As per recent years, complains have been revolving around the internet about the minors engaging with the apps they aren’t supposed to monitor. A year back Google Play did improve its app filters for preventing the exclusive types of apps from appearing along with their Google Play Developer Content Policy, but oh well, there’s always room for improvements right?
This year, Google Play took one step further to organize the types of apps with whom different groups of people are supposed engage and introduced its content rating policy. The new age-based rating system was introduced in mid of May, thou non of the Android devices got its update yet, only it could be seen on the web page of Google Play on that too on some of the app.
This is how the age-based rating system is implemented; The developer has to fill a questionnaire about their app, which is supposed to be uploaded later own. The questionnaire is has some simple questions related to subject included in the application, to identify the objectionable content in it. After the the questionnaires have been filled out, Google has set up some group of teams to review them and rate them answer-wise. As Age rating systems vary region to region the following groups have been given the authority to review the Questionnaires for their respected regions; international Age Rating Coalition (IARC) along with its participating bodies, including the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), Pan-European Game Information (PEGI), Australian Classification Board, Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (USK) and Classificação Indicativa (ClassInd) has also been authorized.
For Example’s sake, let’s take Europe/Middle East for instance to explain you what the “Age-Rating” symbols would look like;
- PEGI 3 “The content of apps with this rating is considered suitable for all age groups. Some violence in a comical context (typically cartoons like – Bugs Bunny or Tom & Jerry – forms of violence) is acceptable”
- PEGI 7 “Any app that would normally be rated at 3 but contains some scenes or sounds that can possibly be frightening for children may be considered suitable in this category.”
- PEGI 12 “Games or apps that show violence of a slightly more graphic nature towards fantasy characters, or non-graphic violence towards human-looking characters or animals would fall in this age category, as well as nudity of a slightly more graphic nature and simulated gambling. Any bad language in this category must be mild and fall short of sexual expletives.”
- PEGI 16 “Once the depiction of violence or sexual activity reaches a stage that looks the same as would be expected in real life, this rating is applied. Stronger inappropriate language, encouraging the use of tobacco or drugs and depicting criminal activities can be content of apps that are rated 16.”
- PEGI 18 “The adult classification is applied when the level of violence reaches a stage where it becomes a depiction of gross violence and/or includes elements of specific types of violence (motiveless killing, violence towards defenceless characters or sexual violence). It may also include graphic sexual content, discrimination or the glamorisation of illegal drugs use.”
- PARENTAL GUIDANCE RECOMMENDED “Apps do not always have predefined content that can be classified beforehand. Certain apps function as portals (e.g. to stream content), offering a broad, variable range of content from which consumers can choose.”