About ESRB Rating Guide

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You are looking to buy or download a new video game for your child but as a concerned parent, you are worried about if it is suitable for him/her.

You can check out the description and the images on the box, but you can also check on the ESRB rating information on the front and the back. This information will include age rating, content descriptors and interactive elements that help you to quickly decide if it is a good option for your offspring. Consider the meaning of each information given by the ESRB Rating Guide.

 ESRB Rating Categories

These categories let you know the suitable age for the game:

  • Everyone: The game is appropriate for all ages.
  • Everyone 10+: Content may be suitable for people from 10 up. It could contain mild violence, and language, more cartoon, fantasy, or suggestive themes.
  • Teen: It is appropriate for more than 13 years old. It could contain violence, crude humor, suggestive themes, simulated gambling, minimal blood, and/or strong language infrequently used.
  • Mature: It is suitable for ages 17 and up. It could contain intense violence, sexual content, blood and gore, and/or strong language.
  • Adults only: It is appropriate for people older than 18. It could have prolonged scenes of graphic sexual content, intense violence and/or real gambling. 
  • Rating Pending: This rating is shown in games that have not been released yet, as in advertising, promotional, and marketing materials. This rating will be replaced for the correct one before its release.

ESRB Content Descriptors

The descriptors showed in the game are related to the Rating Category. It is not a complete list of the content presented in the video game, but the one that triggered the particular rating or it is of concern.

The word “Mild” that could be before the Content Descriptor conveys a low intensity, frequency or severity of the descriptor.

Some of the Content Descriptors of ESRB are alcohol reference, use of alcohol, crude humor, animated blood, cartoon violence, drug reference, fantasy violence, comic mischief, intense violence, mature humor, nudity, real gambling, sexual content, sexual violence, simulated gambling, suggestive themes, strong language, sexual content, and lyrics, Tabacco use or reference, use of drugs, and others.

So, the Content Descriptors go hand to hand with Rating Category. The descriptors give you more information about the reason a video game has certain rating.

ESRB Interactive Elements

The Interactive Elements is for online or downloadable games. You can see what interactive elements your child might be exposed to. It also allows you to know if you need to share personal information, and player location. Moreover, it tells you if your child will be chatting or interacting with other players.

You have four categories:

  • In-Game Purchases: You can buy digital goods or premiums with real currency.
  • Users Interact: You may have unfiltered content, as user-to-user communication through networks and social media.
  • Shares Location: User’s location may be displayed to other app users.
  • Unrestricted Internet: The game may have unrestrictive internet access. 

ESRB Rating Search App

You actually want to have more details about the content and level of interactivity of the game before you download or buy it. You can do so, download the free ESRB Rating Search app and put your worries to rest.

In the app, search for the game in question. It is very simple, you can filter your search based on ratings, game platform and even the type of content to avoid. It also has full summaries of the games so you can have detailed descriptions of its content. With the ESRB Rating Search App you may find these answers within seconds. You can be an awesome parent and an informed consumer at the same time.      

You can find this app on Google Play or the Apple store.

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