ESRB Ratings

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings provide concise and objective information about the content in video games and apps so consumers, especially parents, can make informed choices. ESRB ratings for "packaged" video games have two parts:

Rating Categories suggest age appropriateness;

Content Descriptors indicate content that may have triggered a particular rating and/or may be of interest or concern;

Depiction of rating symbols shown on the front of a product box and content descriptors on the back

ESRB Explained

    As a supplementary source of information, packaged video games have Rating Summaries that provide a more detailed description of the content that factored into the rating assigned.

    ESRB Rating Symbols

    Early Childhood (EC)

    Early Childhood

    Content is intended for young children.

    Everyone (E)

    Everyone

    Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.

    Everyone 10+ (E10+)

    Everyone 10+

    Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.

    Teen (T)

    Teen

    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.

    Mature (M)

    Mature

    Content is generally suitable for persons ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.

    Adults Only (AO)

    Adults Only

    Content suitable for adults 18 years and up. May include prolonged scenes of intense violence, graphic sexual content and/or gambling with real currency.

    Rating Pending (RP)

    Rating Pending

    Not yet assigned a final ESRB rating. Appears only in advertising, marketing and promotional materials and related to a game that is expected to carry an ESRB rating, and should be replaced by a game's rating once it has been assigned.

    ESRB Content Descriptors

    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
    Sexual Content
    Non-explicit depictions of sexual behavior, possibly including partial nudity
    Sexual Themes
    References to sex or sexuality
    Sexual Violence
    Depictions of rape or other sexual acts
    Simulated Gambling
    Player can gamble without betting or wagering real cash or currency
    Strong Language
    Explicit and/or frequent use of profanity
    Strong Lyrics
    Explicit and/or frequent references to profanity, sex, violence, alcohol, or drug use in music
    Strong Sexual Content
    Explicit and/or frequent depictions of sexual behavior, possibly including nudity
    Suggestive Themes
    Mild provocative references or materials
    Tobacco Reference
    Reference to and/or images of tobacco products
    Use of Alcohol
    The consumption of alcoholic beverages
    Use of Drugs
    The consumption or use of illegal drugs
    Use of Tobacco
    The consumption of tobacco products
    Violence
    Scenes involving aggressive content. May include bloodless dismemberment
    Violent References
    References to violent acts

    Note: Content Descriptors are applied relative to the Rating Category assigned and are not intended to be a complete listing or content. When a content descriptor is preceded by the term Mild, it conveys low frequency, intensity, or severity.

    For the most up to date list of content descriptors and definitions, go to www.esrb.org/ratings/ratings_guide.jsp

    "Online Interactions Not Rated by the ESRB" - Warns those who intend to play the game online about possible exposure to chat (text, audio, video) or other types of user-generated content (e.g., maps, skins) that have not been considered in the ESRB rating assignment.

    "Music Downloads Not Rated by the ESRB" - Warns that songs downloaded as add-ons for music-based games have not been rated and that their content has not been considered in the ESRB rating assignment.

    About Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)s

    The ESRB is a non-profit, self-regulatory body established in 1994 by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). ESRB independently assigns computer and video game content ratings, enforces advertising guidelines, and helps ensure responsible online privacy practices for the interactive entertainment software industry.

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