Google Play is becoming more family-friendly, as it will implement new ratings to its apps, according to the appropriate age of the users. The ratings will be in line with the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) and will be displayed for every app.
The project was set in motion back in March, but the first ratings are just surfacing now. IARC is a global rating agency that is meant to unify and standardize the criteria that an app needs to meet in order to be age appropriate, so that parents can choose the right apps for their children.
Therefore, every app developer will submit information about it to IARC, that will decide the category it goes in and who can use it exactly. While the criteria differs to a certain extent in the different regions of the world, exactly like film ratings, there is a unifying base that is the same worldwide.
These differences in rating criteria appear precisely because of the difference in policies regarding the appropriate nature of the content that children of different ages are allowed to come into contact with.
The EU and the US, for example, have their own IARC bodies who set personalized criteria for these regions, that reflect the rigors of lawmakers and parents.
There are five possible ratings that will appear on every app’s page on Google Play:
- E – represents apps that suitable for all ages. However, they might contain some kind of mild violence or bad language
- E10 – represents apps that are suitable for children over 10
- T – represents apps that are suitable for teenagers, meaning 13 and up, as they may include minimal display of gambling and blood and sporadic strong language
- M – represents apps suitable for teenagers who are 17 and up, because they may include sexual content, intense violence, gory content and strong language
- AO – represents apps that are only suitable for adults, meaning 18 and up, because they include graphic sexual content, intense violence and gambling
From now on, it will be easy for parents to know which apps are suitable for their children. Shortly, all apps will display the age-rating on their Google Play page. At the moment, because this feature is still under construction, there are some apps that are still unrated.
This could be because they have not yet submitted their application to IARC, or because the organization has not yet completed their assessment. In these cases, the situation will be mended in the next few weeks.
However, the apps that do not comply and that do not send in the proper applications to IARC risk to be excluded by Google Play from certain sectors.
These measures became extremely necessary as children were able to access virtual content that was not appropriate for their ages and that could have affected them emotionally. Since children are using apps so much lately, at least as much as they access video content, it became imperative that apps be rated, exactly like films are.
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