The ESRB was established in by the Entertainment Software Association formerly the Interactive Digital Software Association , in response to criticism of controversial video games with excessively violent or sexual content. The board assigns ratings to games based on their content, using judgment similar to the motion picture rating systems used in many countries, using a combination of six age-based levels intended to aid consumers in determining a game's content and suitability, along with a system of "content descriptors" which detail specific types of content present in a particular game. The ESRB maintains a code of ethics for the advertising and promotion of video games—ensuring that marketing materials for games are targeted to appropriate audiences. In , the ESRB began offering a system to automatically assign ratings for digitally-distributed games and mobile apps , which utilizes a survey answered by the product's publisher as opposed to a manual assessment by ESRB staff. Alongside its game rating operation, the ESRB also provides certification services for online privacy on websites and mobile apps. The ESRB ratings system is enforced via the voluntary leverage of the North American video game and retail industries; most stores require customers to present photo identification when purchasing games carrying the ESRB's highest age ratings, and do not stock games which have not been rated. Additionally, major console manufacturers will not license games for their systems unless they carry ESRB ratings, while console manufacturers and most stores will refuse to stock games that the ESRB has rated as being appropriate for adults only.
what makes a game get MATURE or ADULT ONLY ratings?
Game Rating Information - ESRB | Xbox
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List of AO-rated video games
What I mean is, what makes a difference between those ratings? Violence level? Drug usage?
The following is a list of video games that have been given the "Adults Only" AO rating by the Entertainment Software Rating Board ESRB , a United States -based organization which rates the content of video games to determine its appropriateness for specific age groups. Although it is not legally binding under U. Games with the AO rating are considered by the board to be suitable for players age 18 and over; AO-rated games can contain higher levels of violent, profane, sexual, or pornographic content than the next-lowest rating on the scale Mature [M], generally considered suitable for players 17 and over can accommodate. AO is the highest and most restrictive of the ESRB's content ratings, and dramatically impacts the commercial availability of games which carry it; all three major video game console manufacturers Nintendo , Microsoft , and Sony Interactive Entertainment refuse to allow AO-rated games to be published for their platforms, most retailers refuse to stock AO-rated games, and the popular video game live streaming service Twitch explicitly bans all games carrying the rating.