As you may already know, Consumer Protection BC is responsible for classifying all films and trailers you see in British Columbia theatres (in addition to regulating and licensing video retailers and distributors). Every now and then, we get asked about video game ratings. Although this is not an area that falls under our responsibility, please keep reading to learn who assigns these ratings, who to contact with questions and, as a bonus, how to assign parental controls on various gaming systems.

Who rates video games?

In Canada, the Entertainment and Software Rating Board (ESRB) is responsible for assigning ratings for video games and applications, helping parents make informed choices. The ESRB is a non-profit organization, and the rating system includes guidance about age-appropriateness, content and interactive elements. Check out this page on the ESRB’s website for answers to such questions as:

  • Are all games and apps required to have a rating?
  • Who can I contact if I have a question or complaint about a rating?
  • How can I find and use the ratings to determine if a game is right for my family?

How do I assign parental controls to my child’s gaming system?

The Entertainment Software Association of Canada recently partnered with Canadian tech expert Marc Saltzman to produce a series of videos, helping parents access and use the parental control features of various gaming systems. Visit their YouTube account to watch these videos (geared towards users of either the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, Android and iOS, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii or a PC).

Where can I get more information about motion picture ratings in BC?

Consumer Protection BC is responsible for all film classification activities conducted under the Motion Picture Act of BC.


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