The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) has created a Family Gaming Guide on their website to help parents and guardians navigate the ratings systems, and provide tips on parental controls and household rules.

The guide walks through several important facets of gaming with children and teens.

The ESRB rating is still an intuitive way to quickly judge a game’s content, including its rating category (E10+, M for Mature, etc), content descriptors (fantasy violence, alcohol use, etc), and any interactive elements, such as microtransactions and online interaction. The ESRB rating can be found on game boxes and most digital game stores, and also found by searching for games on the ESRB website.

Establishing household rules includes setting time limits for gaming, managing how much your child or teen spends on gaming (whether new games or in-game purchases), and how to handle online multiplayer. Playing online games is another category entirely, and an increasingly critical element of gaming with young people. The most popular video games, Minecraft, Roblox, Fortnite, etc, all feature online play.

The guide also includes tips on setting up parental controls, which can specifically limit in-app purchases, and online interaction. Parental controls can be set up on platforms, including consoles and mobile devices, as well as within many big games such as Fortnite.

The Family Gaming Guide will be updated throughout the year.

This article was written by

Eric has been writing for over nine years with bylines at Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer, Tabletop Gaming magazine, and more covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games, and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on his YouTube channel. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.