Game On! What's your video game rating knowledge?

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

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About This Quiz

Sure, you play the games. Maybe you've even noticed the rating on the packaging. But what do these ratings mean and what goes into creating them? Find out just how much you know about the ESRB's game rating system by taking this quiz.

The non-profit agency that rates video games is the ESRB, which stands for what?

The Entertainment Software Rating Board is a self-regulatory agency that rates video games submitted for review.


The ESRB video and computer game ratings system bases its ratings on what?

The ratings are based on the minimum playing age, but the ratings are suggestions. You probably won't be able to buy the game if you're underage, but it's not illegal if you do.


Games rated T for Teen might contain which of the following?

Games rate T are meant for ages 13 and older. They might contain some crude humor, but not nudity. Any strong language will be infrequent.


In 2010, about what percentage of video games were rated EC for Early Childhood?

Of 1,638 ratings assigned by the ESRB in 2010, only 1 percent were rated EC.


The age of the average game player is:

This might surprise you, but the average gamer is 37 years old. Just 18 percent of gamers are under the age of 18.


Some game ratings include "fantasy violence." What's that?

Fantasy violence involves human or non-human characters, but it's easily distinguishable from real life. Cartoon violence, on the other hand, often includes violence where the character is left unharmed.


Some game ratings include "simulated gambling." What's that?

Simulated gambling does not involve using any real money or currency -- including credits.


True or False: When a game is rated by the ESRB, the game company is legally obligated to disclose that rating to the public.

Even though the ratings process is voluntary, a contract is signed when a company submits a game for rating stating that they will disclose and display that rating.


The most popular video game sold in 2010 was:

Call of Duty: Black Ops is the winner, with Madden NFL '11 in second place and Halo: Reach in third. Three of the top five games were rated M for mature audiences.


According to a study commissioned by the ESRB, how often do parents agree with the ratings assigned?

In most cases (82 percent of the time) , parents agreed with the assigned ratings. In 5 percent of cases, parents thought the ratings were too strict.


True of False: While the ESRB assigns the ratings, it does not have a say in how and where the rating is displayed on the game's packaging.

When a game is rated, the game maker is contractually obligated to display the rating according to ESRB guidelines. The ESRB reviews final packaging to make sure the rating is displayed as agreed.


True or False: You can find detailed ratings of individual games on the ESRB website.

The ESRB website maintains information about the games they've rated, and you can search by title or publisher. They also have a mobile app for checking game ratings on the go.


What percentage of video games sold in 2010 were shooting games?

Shooting games were the third-largest category (15.9 percent) of games sold, topped by action games and sports games.


For which of the following does the ESRB provide ratings?

The ESRB handles ratings for video games and computer games. Music and movie ratings are assigned by other groups.


How many parents say they pay attention to the content of the games their children play?

The vast majority of parents (90 percent)say they're aware of the content of the games their kids play, according to the ESRB.


Game ratings are determined primarily by reviewing a questionnaire completed by the game maker, and by what other process?

There isn't time for raters to play a game in its entirety, let alone the fact that they could easily miss something. So the ESRB relies on the game company to provide a video showing all content that might influence the game's rating.


True or False: The identities of the ESRB game raters are kept confidential.

The ESRB keeps information about its raters confidential to ensure they're not influenced in any way by the game companies (i.e., bribes or threats).


In 2010, what percentage of games sold were rated E for Everyone?

The biggest category of games sold in 2010, 44 percent, were rated E for Everyone.


A game that's rated E for Everyone is not actually for everyone. What is the minimum age recommended to play games rated E?

Games for kids under age 6 are rated EC for Early Childhood. Games rated E might still contain mild cartoon or fantasy violence.


According to studies conducted by the ESRB, what percentage of kids under age 17 are turned away by retailers when they try to buy an M-rated game?

Though the ESRB can't enforce the age appropriateness ratings it assigns, retailers do a pretty good job of ensuring kids don't buy games they shouldn't. Eighty-seven percent of kids under 17 were turned away when trying to buy an M-rated game.


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