Video games are now an integral part of many people’s lives. But with so many titles available, it can be difficult to know which games are appropriate for your family. Understanding video game ratings can help you decide which titles are suitable for your household. This article will provide an overview of the various video game rating systems in use and explain how they can help you choose age-appropriate games.
What are Video Game Ratings?
Video game ratings are used to inform customers of the content of a game, such as if it contains violence or strong language. These ratings are applied to all kinds of games, from console, to handheld, to PC and mobile games. They provide a useful guide for parents who may not be familiar with the content of a game.
What are the Major Video Game Rating Systems?
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is the most widely used system for rating video games in the United States and Canada. It assigns games a rating from EC (Early Childhood) to AO (Adults Only), depending on the age appropriate content of the game. Other systems include the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) system in Europe, which uses a similar rating system of 3 to 18, and the Classification Board in Australia, which uses a system of G to R18.
How Are Video Game Ratings Determined?
Video game ratings are determined by taking into account various factors, such as the game’s storyline, graphics, language, and level of violence. An independent board reviews the game to assess these factors and assign it a rating.
What is the Impact of Video Game Ratings?
The impact of video game ratings is significant, as it can influence the sales of a game and its availability. Many stores and platforms, such as Steam, won’t sell games with an adult rating. Ratings also give an indication to the age group that a game is suitable for, helping parents decide which games are appropriate for their children.
Can Video Game Ratings be Misleading?
Yes, video game ratings can be misleading. It is important to read the official rating description, as some games may have a lower age rating than expected. For example, a game may have a Teen rating but contain violence or other mature content, making it unsuitable for younger players.
What is the Future of Video Game Ratings?
Video game ratings are likely to become more detailed in the future, to help customers make more informed decisions. The ESRB is introducing a new labelling system, which will provide in-depth information about the content of a game. This will include descriptors such as “Simulated Gambling” and “Lyrics: Mild Language”. This will help customers choose the right game for them.
Are Video Game Ratings Helpful?
Video game ratings are a useful tool for informing customers of the content of a game and helping parents decide which games are suitable for their children. They can also help stores and platforms decide which games they will stock or allow on their platform. Video game ratings are likely to become even more helpful in the future, with the introduction of more detailed ratings and descriptors.