What do Video Game Ratings Mean?

By David C.

We all know that there are age ranges on video games. But what if the rating system is like judging a book by its cover? The rating of a game stays the same unless republished. But if not republished the rating will still be there. This is about not trusting the rating too much.

There are six ratings. First is “EC” or early child, mostly non-violent games for preschoolers. This rating is uncommon because there are very few EC games made.

Next you have “E” and “E10+”, “E” means for everyone. E10+ is just like E only requires kids to read a lot and may require a large vocabulary and understanding of what’ going on and symbolism.

T is for teenagers 13+, such as “call of duty black opps”, may have some blood, politics, or other more mature content.

Finally there is “M” and “A”, most of which have very advance graphics and can have war violence and other nightmarish events and lifelike graphics. M is most of the popular titles like “Skyrim,” “Gears of War 3,” “Assassin’s Creed 3,” “Modern Warfare 3,” “Call of Duty Black Opps 2,” and many other titles.

It is a big surprise that young gamers, aged 11, 12, and 13 are playing games rated for adults. However, there are some games which are rated M that are OK for younger players. “A” games are games made only for adults (18+), have very nightmarish plots, game play, and realistic graphics. “A” games are rare these days because of the fact that M (17+) and A (18+) have not much different from each other. Nowadays “A” is combined with “M” games and this mix is the current day “M.”


The two things you should know to judge a game is the age of player and the game content. The older the game is the tamer it will be. Usually an M game over seven years old (estimated guess) years may be tamer than something published recently. However, you still need to monitor for content. Some games may have cursing, suggestive themes or other disturbing content.

For all of the adult readers out there go, on YouTube and search the game in question with the word “walkthrough” after it. YouTube members usually play many games ranging from E to M. This means there is video footage of entire games. Yes, YouTube has another good use other than entertaining the masses with great videos.

Kids can also go to YouTube to see the game they want before they buy it to see if they like it. The ratings are an easy way to tell the difference between a violent game and a good game, but they aren’t 100% accurate. So check the games on YouTube before you buy them and to see which are good for you and your family.

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