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ESRB RATINGS

A Guide To Help You Understand Video Game Ratings and How to Make Informed Video Game Buying Decisions.

Introduction
Tower wants to help you find the video games that best meet your needs. This is why we use the video game industry's standardized rating system, developed by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). These ratings provide video game consumers, and parents of video game consumers with helpful information about the content of a video game title and the ages for which the title is considered suitable. For more information, please see the ESRB Web site.
ESRB Ratings ESRB Ratings are comprised of two parts;
1) rating symbols indicate the ages for whom the game is appropriate
2) content descriptors discuss subject matter in a game that may have led to a particular rating symbol and/or may be of interest or concern.
ESRB
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.
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.
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.
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.
MATURE
Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
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.
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.)
ESRB Content Descriptors
  • Alcohol Reference
    Reference to and/or images of alcoholic beverages
  • Animated Blood
    Discolored and/or unrealistic depictions of blood
  • Blood
    Depictions of blood
  • Blood and Gore
    Depictions of blood or the mutilation of body parts
  • Cartoon Violence
    Violent actions involving cartoon-like situations and characters. May include violence where a character is unharmed after the action has been inflicted
  • Comic Mischief
    Depictions or dialogue involving slapstick or suggestive humor
  • Crude Humor
    Depictions or dialogue involving vulgar antics, including “bathroom” humor
  • Drug Reference
    Reference to and/or images of illegal drugs
  • Fantasy Violence
    Violent actions of a fantasy nature, involving human or non-human characters in situations easily distinguishable from real life
  • Intense Violence
    Graphic and realistic-looking depictions of physical conflict. May involve extreme and/or realistic blood, gore, weapons and depictions of human injury and death
  • Language
    Mild to moderate use of profanity
  • Lyrics
    Mild references to profanity, sexuality, violence, alcohol or drug use in music
  • Mature Humor
    Depictions or dialogue involving "adult" humor, including sexual references
  • Nudity
    Graphic or prolonged depictions of nudity
  • Partial Nudity
    Brief and/or mild depictions of nudity
  • Real Gambling
    Player can gamble, including betting or wagering real cash or currency
  • Sexual Content
    Non-explicit depictions of sexual behavior, possibly including partial nudity
  • Sexual Themes
    References to sex or sexuality
  • Sexual Violence
    Depictions of rape or other violent sexual acts
  • Simulated Gambling
    Player can gamble without betting or wagering real cash or currency
  • Strong Language
    Explicit and/or frequent use of profanity
  • Strong Lyrics
    Explicit and/or frequent references to profanity, sex, violence, alcohol or drug use in music
  • Strong Sexual Content
    Explicit and/or frequent depictions of sexual behavior, possibly including nudity
  • Suggestive Themes
    Mild provocative references or materials
  • Tobacco Reference
    Reference to and/or images of tobacco products
  • Use of Drugs
    The consumption or use of illegal drugs
  • Use of Alcohol
    The consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Use of Tobacco
    The consumption of tobacco products
  • Violence
    Scenes involving aggressive conflict. May contain bloodless dismemberment
  • Violent References
    References to violent acts
Online Rating Notice
  • Online-enabled games carry the notice "Online Interactions Not Rated by the ESRB." This notice warns those who intend to play the game online about possible exposure to chat (text, audio, video) or other types of user-generated content (e.g., maps, skins) that have not been considered in the ESRB rating assignment.
Old Descriptors
  • These descriptors, while no longer used, may appear on older products on Amazon.com.
  • Animated Blood
    Contains animated/pixelated or cartoonlike depictions of blood.
  • Animated Blood and Gore
    Contains animated/pixelated or cartoonlike depictions of mutilation or dismemberment of body parts.
  • Animated Violence
    Contains depictions of aggressive conflict involving cartoon/animated/pixelated characters.
  • Edutainment
    Provides user with specific skills development or reinforcement learning within an entertainment setting. Skill development is an integral part of the product.
  • Gaming
    Depicts betting behavior.
  • Mild Animated Violence
    Contains scenes depicting cartoon/animated/pixelated characters in unsafe or hazardous acts or violent situations.
  • Mild Realistic Violence
    Contains scenes depicting characters in unsafe or hazardous acts or violent situations in photographic detail.
  • Reading Skills, Fine Motor Skills, Higher-Level Thinking Skills
    These phrases, found only on products rated Early Childhood, indicate whether children's reading, computer, or other skills are used in these titles.
  • Realistic Violence
    Contains realistic or photographic-like depictions of aggressive conflict.
  • Realistic Blood
    Contains representations of blood in realistic or photographic-like detail.
  • Realistic Blood and Gore
    Contains depictions of mutilation or dismemberment of body parts in realistic or photographic-like detail.
  • Some adult assistance may be needed
    Early Childhood descriptor only.
  • Use of Tobacco and Alcohol
    Contains images of the use of tobacco and/or alcohol in a manner that condones or glorifies their use.
ESRB Ratings

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