We talk a lot about ESRB ratings on all of our reviews and podcasts. Savvy parents are quick to check the game box for the rating to make sure their kids are playing games that are appropriate for them. ESRB ratings aren’t limited to just a letter though. There are, in fact, three different parts to every rating.

The three parts are listed below:

Rating Categories

This is the part we all know about. Each game reviewed by the ESRB is assigned a “Rating Category” that suggests its age appropriateness.

  • E
  • E10+
  • T
  • M

Content Descriptors

These descriptors are short phrases that identify what elements of the game caused an age rating to be assigned. Some examples might be Violence, Drug use, etc. These are, in my opinion, the most important part of the rating. Every family is different and every parent has different priorities regarding the kinds of content they want to let their kids see. These categories help with that!

Interactive Elements

These are point of interest in the mechanics of a game that are noteworthy, but don’t necessarily impact the age appropriateness of the game. Some examples of these types of elements are:

  • Online interactions
  • Online purchases
  • User information being available to other users

These three components make up an ESRB rating, and all of them are important for parents who want to control the games their kids play.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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By Stephen Duetzmann

Editor in Chief Founder/EiC EngagedFamilyGaming.com Blogger, Podcaster, Video Host RE: games that families can play together. Editor@engagedfamilygaming.com

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