E(SRB) is for everyone: Game ratings and the practice of content evaluation

Judd Ethan Ruggill, Ken S. McAllister

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


This chapter discusses the formation and implications of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), the principal game content rating mechanism in the United States (US), Canada, and Mexico. The technological sophistication that enables the creation of complex media-rich games (e.g. video quality 3D animation and sound) requires additional creative input. In the simplest terms, the ESRB is a non-governmental, US-based content rating organization for games and other electronic entertainment. Digitally distributed games, by contrast, are evaluated via the ESRB “Short Form”, a multiple choice survey that produces a computer-generated rating and is focused on interactivity and identity as well as content. Throughout most of Europe-and in Israel and parts of Canada as well-the Interactive Software Federation of Europe’s Pan European Game Information (PEGI) system is used to rate games. One final rating organization requires mentioning before we conclude: the newly emerging International Age Rating Coalition (IARC).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVideo Game Policy
Subtitle of host publicationProduction, Distribution, and Consumption
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781317607236
ISBN (Print)9781138812420
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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