Video Game Ratings
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings are designed to provide information about the content in computer and video games so consumers, especially parents, can make an informed purchase decision. ESRB ratings have two equal parts: rating symbols suggest age appropriateness for the game and content descriptors indicate elements in a game that may have triggered a particular rating and/or may be of interest or concern.
To take full advantage of the ESRB rating system, it's important to check both the rating symbol (on the front of the box) and the content descriptors (on the back).
Titles rated EC (Early Childhood) have content that may be suitable for ages 3 and older. Contains no material that parents would find inappropriate.
Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
Titles rated E (Everyone) have content that may be suitable for ages 6 and older. Titles in this category may contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
Titles rated AO (Adults Only) have content that should only be played by persons 18 years and older. Titles in this category may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity.
Titles rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) have content that may be suitable for ages 10 and older. Titles in this category may contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
Titles listed as RP (Rating Pending) have been submitted to the ESRB and are awaiting final rating. (This symbol appears only in advertising prior to a game's release.)
Titles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.
ESRB Content DescriptorsAlcohol Reference
- Reference to and/or images of alcoholic beveragesAnimated Blood
- Discolored and/or unrealistic depictions of bloodBlood
- Depictions of bloodBlood and Gore
- Depictions of blood or the mutilation of body partsCartoon Violence
- Violent actions involving cartoon-like situations and characters. May include violence where a character is unharmed after the action has been inflictedComic Mischief
- Depictions or dialogue involving slapstick or suggestive humorCrude Humor
- Depictions or dialogue involving vulgar antics, including "bathroom" humorDrug Reference
- Reference to and/or images of illegal drugsEdutainment
- Content of product provides user with specific skills development or reinforcement learning within an entertainment setting. Skill development is an integral part of productFantasy Violence
- Violent actions of a fantasy nature, involving human or non-human characters in situations easily distinguishable from real lifeInformational
- Overall content of product contains data, facts, resource information, reference materials or instructional textIntense Violence
- Graphic and realistic-looking depictions of physical conflict. May involve extreme and/or realistic blood, gore, weapons and depictions of human injury and deathLanguage
- Mild to moderate use of profanityLyrics
- Mild references to profanity, sexuality, violence, alcohol or drug use in musicMature Humor
- Depictions or dialogue involving "adult" humor, including sexual referencesMild Violence
- Mild scenes depicting characters in unsafe and/or violent situationsNudity
- Graphic or prolonged depictions of nudityPartial Nudity
- Brief and/or mild depictions of nudityReal Gambling
- Player can gamble, including betting or wagering real cash or currencySexual Themes
- Mild to moderate sexual references and/or depictions. May include partial nuditySexual Violence
- Depictions of rape or other violent sexual actsSimulated Gambling
- Player can gamble without betting or wagering real cash or currencySome Adult Assistance May Be Needed
- Intended for very young agesStrong Language
- Explicit and/or frequent use of profanityStrong Lyrics
- Explicit and/or frequent references to profanity, sex, violence, alcohol or drug use in musicStrong Sexual Content
- Graphic references to and/or depictions of sexual behavior, possibly including nuditySuggestive Themes
- Mild provocative references or materialsTobacco Reference
- Reference to and/or images of tobacco productsUse of Drugs
- The consumption or use of illegal drugsUse of Alcohol
- The consumption of alcoholic beveragesUse of Tobacco
- The consumption of tobacco productsViolence
- Scenes involving aggressive conflict
Additionally, online games that include user-generated content (eg. chat, maps, skins) carry the notice "Game Experience May Change During Online Play." For the most up to date list of content descriptors and definitions, go to http://www.esrb.org/
About Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) The ESRB is a non-profit, self-regulatory body established in 1994 by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). ESRB independently applies ratings, enforces advertising guidelines, and helps ensure responsible online privacy practices for the interactive entertainment software industry.