ESRB: 10 Years Later



PART 1: Creating the ESRB
– The Major Players
– Mario
– Night Trap
– Mortal Kombat
– Sen. Joe Lieberman

– The MPAA
– Ratings and Marketing
– Ratings Creep
– Who Has The Tougher Job?

PART 3: Parents of Today
– “The First Stage Of Information”
– The Time Bind
– Online Play
– The Death of Arcades

PART 4: Parents of Tomorrow
– The Average Gamer is 29 Years Old
– Coming Back For More
– Trusting The System

Appendix 1: Interview with Patricia Vance, ESRB President

Appendix 2: Top 50 Selling Games, 1995-2004

Closing Thoughts
– Related Links
– References
– Concluding Thoughts


Welcome to Inside Pulse’s coverage of the 10th anniversary of the Entertainment Software Rating Board, also known as the ESRB. On behalf of the entire Inside Pulse staff, I thank you for taking the time to read this piece. It is my sincere hope that you will be able to get something out of reading this.

This feature assumes some basic knowledge of the ESRB and its rating system. For this information, which will serve as a refresher for most people, check out the ESRB’s breakdown of the system, particularly the “Game Ratings and Descriptor Guide” page. If you’re already familiar with the ESRB system, then dig right in!

As you read this, please note that this feature is in no way intended to be an opinion piece. This is being written as a public service to the gamers that use the ratings system and will be using this system in the future. The goal here is to give you enough information so that you can decide if the ESRB ratings system works for you.

The following people deserve public mention for their roles in the creation of this feature…

– Bebito Jackson, for his efforts in ensuring this feature’s existence and quality.

– The entire Inside Pulse Games Kliq, for raising the bar higher than ever.

– Hofstra University Computer Center, for allowing me to use the school computer lab despite no longer being a student.

– The ESRB, particularly Christine Seddon and Patricia Vance, along with Joe Wagner from GMMB, for their generosity and help with this feature.

And, of course, thanks to you for reading. Enjoy the show.

PART 1: Creating the ESRB