You might not know this, but Apple’s iPhone is quite the popular gaming platform these days. Despite the fact that most app developers aren't going all Scrooge McDuck in mountains of glorious app coinage, that hasn’t stopped the App Store from bursting at the seams with new content. Some of those games/apps are brilliant and deserve far more attention than they receive, while others should probably never have made it past the drunken conversation phase.
And while Apple does have a review process in place to prevent highly offensive or intentionally malicious apps from getting through, it’s far from perfect, as that now infamously approved baby-shaker app shows. But what alternative does Apple have when it comes to managing the vast numbers of games that it allows onto the App Store?
Treating iPhone games/apps like any game that appears on a console or handheld device and assigning them ratings is a logical solution, however as CEO of the Entertainment Software Association, Michael Gallagher, told Kotaku:
This solution obviously makes sense, but the process of determining what rating to assign what game and which games require ratings would most likely make the MPAA rating process look like a greased up ice luge. And as GamePolitics points out, game developers must pay fees to the ESRB to receive ratings for their games. If a similar system were adopted by Apple, then app developers, most of whom make very little to no money off of their apps, would be forced out of the job, or they'd just take their business elsewhere (i.e. Palm’s Pre, assuming the Pre’s SDK gets the power boost Palm has promised).
It’s certainly a compelling debate, and since the app revolution shows no signs of slowing anytime soon, it’s one that will most likely only become more relevant and pressing going forward.
How does an app-rating system sound to you?