What do you get when ESRB boss Patricia Vance decides the game rating body's Internet presence needs a redo? Extreme Makeover: Website Edition...
"Oh gawd, my eyes!!!" screamed fellow GP Correspondent Jabrwock when I strapped him to a chair, Clockwork Orange style, and forced his gaze upon the ESRB's recent website redux. Before the new page is finisher loading, the reader's eyeballs are assaulted by a full-screen flash of retina-searing yellow. This unfortunate choice of color permeates every inch of the redesign.
Aesthetics aside, the new ESRB layout is a breeze to navigate and most of the early bugs have been worked out since its relaunch late last week. The only problem (aside from the ghastly hue) is the site's search engine, which has taken a bit of step backwards. The original presented all search parameters on one page in a user-friendly format. Now, however, one must select search criteria one at a time from three separate drop-down menus. It's a bit cumbersome and not as powerful, but to the ESRB's credit, the content menu is organized very nicely.
New to the site are a handful of public service announcements. Available as posters and 30-second radio spots, the PSAs are quite well done and hopefully will be widely seen and heard. Television spots should definitely be next on the ESRB's to-do list.
Astute readers will notice a few new additions to the parental tips page:
"Monitor your child's video game play."
"Exercise caution with online-enabled games."
"Be aware of downloadable 'mods' that can significantly change the content of a game."
"Learn about and use parental controls."
-Reporting from San Diego, seared retinas and all, GP Correspondent Andrew Eisen