The ESRB is the Entertainment Standards Rating Board, an independent and non-profit group that reviews all video games published for public consumption and assigns ratings to them, based on predetermined criteria. It is important to understand that the ESRB is not a governmental body, nor do they report to any government official. Rather, the ESRB was established in order for the video game industry to self-monitor, much like the MPAA rates movies. However, rather than the movie ratings of G, PG, PG-13, R and X, the ESRB established ratings that are much more helpful to parents who are interested in what their children are playing.
The ESRB ratings are: eC (early child), E (Everyone), E10+ (Everyone, although ages 10 and over are most appropriate), T (Teen), M (Mature), and AO (Adults Only). Ratings can be found on the front of every new video game packaging; games that are sold as used without the original packaging can be researched online to find the ESRB details.