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ESRB Parent Resources Center

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What's In The Game

The ESRB rating system is designed to give consumers, especially parents, guidance about the age appropriateness and content of a game or app. ESRB ratings have several components, all of which provide valuable insight to help parents make informed choices about the suitability of the games and apps their families consume.

Check the Rating

Rating Categories

Rating Categories suggest age appropriateness for games and apps via six age-based rating categories:

esrb ratings categories

Content Descriptors

esrb content descriptors

Content Descriptors indicate the nature of the content that may have triggered a rating, and may be of interest or concern to some parents. ESRB has approximately 30 different content descriptors ranging from depictions involving violence, suggestive themes, language, gambling and many others.

Interactive Elements

Interactive Elements describe certain features that can be found in digitally delivered games and apps that may be of interest to parents. These include the sharing of the user's location, if the game or app enables the purchase of digital goods, if users can interact and/or if unrestricted Internet access is provided.

Interactive Elements

  • Shares Location
  • Users Interact
  • Digital Purchases
  • Unrestricted Internet

Rating Summaries and Notices

For parents who may want more in-depth information about the games on their children's wish list, the ESRB provides the following additional resources.

Rating Summaries are available for packaged (boxed) games and provide a more detailed description with examples of the content that factored into the rating.

An Online Rating Notice is displayed on packaged (boxed) games that include the option of interacting online with other players. Online interactions among players are not rated by the ESRB.

Additional Resources

Children's Technology Review - Game reviews with particular emphasis on their educational value

Family Friendly Video Games - Game recommendations, quality scores, and in-depth reviews from a parent's perspective

Parents' Choice - Video game, toy, and media reviews, including Parents' Choice Awards

Edutaining Kids - guide to children's products for fun & learning

Common Sense Media - Parent-focused reviews of popular video games, movies, TV shows, books and more

Game Enthusiast Sites - Offering in-depth game reviews, videos, screen shots and other helpful details about game content

Pixelkin - Offers game reviews, and the latest research with a focus on families