The Entertainment Software Ratings Board, an industry-run group designed to provide parents with clear information so that they can choose the most appropriate computer and video games, has added a new classifier to their ratings system. The E10+ rating will serve as a halfway point between the E (Everyone) and T (Teen) ratings.
Game titles that carry the E10+ rating might contain moderate amounts of cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes. Games appropriate for all ages will continue to receive an E (Everyone) rating.
"We expect that many of the best selling sports, racing, and adventure games will continue to receive E ratings appropriate for ages six and older," said Vance. "Games with content that may not be suitable for younger ages of six to nine, such as racing games with more extreme crashes or fighting games with super heroes, will now receive an E10+ rating," Vance explained.
The new rating brings the ESRB’s scale roughly to par with the film industry’s MPAA scores; the E, E10+, T, M (Mature), and AO (Adults Only) marks roughly correspond with movies’ G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17 ratings. The new E10+ rating was created, in the words of ESRB president Patricia Vance, to "provide consumers, particularly parents, with more precise guidance on the age appropriateness of certain titles, fulfilling our goal of helping ensure that the right games are selected for their children and families."
Although the ESRB has been under fire from some politicians for some of its recent decisions over ratings, this new addition to the rating scheme has been praised by lawmakers such as Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT), who said: "The ESRB has once again taken timely steps to enhance its rating system for computer and video games."