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Jul 10, 2006

Know Your ESRB Ratings

The ESRB publishes a list of all the video game offenses determined by its board and identified on game sleeves. The list, as published by the ESRB, is as follows:

Alcohol Reference- Reference to and/or images of alcoholic beverages
Animated Blood- Cartoon or pixilated depictions of blood
Blood- Depictions of blood
Blood and Gore- Depictions of blood or the mutilation of body parts
Cartoon Violence- Violent actions involving cartoon-like characters. May include violence where a character is unharmed after the action has been inflicted
Comic Mischief- Scenes depicting slapstick or gross vulgar humor
Crude Humor- Moderately vulgar antics, including bathroom humor
Drug Reference- Reference to and/or images of illegal drugs
Edutainment- Content of product provides user with specific skills development or reinforcement learning within an entertainment setting. Skill development is an integral part of product
Fantasy Violence- Violent actions of a fantasy nature, involving human or non-human characters in situations easily distinguishable from real life
Gambling- Betting like behavior
Informational- Overall content of product contains data, facts, resource information, reference materials or instructional text
Intense Violence- Graphic and realistic-looking depictions of physical conflict. May involve extreme and/or realistic blood, gore, weapons, and depictions of human injury and death
Mature Humor- Vulgar and/or crude jokes and antics including "bathroom" humor
Mature Sexual Themes- Provocative material, possibly including partial nudity
Mild Language- Mild references to profanity, sexuality, violence, alcohol, or drug use
Mild Lyrics- Mild references to profanity, sexuality, violence, alcohol, or drug use in music
Mild Violence- Mild scenes depicting characters in unsafe and/or violent situations
Nudity- Graphic or prolonged depictions of nudity
Partial Nudity- Brief and mild depictions of nudity
Sexual Violence- Depictions of rape or other sexual acts
Some Adult Assistance May Be Needed- Early Childhood Descriptor only
Strong Language- Profanity and explicit references to sexuality, violence, alcohol, or drug use
Strong Lyrics- Profanity and explicit references to sex, violence, alcohol, or drug use in music
Strong Sexual Content- Graphic depiction of sexual behavior, possibly including nudity
Suggestive Themes- Mild provocative references or materials
Tobacco Reference- Reference to and/or images of tobacco products
Use of Drugs- The consumption or use of illegal drugs
Use of Alcohol- The consumption of alcoholic beverages
Use of Tobacco- The consumption of tobacco products
Violence- Scenes involving aggressive conflict

Additionally, online games that include user-generated content (e.g., chat, maps, skins) carry the notice "Game Experience May Change During Online Play" to warn consumers that content created by players of the game has not been rated by the ESRB.

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