Video game ratings (ESRB)

Target Help
Our policy includes:
  • Target sells computer software and video games that are rated by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). The ratings address age-appropriate content ranging from early childhood through mature audiences. All video games are assigned an ESRB rating.
  • The ESRB rating system is posted in the video game and computer software departments in our stores where it is visible to guests.
  • Our goal is to make sure parents have access to important information about the ratings and content of media products that they or their children may purchase. Ultimately, however, it is up to you to determine if a product is appropriate.
  • We support the efforts of the ESRB to educate consumers and address concerns about young people buying mature-rated titles of video games and computer software. Target doesn't carry "adults only" software.
Since 2000, Target stores have voluntarily restricted the sale of M-rated video games and computer software by carding minors and limiting those sales to persons 17 years of age and older.
  • A message at checkout prompts our cashiers to verify a guest's age whenever an M-rated game is scanned.
  • All cashiers receive educational training on the identification process for M-rated video games and other age-restricted items.
On Target.com, there is a pop-up that requires you to certify that you are old enough to buy an M-rated video game (17 years or older). If you select "no," you are unable to add the game to your cart or to purchase it on the website.
The ESRB ratings are designed to provide concise and impartial information about the content in computer and video games so parents can make an informed purchase decision. ESRB ratings have two equal parts: rating symbols that suggest age appropriateness for the game, and content descriptors that indicate elements in a game that may have triggered a particular rating and/or may be of interest or concern.

To take full advantage of the ESRB rating system, it's important to check both the rating symbol (on the front of the box) and the content descriptors (on the back).

For the most up-to-date list of content descriptors and definitions, visit the ESRB website.

EC rating – Early Childhood
Content is intended for young children.

E rating – Everyone
Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.

E10+ rating – Everyone 10 & Older
Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.

T rating – Teen
Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.

M rating – Mature
Content is generally suitable for persons ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.

AO rating – Adults Only
Content suitable for adults 18 years and up. May include prolonged scenes of intense violence, graphic sexual content and/or gambling with real currency. Target does not carry Adults Only rated video games or software.

RP rating – Rating Pending
Titles listed as RP have been submitted to the ESRB and are awaiting final rating. This symbol appears only in advertising prior to a game's release.
The content descriptors indicate elements in a game that may have triggered a particular rating and/or may be of interest or concern. For the most up-to-date list of content descriptors and definitions, visit the ESRB website.
 
ESRB Content Descriptors
  • Alcohol Reference – Reference to and/or images of alcoholic beverages
  • Animated Blood – Discolored and/or unrealistic depictions of blood
  • Blood – Depictions of blood
  • Blood and Gore –Depictions of blood or the mutilation of body parts
  • Cartoon Violence – Violent actions involving cartoon-like situations and characters, which may include violence where a character is unharmed after the action has been inflicted
  • Comic Mischief – Depictions or dialogue involving slapstick or suggestive humor
  • Crude Humor – Depictions or dialogue involving vulgar antics, including "bathroom" humor
  • Drug Reference – Reference to and/or images of illegal drugs
  • Fantasy Violence – Violent actions of a fantasy nature, involving human or non-human characters in situations easily distinguishable from real life
  • Intense Violence – Graphic and realistic-looking depictions of physical conflict, which may involve extreme and/or realistic blood, gore, weapons and depictions of human injury and death
  • Language – Mild to moderate use of profanity
  • Lyrics – Mild references to profanity, sexuality, violence, alcohol or drug use in music
  • Mature Humor – Depictions or dialogue involving "adult" humor, including sexual references
  • Nudity – Graphic or prolonged depictions of nudity
  • Partial Nudity – Brief and/or mild depictions of nudity
  • Real Gambling – Player can gamble, including betting or wagering real cash or currency
  • Sexual Content – Non-explicit depictions of sexual behavior, possibly including partial nudity
  • Sexual Themes – References to sex or sexuality
  • Sexual Violence – Depictions of rape or other violent sexual acts
  • Simulated Gambling – Player can gamble without betting or wagering real cash or currency
  • Strong Language – Explicit and/or frequent use of profanity
  • Strong Lyrics – Explicit and/or frequent references to profanity, sex, violence, alcohol or drug use in music
  • Strong Sexual Content – Explicit and/or frequent depictions of sexual behavior, possibly including nudity
  • Suggestive Themes – Mild provocative references or materials
  • Tobacco Reference – Reference to and/or images of tobacco products
  • Use of Drugs – The consumption or use of illegal drugs
  • Use of Alcohol – The consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Use of Tobacco – The consumption of tobacco products
  • Violence – Scenes involving aggressive conflict. May contain bloodless dismemberment
  • Violent References – References to violent acts
Additionally, online games that include user-generated content (e.g., chat, maps, skins) carry the notice "Game Experience May Change During Online Play."