Illustration for article titled A Look At How The ESRB Rates Video Games

Danny O’Dwyer’s Noclip documentary series recently got the chance to visit the ESRB and see just how the organization works.

The 44-minute video touches on a number of topics. First, it’s a pretty good history of the ESRB, detailing their origins in the wake of social and political hysteria surrounding video game violence in the 1990s.


Next, it goes behind the scenes, meets several key employees and shows not just how the ESRB works in the U.S., but how they cooperate with other international ratings boards as well.

Finally, and perhaps least satisfactorily, it raises the question of what the ESRB is going to do in the future, and how they’re reacting to more contemporary controversies like loot boxes. Here, the ESRB’s answers aren’t going to impress anyone hoping the organization is as opposed to publisher’s predatory pricing strategies as consumers are.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs

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