ESRB adds violence detail to ratings

— 12:30 PM on June 27, 2003

The ESRB has announced a new set of descriptive violence ratings for computer and video games:

The changes include the addition of four new ESRB content descriptors -- short, standardized phrases printed on the back of game boxes that alert consumers to content elements that may be of interest or concern -- and new, bolder labels intended to draw consumer attention to those content descriptors. The rating system changes were developed in consultation with experts from both inside and outside the interactive entertainment software industry, including child development experts and family advocates.
A game's violence level will now be categorized as Cartoon, Fantasy, Intense, or Sexual in nature and include a brief description of what that violence level entails. Combined with bolder labeling, the new violence level categories should make it easy for parents choose appropriate games for their children. The new ratings will be good for older and more bloodthirsty gamers, too. With more descriptive violence labels, it should be easy to weed out games that don't feature the level of realistic gore and violence that many older gamers desire.
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