If you have children’s gifts included on your holiday shopping list, then chances are you’ll have a few video games or game consoles to buy this year.

But, how do you choose from the massive selection of titles and gadgets out there? How do you know the game or product you are purchasing is age appropriate?

The good news is, video games are actually among the easiest of entertainment products to decipher. The key is knowing what tools are out there to help you do so.

Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings are found on virtually every game package out there. These ratings provide helpful information about the age-appropriateness and content of video games.

The front of virtually every game box displays an ESRB rating symbol ranging from EC (Early Childhood 3+) to AO (Adults Only 18+). On the back, next to the rating symbol, are content descriptors. Pictures, descriptions, and full explanations of each rating and symbol may be found on the ESRB website:

In addition, Parental Control features are now available on video game consoles too. The Parental Control features allow adults to configure the system to limit access to video games based on their ESRB ratings, thereby ensuring that children do not have easy access to content that is inappropriate for their age level.
So, be sure to use your ESRB knowledge this season to make video game shopping a breeze!


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