A Crash Course on IARC (International Age Rating Coalition)

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 8.13.57 AMIn March 2015 a collaborative global rating system for children’s apps was announced that will help regional rating systems like USA’s  ESRB  move into a global system. The system will be used in children’s apps in Google Play from May 2015 on, and will be integrated into CTR’s reviews. Note as a part of our review process, we screen apps for potentially worrisome content, including gender stereotyping and junk food; neither of which are considered by the ESRB or IARC system. It’s important that every librarian, educator and teacher learn about the IARC system to see how it works. Here’s a primer.  

Called the The International Age Rating Coalition, or IARC, this age-based system will attempt to “streamline the process for assigning age and content ratings to the high volume of digitally delivered games and mobile apps.”

This will be a global system, developed by a coalition representing five countries. 

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A few comments:

  • Five rating authorities are currently participating in IARC – ESRB (North America), PEGI (all of Europe, exc. Germany, and parts of the Middle East), USK (Germany), ClassInd (Brazil), and Australia.
  • Publishers self-rate their own apps, when they submit their product. After the complete the questionaire,  the IARC system generates a geographically appropriate icon. 
  • Content descriptors are used to capture and describe potentially worrisome content. 
  • The system does not account for quality or educational validity. 
  • In addition to the rating symbols used by the 5 rating authorities that are participating, the system assigns a generic rating to the remaining territories not represented by those 5 rating boards.  As a result, IARC ratings cover the globe. 
  • The IARC system has been assigning ratings to all apps in the Firefox Marketplace since January 2014.  The Google Play store will be the second implementation of the IARC rating system. 
  • The major game consoles (Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony) are all committed to implementing IARC. As a result, it will be easier to get your interactive product age certified using a system that will work on a Global Scale. 
  • In order to function, the IARC rating system requires a platform or digital storefront to integrate the process for obtaining/receiving/updating IARC ratings in each of their respective developer portals using web services. 
  • As a result, developers cannot use an IARC rating when submitting the same game on another platform unless IARC has been adopted or implemented.


Here’s the official video.

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One Response to "A Crash Course on IARC (International Age Rating Coalition)"

  1. Dr. Heidi Wodiuk says:

    Hi my name is Dr. Heidi Wodiuk and I am in Colorado of the USA. My daughter was kidnapped by the Colorado and USA child sex cartel of judges et al. and while I was researching for help in saving my daughter I felt a book calling to me so I walked the library and found until I found it. It is called the pornography industry what everyone needs to know by Shira Tarrant.

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    It is all caught on the jail audio and video what I am telling you.

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    Dr. Heidi Wodiuk
    PO BOX 8046
    Colorado Springs, CO 80933

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