IDG Unveils Game Rating Site
GameProFamily.com aims to give parents more information about the games their children want to play. The centerpiece of the site is a multi-author blog featuring a "simulated family unit," with "mother" and "father" characters to offer perspectives on whether particular games are appropriate for children. The site also features a child character to advocate on behalf of the game. The blog authors also write occasional feature-length pieces, discussing broader video game rating issues.
The Entertainment Software Rating Board currently gives video games ratings--from "E," meaning appropriate for everyone, to "AO," meaning recommended for adults only. The board also provides short descriptions of the content with descriptors like "mild cartoon violence," "blood and gore," and "suggestive themes." George Jones, IDG's editorial director, said that the content reviews on GameProFamily.com would go beyond what the ESRB offers. "We're using the ESRB ratings as a jumping-off point in our content," he said.
A spokesman for IDG Entertainment said that for the site, the company will pursue non-endemic advertisers that aren't represented on some of their more youth-focused gaming sites like GamePro.com and Games.net. "We're looking for companies who are going after both parents and their kids," he said.
In March, IDG Entertainment partnered with The New York Times Company's About.com to syndicate IDG games content onto About.com's games information sites.