Rating video games

What do the ERSB ratings mean?

The entertainment ratings software board (ERSB) provides ratings for video games, apps and other software, as follows:

ECEARLY CHILDHOOD (EC) Designed for young children, typically aged 3 and over.

EEVERYONE (E) Suitable for children and people of all ages around 6 years of age and beyond. There may be fantasy, minimal cartoon, or mild violence and infrequent use of mild language.

Sample addictive games in this category include:

  • Minecraft: Playstation Vita Edition

E10EVERYONE 10+ This content is designed for people ages 10 and older. It may contain fantasy, cartoon, or mild violence, mild language or/and minimal suggestive themes.

TTEEN (T) Suitable for people 13+, Video games and apps may contain suggestive themes, violence, crude humor, simulated gambling, minimal blood, and/or infrequent use of strong language.

Sample addictive games in this category (by no means exhaustive):

  • Battlefield 2: Modern Combat
  • Battlefield 4™
  • Battlefield™ Hardline
  • League of Legends
  • World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, Cataclysm, Wrath of the Lich King, The Burning Crusade
  • World of Tanks

Sample games with simulated gambling

  • Citizens of Earth
  • FINAL FANTASY XIII-2
  • James Bond 007: Blood Stone
  • Street Racing Syndicate

MMATURE (M) Suitable for people 17+, these games and apps may have contain gore and blood, violence, strong language or/and sexual content.

Sample addictive games in this category include:

  • Call of Duty: World at War, Advanced Warfare, Modern Warfare 2, Modern Warfare 3, Ghosts, Black Ops II, Black Ops Declassified
  • Game of Thrones – Episode 3: The Sword in the Darkness
  • God of War III Remastered
  • Life is Strange – Episode 2: Time Out
  • Payday 2: Crimewave (FPS)
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Middle-Earth™: Shadow of Mordor™ (RPG)
  • Quake 4, Quake II
  • Rune
  • The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited Imperial Edition
  • Tales from the Borderlands: Episode 2 – Atlas Mugged
  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (FPS)
AO

 

ADULTS ONLY (AO) Designated for adults 18+, these video games, apps or software may contain prolonged scenes of intense violence or/and graphic sexual content and nudity.Note: Category assignments may be based on a video game’s or an app’s minimum requirement for age.

Sample addictive games in this category include:

      • Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Director’s Cut: PC CD ROM
      • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
      • Leisure Suit Larry
      • Thrill Kill

Terms defined

  • 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
  • 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, 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 in music
  • Strong Sexual Content – Explicit and/or frequent depictions of sexual behavior, possibly including nudity
  • Suggestive Themes – Mild provocative references or materials
  • Violence – Scenes involving aggressive conflict. May contain bloodless dismemberment
  • Violent References – References to violent acts

If you’d like to know more about what’s contained in each video game, ERSB has a free mobile app which allows users to look up games or an app’s rating.