Video games age ratings explained - Internet Matters

Game age ratings explained

What do game ratings mean?

To help you choose age-appropriate games for children most platforms will feature an age rating on the game. Due to the way certain platforms categorise games according to their content, at times the age rating for one game may not be the same across all platforms. So, it can be confusing when taking a call on whether a game is age-appropriate.

Choosing age-appropriate games

For example, Clash of Clans is rated 9+ on the App store but Supercell – the makers of the game – have set the minimum age of the game to 13 and over because it features a chat function and In-app purchasing.

Therefore, it is important to understand what the ratings mean and why these may have been categorised in this way. Below you’ll find a list of the main age ratings you’ll find and links to find out more about about how each rating is used to classify games to make an informed choice on which games are suitable for your child.

PEGI ratings – What do the labels mean?

These are primarily used in Europe and Asia.

PEGI 3 – suitable for all ages
PEGI 7 – suitable for young children
PEGI 12 – suitable for children 12 and over
PEG 16 – suitable for children 16 and over
PEGI 18 – Only suitable for adults

Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) 

These are primarily used in the US.

RP – Rating Pending
EC – Early Childhood
E – Everyone
E 10+ – Everyone 10+
T – Teen
M – Mature
A – Adult

App store ratings 

These are ratings are used globally.

4+: Contains no objectionable material.
9+: May contain content unsuitable for children under the age of 9.
12+: May contain content unsuitable for children under the age of 12.
17+: May contain content unsuitable for children under the age of 17.
Apps rated 17+ are not allowed to be purchased by children.

Google age ratings

Google displays age-based ratings on all apps in the Play Store as determined by the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC).

This means that based on the country that you are in, you will see the relevant ratings that are used widely in the region.

Australian Classification Board

These are ratings are used in Australia.

G – General
PG – Parental Guidance
M – Mature
R18+ – Restricted
MA15+ – Restricted

Classificação Indicativa (ClassInd) 

These are ratings are used in Brazil.

L – for all ages
10 – Rated 10+
12 – Rated 12+
14 – Rated 14+
16 – Rated 16+
18 – Rated 18+

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