New York – The video game industry’s voluntary ratings
system, the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB), announced on Monday
that it will begin using computer software to analyze content and assign
ratings for some game titles.

Under the new system, publishers of downloadable
games for consoles and handhelds will submit a form with answers to multiple
choice questions about the violence, sexual content and language contained in
their titles.

The ESRB said all games rated using this process will be tested
by its staff shortly after release, "to verify that disclosure was
complete and accurate."

Should a developer be found to have deliberately
misled the ESRB, "the game and all of its promotional materials will be
removed from the store through which it is being sold, pending its resubmission
to ESRB."

The new automated ratings will initially be used for
downloadable games available via Microsoft Xbox Live Arcade, Nintendo Wii or DSi
Shop and the Sony PlayStation Store.


Related Links:

(PDF: ESRB announcement)
(N.Y. Times)