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Understanding Video Game Ratings

As a parent today, you most likely understand the ratings on the movies that your children are watching. But, do you really know what the ratings on their video games mean? Are your children playing games on there video game systems or on the computer that are meant only for adults?

The Entertainment Software Rating Board has a very simple ratings system in place that we should know about. It is especially important to learn about the video game rating system, since most children can buy these games without a problem in many stores today.

EC Early Childhood
This rating indicates that the game is suitable for ages 3 and up. Games that are rated EC contain no material that parents would find inappropriate.

E Everyone
A game marked E is suitable for children 6 years and older. There may be minimal cartoon, fantasy, or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.

E 10+ – Everyone 10+
Titles rated E 10+ 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.

T Teen
Games that are rated T have content that may be acceptable for ages 13 and older. This category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.

M Mature
Titles rated M contain content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. This rating may indicate intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.

AO Adult Only
Titles rated AO 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.

RP Rating Pending
Games listed as RP have been submitted to the ESRB and are awaiting final rating. (This symbol appears only in advertising prior to a game’s release.)

As parents, we have the right to be informed about what our children are viewing. We also have the responsibility to keep ourselves informed, and keep our children away from content that is inappropriate for their age. I urge parents to stay up to date on any information about ratings in the future, and be smart when choosing games and software for your children.

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