A new video game rating category, E10+ (Everyone 10 and older), was introduced today by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), to help consumers more easily differentiate between games that have content appropriate for the whole family and games that are suitable for ages 10 and older.
"The content of computer and video games continues to advance in terms of sophistication, complexity, and graphic quality," said Patricia Vance, president of ESRB. "Given this evolution, the new E10+ rating category will provide consumers, particularly parents, with more precise guidance on the age appropriateness of certain titles, fulfilling our goal of helping ensure that the right games are selected for their children and families."
Vance added that the ESRB consulted numerous child development experts and academicians in creating the E10+ category and found broad agreement with its introduction and the theory underlying it. "Given the significant developmental differences between very young and teen-age children, the E10+ category will be very useful for parents," added Dr. Ralph I. Lopez, Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Cornell Medical College, and Author of "The Teen Health Book: A Parent's Guide to Adolescent Health and Well-Being."
Game titles that carry the E10+ rating might contain moderate amounts of cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes. Games appropriate for all ages will continue to receive an E (Everyone) rating.
"We expect that many of the best selling sports, racing, and adventure games will continue to receive E ratings appropriate for ages six and older," said Vance. "Games with content that may not be suitable for younger ages of six to nine, such as racing games with more extreme crashes or fighting games with super heroes, will now receive an E10+ rating," Vance explained.
"Since its establishment in 1994, the ESRB rating system has consistently focused on providing useful information about game content so that parents and other consumers can make informed purchase decisions," Vance said. "This new category, just like the addition of more detailed content descriptors in 2003, reflects our commitment to a rating system that evolves and stays abreast of game content trends, while meeting the needs of consumers."
"The ESRB has once again taken timely steps to enhance its rating system for computer and video games," added U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT). "When used properly and consistently, ESRB ratings continue to be an effective tool for parents to understand the content of video games. I encourage parents to check the rating so that our children can play the video games that are right for them."