Monday, 3 November 2014

Guide to Video Game Ratings

What do those big black letters on the front of your video game box mean?
That’s the rating assigned by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) to inform you about the maturity level of the game's content. Like movie ratings, they are designed to help parents make informed purchasing decisions.
video game rating box
ESRB ratings have two parts: Rating symbols suggest age appropriateness, and content descriptors indicate specific elements that may be of interest or concern. Be sure to consider both.

ESRB Video Game Ratings

 Early Childhood
Titles rated early childhood have content suitable for children 3 and older. Contains no material that parents would find inappropriate.
Everyone Everyone
Titles rated everyone have content that suitable for persons age 6 and older. Titles in this category may contain minimal violence, some comic mischief, and/or mild language.
Everyone 10+ Everyone 10+
Titles rated everyone 10 and older have content that may be suitable for older children age 10 and up. Titles in this category may contain more cartoon, fantasy, or mild violence, mild language, and/or minimal suggestive themes.
Teen Teen
Titles rated teen have content suitable for persons ages 13 and older. May contain violent content, mild or strong language, and/or suggestive themes.
Mature Mature 17+
Titles rated mature have content suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain mature sexual themes, more intense violence, and/or strong language.
Adults Only Adults only 18+
Titles rated adults only have content suitable only for adults. Titles in this category may include graphic depictions of sex and/or violence. Adults-only products are not intended for persons under the age of 18.
Rating Pending Rating Pending
Titles listed as rating pending have been submitted to the ESRB and are awaiting a final rating.

ESRB Content Descriptors

Alcohol reference Reference to and/or images of alcoholic beverages.
Animated blood Cartoonish or pixilated depictions of blood.
Blood Depictions of blood.
Blood and gore Depictions of blood or the mutilation of body parts.
Cartoon violence Violent actions involving cartoon-like characters. May include violence where a character is unharmed after the action has been inflicted.
Comic mischief Scenes depicting slapstick or gross vulgar humor.
Crude humor Moderately vulgar antics, including scatological ("bathroom") humor.
Drug reference Reference to and/or images of illegal drugs.
Edutainment Content provides specific skills-development or reinforcement learning within an entertainment setting; skill development is an integral part of product.
Fantasy violence Violent actions of a fantasy nature, involving human or nonhuman characters in situations easily distinguishable from real life.
Gambling Betting-like behavior.
Informational Overall content contains data, facts, resource information, reference materials, or instructional text.
Intense violence Graphic and realistic-looking depictions of physical conflict. May involve extreme and/or realistic blood, gore, weapons, and depictions of human injury and death.
Mature humor Vulgar and/or crude jokes and antics, including scatological ("bathroom") humor.
Mature sexual themes Provocative material, possibly including partial nudity.
Mild language Mild references to profanity, sexuality, violence, alcohol, or drug use.
Mild lyrics Mild references to profanity, sexuality, violence, alcohol, or drug use in music.
Mild violence Mild scenes depicting characters in unsafe and/or violent situations.
Nudity Graphic or prolonged depictions of nudity.
Partial nudity Brief and mild depictions of nudity.
Sexual violence Depictions of rape or other violent sexual acts.
Some adult assistance may be needed Early childhood descriptor only.
Strong language Profanity and explicit references to sexuality, violence, alcohol, or drug use.
Strong lyrics Profanity and explicit references to sex, violence, alcohol, or drug use in music.
Strong sexual content Graphic depiction of sexual behavior, possibly including nudity.

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