Videogames and music are of the biggest industries across the world, moving billions of dollars per year since virtually everybody is a customer in some way by consuming different titles in home consoles, mobile devices and computers as well as with songs using exactly these very same hardware. So, music and videos games are almost present everywhere with no doubt.
Due to this outstanding and massive influence in the whole world, parents have started to feel worried about the content that videogames in a special way are delivering to their children, which in some cases can be very violent and inappropriate with no doubt.
This is where the ESRB rating guide comes in handy in many different ways, since some sort of guidance for parents to know what content their children are consuming in videogames is very useful, and in this way they can check and set boundaries if titles they are playing are not appropriate at some point.
This checking process can be performed even at the moment of purchase or previous to it, thanks to the rating labels established by the ESRB on almost any title released to the market, respecting what content such videogame involves.
Getting to know better the ESRB as organization
The ESRB or Entertainment Software Rating Board is the organization responsible to design and establish rating labels respecting the content videogames and music may have. Respecting this videogame industry specifically, labels help users and specially parents to know what content is exactly going to be showing a title to their children.
If a videogame involves content that may be considered inappropriate respecting some parameters, it will be labeled with a rating category and describer word that will tell parents in a very direct way that may be not suitable for certain ages.
Depending on the nature of the game rating categories by the ESRB will be added. For example, first person shooters usually are categorized as adult games due to the explicit violence they portrayal. On the other hand, titles specifically designed for children frequently do not meet with any parameter that may alert parents respecting the labeled they are categorized in.
ESRB´s rating parameters to categorize games
The rating parameters to label every game are very complex, and depending on their presence in content titles can be considered more or less restricted. Also, such content that is analyzed for further categorization may be taken as suggested material that is not precisely explicit, but simple enough to increase a rating category that is more restricted or more to look at by parents.
Specifically, such parameters are related directly with alcohol, drugs, sex, violence, blood, gore and hatred speech or any other form of sensitive content that may affect, offend or disturb the viewer and specially children and youngsters.
Either their mention or light showing to explicit portrayal of these elements affect the way a game will be categorized by the ESRB rating guide, although this also depend on the genre and other description and characteristics.
The ESRB rating categories available today
At present time, there are 5 ESRB rating categories available and being shown on different videogames, depending on their genre and the parameters explained previously in a general way. Such rating category and the descriptor will be the one that will tell users, parents and people in general the potential content a videogame may have.
The first and most general ESRB rating category is “Everyone” and refers to game that actually can be played by anyone, either can be children or adults and youngsters, since there is any inappropriate content in any way. Usually, sports and platform games are rated this category.
The second rating category is “Teen” and in this case sensitive elements are present in the content of the categorized game, at least in a suggestive way that makes it worthy of having a label describer to look at by purchasers or parents, as sex or alcohol mentions and blood.
“Mature” is the next rating category and graphic content on the title or present that make the games labeled with it not suitable for children in any way, since alcohol and drug use can be portrayed, gore and extreme violence.
“Adults Only” is the most restricted category and it is reserved for games that represent explicit and highly graphics forms of violence, drug abuse, sex, gambling and more, all in one videogame. GTA videogames series is a great example.