NEWS - Friday, June 27, 2003

New ESRB Ratings System

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) announced advances to the computer and video game rating system today designed to provide parents and other consumers with a new and unprecedented level of detail about game content. The changes include the addition of four new ESRB content descriptors -- short, standardized phrases printed on the back of game boxes that alert consumers to content elements that may be of interest or concern -- and new, bolder labels intended to draw consumer attention to those content descriptors. The rating system changes were developed in consultation with experts from both inside and outside the interactive entertainment software industry, including child development experts and family advocates. "The ESRB is continuously searching for ways to make computer and video game ratings even more helpful to parents. These changes ensure that consumers have the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions," said Patricia Vance, President of the ESRB. New Content Descriptors Effective immediately, ESRB has added four new content descriptors to the 26 that already exist. The new descriptors will help consumers more precisely evaluate the extent and intensity of violent content in computer and video games by distinguishing between the kind of animated violence that frequently appears in children’s cartoons and the realistic-looking violence that may appear in advanced M-rated (Mature) titles intended for gamers 17 and older. The new content descriptors are:
  • Cartoon Violence, defined as "violent actions involving cartoon-like characters. May include violence where a character is unharmed after the action has been inflicted."
  • Fantasy Violence, defined as "violent actions of a fantasy nature, involving human or non-human characters in situations easily distinguishable from real life."
  • Intense Violence, defined as "graphic and realistic-looking depictions of physical conflict. May involve extreme and/or realistic blood, gore, weapons, and depictions of human injury and death."
  • Sexual Violence, defined as "depictions of rape or other violent sexual acts."
  • Consumers using the ESRB web site’s rating search feature may incorporate these content descriptors into their game search parameters. For example, parents can generate a list of M-rated games that did not receive "intense violence" or "sexual violence" content descriptors. Last year, 63 percent of games rated by the ESRB received an E (Everyone) rating, 27 percent were rated T (Teen), 8 percent were rated M (Mature), and 2 percent received an EC rating (Early Childhood). Professor Kimberly Thompson, Director of the Harvard School of Public Health’s KidsRisk project and the author of several studies about entertainment rating systems, advised ESRB on the rating system changes, adding, "the specificity of the ESRB’s new violence-related content descriptors is a major advantage of the computer and video game rating system. Armed with this new level of detail, parents are better equipped than ever to exercise their own judgment and decide which games are appropriate for their children." New Rating and Content Labels The ESRB also announced that effective September 15, it will require the placement of new labels on the back of game boxes. The new labels draw consumer attention to both the age rating and content descriptors assigned to game titles by the ESRB. The new labels are more prominent, visible, and informative than the labels they will replace. In addition, ESRB rating symbols will continue to be published on the front of all game boxes. "This change is designed to ensure that parents can’t miss the critical content information printed on game boxes, which frequently provides greater insight into why a game has received its rating," explained Patricia Vance, President of the ESRB. "To get the most from the ESRB rating system, parents should check both the rating symbol on the front of the game box and the content descriptors on the back. When parents check the rating and the content descriptors, they know exactly what they’re getting." Changes to M and AO Rating Icons Also effective September 15, the ESRB’s "M" (Mature) and "AO" (Adults Only) icons will be modified to include the minimum recommended age for each rating category. The categories themselves are unaffected by this modification, only the icon design will change to ensure that consumers better understand the designated age ranges for these categories.


    Site Statistics

    Registered Members: 44,503
    Forum Posts: 725,765
    Xbox One Titles: 1,177
    Xbox 360 Titles: 1,085
    Xbox 360 Kinect Titles: 95
    Xbox 360 Arcade Titles: 585
    Original Xbox Titles: 987
    Staff Reviews: 1,673
    Member Reviews: 10,339
    News Articles: 14,297
    Screenshots: 30,998
    Xbox 360 Achievements: 45,112
    Xbox 360 Faceplates: 2,016
    Cheat Codes: 1,706

    Latest News

    See News Archives

    Community Forum Activity

    Xbox One X World of tanks
    Post by oryanphine
    2 Replies, 203 Views

    Xbox Playdates Canada - March 2018 Schedule
    Post by Kiesey
    5 Replies, 337 Views

    Any info on Biomutant release?
    Post by DJ tx
    4 Replies, 410 Views

    Xbox Playdates Canada - February Playdates Schedule
    Post by Kiesey
    8 Replies, 639 Views

    Xbox Prototype Communicator
    Post by oryanphine
    1 Replies, 732 Views

    Xbox One S Dragon Ball Fighterz
    Post by oryanphine
    0 Replies, 606 Views

    Xbox One S Theme Hockey
    Post by oryanphine
    0 Replies, 462 Views

    New Fable is coming!
    Post by Shadow20002
    2 Replies, 726 Views

    RPG Recommendation?
    Post by DJ tx
    8 Replies, 763 Views

    Xbox Playdates Canada - January 2018 Schedule
    Post by Kiesey
    5 Replies, 875 Views

    Xbox 360 Summer Intern Celebration 2011
    Post by oryanphine
    1 Replies, 996 Views

    Xbox One X LA noire
    Post by oryanphine
    1 Replies, 1494 Views

    Xbox One Assassins Creed Origins
    Post by oryanphine
    2 Replies, 1269 Views

    Xbox One S Porsche 919 Hybrid Edition
    Post by oryanphine
    4 Replies, 1602 Views

    OG Xbox on Xbox One now live!
    Post by Kamshaft
    5 Replies, 1777 Views

    © 2000-2018 - All rights reserved. All trademarks are properties of their respective owners.
    Xbox is a registered trademark of Microsoft. is not affiliated with Microsoft.

    Made in Canada
    Site Design by Cameron Graphics