ESRB_app_1_BlastmanDo your children play video games.  Does a Hawaiian vacay sound perfect right around now?  

Although I am the tech tips traveling mom, I am loathe to spend an extra two seconds even talking about video games with my 7 year old son.  Nothing interests me less.  

But here’s the reality:

I have to get interested (very soon!) because there will be a lot more tension in our house if this boy doesn’t get some video games.  And I don’t want him going to the neighbor’s house for video games because I have no idea what they’re playing over there.  I’d rather have him play a game we can pick out together.  Yes, it’s a dialogue — even with a 7 year old. 

So, I can do all of the research I want to, but when I’m in the store with him, I need a quick education. If I’m on the fence about buying him a game, I need some answers — fast.  Can’t rely on a 7 year old to tell me what’s appropriate for him with regard to a video game, right?  

The ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) has had a mobile app since 2008, but it just got a lot easier to use with photo recognition software.  I just take a photo of the box of the game and it connects me to a ratings summary.  NOT reviews, just whether or not this game will be appropriate for my kid.

Of course the box has a rating already on it, but if I care more about mature content than foul language, I might not care if the rating is high solely because of language.  The ESRB rating explains why each game got its rating.  This is crucial information.

The app is free, easy to use and… just get it while you’re reading this and thinking about it.  You’ll forget later.  Takes 2 minutes.