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Rating Systems, Video Games

  • By: John L. Sherry
  • In: Encyclopedia of Media Violence
  • Edited by: Matthew S. Eastin
  • Subject:Mass Communication, Aggression & Violence, Violence & Society

Rating systems are intended to provide consumers with information about the offensive content found in video games. There are a variety of rating systems used around the world; often the ratings are conducted by the government (e.g., Finland, Iran, Australia), but in some countries (e.g., United States, Germany, Japan) the ratings are overseen by the game industry. Still others (e.g., Great Britain) have a hybrid system that is statutory but supported by the gaming industry. Game rating systems are modeled after the film rating systems in many places. In all cases, the ratings provide information in a format that provides recommendations about the appropriateness of the game for children of various ages.

Game rating systems serve multiple purposes. Ostensibly, they have been designed to provide information ...

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