Two decades ago, video games, like comic books before them, were written off as a form of entertainment strictly for children. Just like the comic book industry eventually produced mature, extremely-not-for-kids books like Alan Moore's Watchmen or Garth Ennis' Preacher, the video game industry has produced mature, extremely-not-for-kids games like BioWare's
Fortunately, each of the three major video game consoles (
The Xbox 360 and Wii use the Entertainment Software Rating Board's rating system. The ESRB classifies video games into a variety of age and content-based categories, like movie and television ratings. Games rated E or E10 are appropriate for most audiences, and can be compared with G- and PG-rated movies. Games rated T are most appropriate for teens and older gamers, and can contain violence, suggestive situations, and occasionally strong language. They're the game equivalent of PG-13 movies. Games rated M are intended for users 17 and up, and can include nudity, extreme violence, and very strong language. These are the R-rated titles of the gaming world.
The PlayStation 3 (and Sony's portable gaming system, the
These three guides will walk you through setting up parental controls on each of the three major systems, along with the PSP.