The ESRB: What are you playing?
When a game is being rated the ESRB can be pretty sensitive depending on what genre the developers are pushing for. I think its natural for many gamers to over look the rating. Especially when your over 18 and your not being carded anymore for trying to buy a game that is rated T and up. As a matter a fact it can become annoying for many gamers. Although as the years have gone by maybe the ESRB have added a little something to the box that actually help the casual and hardcore gamer. Once you know how the rating system works and which qualaties you will find in each rating symbol it can really be informative for what to expect with each new title. Yes, it is a good way for a parent to figure out if the game has any gore they don’t want there kid to see but in all goodness being informed may sway your decision from buying your next game. Just a little something to think about.
Early Childhood: Titles rated EC (Early Childhood) have content that may be suitable for ages 3 and older. Contains no material that parents would find inappropriate. With content descriptors (there are many of them) several games may give a rating symbol for a mature audience due to mild use simulated gambling or even mild use of language.
Eveyone: 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.
Everyone 10+: 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.
Teen: 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.
Mature: 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.
Adults Only: 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.
Rating Pending: 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.)
With content descriptors the rating with each can be raised with many of these alone. Anything from as light as mild language to in game gambling. What you will find from time to time is there online rating notice. Where it is not really rated but will aware that basically…anything can happen(damn ragers!).
Alcohol Reference – Reference to and/or images of alcoholic beverages
Animated Blood – Discolored and/or unrealistic 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 situations and characters. May include violence where a character is unharmed after the action has been inflicted
Comic Mischief – Depictions or dialogue involving slapstick or suggestive humor
Crude Humor – Depictions or dialogue involving vulgar antics, including “bathroom” humor
Drug Reference – Reference to and/or images of illegal drugs
Fantasy Violence – Violent actions of a fantasy nature, involving human or non-human characters in situations easily distinguishable from real life
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
Language – Mild to moderate use of profanity
Lyrics – Mild references to profanity, sexuality, violence, alcohol or drug use in music
Mature Humor – Depictions or dialogue involving “adult” humor, including sexual references
Nudity – Graphic or prolonged depictions of nudity
Partial Nudity – Brief and/or mild depictions of nudity
Real Gambling – Player can gamble, including betting or wagering real cash or currency
These are just to name a few. More info can be found at the ESRB official website. Keep it in mind!