As holiday season approaches, many parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts will be looking for that perfect holiday gift for their children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces. Of course many of them will consider a video game as a possible gift. Only you can decide if a video game is an appropriate gift or not.
One of the major factors that parents overlook or do not pay attention when buying video game is the rating. Yes, you read it correctly. As with film industry video games are rated according to age, violence and even sexual materials.
Video games are rated by ESRB (The Entertainment Software Ratings Board) and currently there are following rating categories:
- EC: Early Childhood. Video games in the category are suitable for children ages 3 and older. Contains no materials that parents would find inappropriate.
- E: Everyone. Content may be suitable for persons ages 6 and older. May contain minimal violence and some comic mischief or crude language.
- T: Teen. Content may be suitable for persons ages 13 and older. May contain violent content, mild or strong language, and/or suggestive themes.
- M: Mature 17+.Content may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. May contain mature sexual themes or more intense violence or language.
- AO: Adults Only 18+. Content suitable only for adults. May include graphic depictions of sex and/or violence. Not intended for persons under the age of 18.
- RP: Rating Pending. Used in advertising games that are coming soon. This means that the game is not finished, has not been officially rated yet, or both. Often game fans start discussing games long before they arrive on the market.
So before you buy next video game for your child, print out this article and pay attention how games are rated and make informed decision whether or not certain game is appropriate for your child.