Shopping for Kids Games? There's an App for That!
Would you take your 8-year-old to an R rated movie? Probably not. Would you let him play arcade games that feature graphic violence? Of course you wouldn't. But if you're not aware of the ESRB ratings, chances are you're letting your kids play DS, Wii or Xbox games that are not at all appropriate to their age.
If your kids are like mine, they have a whole lot of electronic games on their list this year. And if you're at all like me, you don't know anything about any of them. Monopoly, I get. Super Mario Galaxy 2? Not so much.
Everyone knows what the movie ratings mean: G means it's for everyone. Nothing scary, nothing violent, no bad language or nudity. PG means it's OK for older kids, but there might be some not-too-gory violence, and some scary bits. Any bad language would be TV bad...not street bad. And so on. But do you really know what the ESRB ratings mean? Do you even know what ESRB stands for? If you're planning on rushing out on Black Friday to buy your kids the latest and greatest video games, there's a lot about the ESRB you should know.
ESRB (Entertainment Software Ratings Board) is a non-profit group designed to be a resource for parents, helping them to navigate the world of gaming and ensure they make age-appropriate, informed choices for their kids. ESRB ratings are on just about every game package. But what do they really mean?
Say you're in a store and you see a game that's rated Teen. According to the ESRB, it could have gotten that rating for any one of these reasons:
"...content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language."