The Entertainment Software Rating Board is an official rating system for video games that is used within the United States of America and Canada. It was established in 1994 after the senate hearing about violence in video games (see #History).
The rating system consists of 5 ratings. E, E10+, T, M, and AO (for more information about the ratings, see #Ratings). There used to be a preschool rating named eC but that was discontinued in 2018 (see #History and #Ratings sections).
It was originally used in Mexico from 1994 until 2021. In May 2021, it was replaced by their movie and television rating system, the General Directorate of Radio, Television and Cinematography.
The Entertainment Software Rating Board was established in 1994 in response to Senate hearings about violence in video games. It also succeeded Videogame Rating Council that was used for Sega's video games and the 3DO age ratings for 3DO video games. The original ratings were RP, K-A, T, M, and AO. K-A was replaced by E in 1998.
Originally, the letter icons were pixelated rating icons. However, in 2000, the pixel letter icons for the ratings were changed to just black. They added an E10+ rating in 2005 (see #Ratings for more info).
In 2013, the rating icons changed again, and in 2018, the eC rating was cut from the system because of the low usage and was easily replaced by the E rating, another rating suitable for children (but also for adults) (also see #Ratings for more info).
On November 27, 2020, the General Directorate of Radio, Television and Cinematography announced that they were replacing the the ESRB in Mexico. This took place exactly six months later, on May 27, 2021. However, this only means that the new rating system is used for physical releases, as the ESRB ratings are still used in digital storefronts.
- eC: TV-Y (US TV) and C (Canadian TV)
- E: TV-G and TV-Y7 (US TV), G (Canadian/Quebec TV and movies and US movies), C8 (Canadian TV), 8+ (Quebec TV)
- E10+: TV-PG (US TV), PG (Canadian TV and movies and US movies), G (with warning: Quebec)
- T: PG-13 (US movies), 14A (Canadian movies), TV-14 (US TV), 14+ (Canadian TV), 13+ (Quebec)
- M and AO: R and NC-17 (US movies), 18A and R (Canadian movies), TV-MA (US TV), 18+ (Canadian TV), 16+ and 18+ (Quebec)
There is an extra mark for all current ratings (E.G. violence, blood, language, sexual content, nudity, substances). ESRB has executive descriptors that very few (if any) rating systems used.
|Suggestive Themes||Mild Suggestive Themes|
Blood and Gore
|Sexual Content||Strong Sexual Content|
|Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco||Alcohol/Drug/Tobacco Reference|
Use of Alcohol/Drugs/Tobacco
|Crude Humor||Comic Mischief|
|Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)|
|Currently used ratings|