, Classifcacao Indicativa for Brazil, The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) for North America, Pan European Game Information (Pegi) for the European Region, and Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (Germany).


It sounds like an awful amount of work as IARC's five participants will each rate for every app considering local laws and different cultural sensitivities. Nudity, violence, references to gambling, drugs and other potentially unsuitable material will be ranked differently depending on where in the world a user's account is based.

Developers are asked to fill in a questionnaire of what is inclusive with their app and the IARC then examine the information and then grade the app. Apparently it only takes a minute to rate an app, however there are over 1.5 million apps!

There is still a risk children will download these apps but currently there is a proposal for an age verification scheme that would let app stores confirm the age of the device owners. This would mean for a third party to carry out necessary ID checks and verify young users ages.

A restriction on apps could lead to children pretending to be older than they are when purchasing devices. A scheme that is already practised in Australia when purchasing devices like phones, computers, tablets.



Jessica Smith 

Australian girl, Jessica is loving England but is missing the sunshine! She loves writing, dogs and plays hockey! Follow her @JessicaAtSMF

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GooglePlay Becomes Family Friendly By Revamping Ratings Reviewed by Jessica Smith on Sunday, June 14, 2015 Rating: 5

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