Video Game Ratings Guide

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Video Game Ratings

Video Game Ratings

Most people understand TV and Movie ratings. However it is also important to identify the meanings of game ratings because there are many video games that need this scrutiny. It is essential, especially for parents, to be able to read the labels on game covers. Games you buy will have some sort of rating on the cover that will help you make an informed purchase decision. There are a number of different video game rating systems that look at content and age appropriateness of gaming titles. Below is a list of the most common ratings used for Video Games; ESRB (The Entertainment Software Rating Board) and PEGI (Pan European Game Information) rating systems.

ESRB Game ratings

 
http://www.esrb.org/images/ratingsymbol_ec.gif
 
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.
 
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http://www.esrb.org/images/ratingsymbol_e.gif
EVERYONE
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.
 
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http://www.esrb.org/images/ratingsymbol_e10.gif
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.
 
http://www.esrb.org/images/deepyellow.gif
http://www.esrb.org/images/ratingsymbol_t.gif
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.
 
http://www.esrb.org/images/deepyellow.gif
http://www.esrb.org/images/ratingsymbol_m.gif
MATURE
Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons aged 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
 
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http://www.esrb.org/images/ratingsymbol_ao.gif
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.
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http://www.esrb.org/images/ratingsymbol_rp.gif
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.)

 

PEGI Ratings

 

 PEGI 3

The content of games given this rating is considered suitable for all age groups. Some violence in a comical context (typically Bugs Bunny or Tom & Jerry cartoon-like forms of violence) is acceptable. The child should not be able to associate the character on the screen with real life characters, they should be totally fantasy. The game should not contain any sounds or pictures that are likely to scare or frighten young children. No bad language should be heard and there should be no scenes containing nudity or any reference to sexual activity.

 PEGI 7
Any game that would normally be rated at 3 but contains some possibly frightening scenes or sounds would be included in this category. Some scenes of partial nudity may be permitted but never in a sexual context.
 
 
 
 
 PEGI 12
Videogames that show violence of a slightly more graphic nature towards fantasy character and/or non graphic violence towards human-looking characters or recognisable animals, as well as videogames that show nudity of a slightly more graphic nature would fall in this age category. Any bad language in this category must be mild and fall short of sexual expletives.
 
 
 PEGI 16
This rating is applied once the depiction of violence (or sexual activity) reaches a stage that looks the same as would be expected in real life. More extreme bad language, the concept of the use of tobacco and drugs and the depiction of criminal activities can be content of games that are rated 16.
 
 
 
 PEGI 18
The adult classification is applied when the level of violence reaches a stage where it becomes a depiction of gross violence and/or includes elements of specific types of violence. Gross violence is the most difficult to define since it can be very subjective in many cases, but in general terms it can be classed as the depictions of violence that would make the viewer feel a sense of revulsion.
 
 
Ratings courtesy of ESRB and PEGI.
 
Also see Video Game Console Buying Guide.
 
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