Chlamydia And Slutty Clowns: The ESRB Rates This Fall's Big Games

We normally think of game ratings as little more than a useful marker of where we'll be able to buy a game, or whether or not it's suitable for children. But oh, let me tell you: ESRB literature can be so, so much more than that. » 10/06/14 2:30pm 10/06/14 2:30pm

Superman Is One Of The Reasons We Have a Video Game Ratings System

Remember the Superman game on the Atari 2600? That slightly obtuse piece of superhero wish fulfillment is part of a chain of careers and events that resulted in the formation of the ESRB. What does the big, red S have to do with the folks who put the letters E, T and M on video game boxes? Watch and see. » 3/04/14 6:00pm 3/04/14 6:00pm

Metal Gear Solid V Gets Rare 'Sexual Violence' Ratings Description

Phrases you see all the time on the back of video game boxes: "Blood and Gore," "Intense Violence," "Strong Language." The "Sexual Violence" content descriptor has only been used once before, back in 2006. This year, that infrequently used tag will be used to tell consumers some of what happens in Metal Gear Solid V. » 1/06/14 5:00pm 1/06/14 5:00pm

The ESRB Provides the Latest Preview of South Park: The Stick of Truth

It should be no surprise that South Park: The Stick of Truth is chock full o' filth-flarn-flarn-filth-flarn and hellbent for an M-for-Mature rating. It's still fun to hear the ESRB reading the dialogue aloud from its fainting couch. » 11/17/13 6:17pm 11/17/13 6:17pm

The ESRB Brings You This Unbearably Cute Reminder About Game Ratings

Man, I don't have kids (that I know of) and I'm dawwwwwing all over this PSA that the ESRB just put out. It's a reminder that it can be hard to say no when your kid's so excited for Ninja Attack!, or whatever they're clutching, and you want him or her to be happy. But it's important to read the ratings and use… » 10/29/13 11:30am 10/29/13 11:30am

The ESRB's ever familiar ratings badges will get a slight graphical tweak for the first time since 1999, but the wording is the biggest change. No longer will the label say "content rated by" over "ESRB." Why the text change? ESRB president Patricia Vance said it "provides for a cleaner look." [Polygon] » 8/04/13 4:00pm 8/04/13 4:00pm

ESRB Tells Browser Game to Quit Bragging That It Was Rated AO

The ESRB has asked the Chinese maker of a browser-based game to quit advertising it as rated Adults Only, reports GamesIndustry.biz, largely because the game has never been rated by the ESRB. » 5/13/13 11:00am 5/13/13 11:00am

New Bill Wants To Turn Game Labels, Sale Restrictions Into Law

Democratic congressman Jim Matheson has introduced a bill known as "H.R. 287", which is the latest attempt to introduce tighter controls on the way video games are sold in the United States. » 1/17/13 2:00am 1/17/13 2:00am

Comic Books' Disastrous Self-Censorship Offers a Lesson for Games…

"Censoring violent comic books did not reduce juvenile delinquency or increase literacy," reasons the International Game Developers Association. "It decimated the production of one of the few kinds of literature that at-risk youths read for pleasure." » 1/11/13 10:00am 1/11/13 10:00am

ESRB Opens No-Cost Ratings Service for Digitally Distributed Games

Downloadable games sold through the three console makers' online services will be rated by what the Entertainment Software Ratings Board is calling a "streamlined, no-cost service," in a statement released today by the ESRB. The new "Digital Rating Service" gives developers and publishers access to a "brief but… » 10/24/12 10:00pm 10/24/12 10:00pm

You Can't Say That in a Video Game—Why, Someone Might Think You've Been…

Even for an NBA 2K13 » 10/07/12 5:30pm 10/07/12 5:30pm soundtrack curated by Jay-Z himself, the butchery of Puff Daddy's "Victory," was to be expected. That track contains four N-words, eight F-words and nine S-words, and this is a game played by 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds.

The ESRB Knows Dead or Alive Too Well

Japanese fighting game Dead or Alive features a bevy of curvy ladies punching and kicking each other in the face. For years now, the DoA's have been talking up two things: Fighting game mechanics and boob physics. » 9/14/12 5:30am 9/14/12 5:30am

Borderlands 2's Official Rating Description is Outstanding

Back at E3 I was dismayed to learn that, thanks to prudes overseas, Borderlands 2's darkly humorous death animations would have to be toned down from the original's, which included eyeball-exploding electrocutions. » 8/18/12 1:00pm 8/18/12 1:00pm

Geralt Makes "Rated M for Mature" Sound So Sexy

The Witcher 2: Assassin's of Kings' hero doesn't get laid all the time for nothing. In this launch trailer for the Xbox 360 edition of the game, Geralt of Rivia warns of mature content in a way that'll have your parents purchasing the game for themselves. » 4/13/12 1:15pm 4/13/12 1:15pm

There Was Too Much Blood On This Game's Cover

The upcoming Risen 2: Dark Waters has been asked by the ESRB to change its front cover, because there was simply too much of the ol' claret splashed across the box art. » 3/28/12 1:30am 3/28/12 1:30am