Twenty years ago today, ESRB issued its first rating certificates. As a nonprofit, self-regulatory body that assigns ratings for video games and apps, Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ensures that the video game industry market their games responsibly.
I use the ESRB ratings as a guide for deciding whether to buy a particular video game or not. For example, I have never bought an M-rated game for myself. This becomes more relevant as I become a parent. That’s why Geeks With Juniors is excited to be one of the official ESRB Parent Ambassadors.
We want parents to be aware of ESRB ratings and use them as a guide for purchasing video games. And, we’re not the only ones. There are many others who care about ESRB and how their ratings can help parents make better decisions about which video games are appropriate for their kids. You should definitely check out what these great individuals have to say about ESRB:
- Monica Vila, The Online Mom
- Mary Heston, Mrs. Video Games
- Leticia Barr, Tech Savvy Mamas
- Sarah Kimmel, Tech 4 Mommies
- Tina Case, Parent Grapevine
- Ana Picazo, Bongga Mom
- Anne Livingston, Kids Privacy
- Caryn Bailey, Rockin’ Mama
- Beth Blecherman, TechMamas
- Kimberly Kauer, Silicon Valley Mom
- Kris Cain, Little Tech Girl
- Lori Cunningham, Well Connected Mom
- Kathleen Bailey, Gaggle of Gamers
My rule of thumb is to give most kids an EC (Early Childhood) or E (Everyone) rated game. They should be suitable for kids ages 1-10. If you have kids older than that, you might want to screen the games first and pay attention to the ratings.
ESRB ratings give detailed information about any alcohol reference, blood, or sexual content included in the games. To learn more about these ratings, please visit this official ESRB Ratings Guide.
It is also a good idea to discuss these ratings with your kids, especially if they’re old enough. Hopefully, they can understand why they’re not allowed to play certain games.