ESRA (Entertainment Software Rating Association)
The Entertainment Software Rating Association (ESRA) is
a video game age rating system that assigns age and
content ratings. It was established in 2007 by
Iran National Foundation of Computer Games
which is a self-regulatory organization.
The research project of ESRA is managed by Mr. Majd
and run by a research team of 17 psychologists and
8 sociologists. This research project is done at
National Foundation of Computer Game and
started in 2007 in 5 phases.
In rating, ESRA considers 4 characteristics in
rating computer games
1. Physical - motional characteristics
2. Intellectual – mental characteristics
3. Emotional characteristics
4. Social characteristics
The age groups are:
• The first rate (Kids) +3 years old
• The second rate (Childhood) +7 years old
• The third rate (the beginning of adolescence) +12 years old
• The forth rate (the second half of adolescent) +15 years old
• The fifth rate (adult, single) +18 years old
• The sixth rate (adult, married) + 25 years old
The seven content descriptors are:
Violence : The display of violence is when a behavior displayed to harm someone or something, ranged from destroying the belongings and making the unanimated things out of order…
Tobacco and drug : Watching the use of drug and tobacco in games can lose the internal-social taboo of not using it for the addressees.
Sexual stimuli : Sexual diversity, sexuality out of social norms, etc can end to the social and physical harms related to the sexual needs of the addressees and his /her social situations.
Fear : Fear is an internal feeling based on insecurity and not the lack of trust to the atmosphere, which leads to chronic stress, conservative behaviors, etc in social atmosphere.
Religious values violation : The violation of religious values is in accord with the Islamic principles. Two of the important elements of it are as follow:
1. The violation of the basic principles or religious believes (the howness of the display of the heaven or hell),
2. Sacrilege the holy places (sacrilege the mosque, church)
The social norms violation : Using the vulgar words and the uprightness behaviors which lead to breaking the social norms are among the social harms that the kids and the adolescents become familiar with.
Hopelessness : This content in games is related to a kind of feeling where the gamer have to do or not to do something which makes him/her feel sinful..
The desire of ESRA, in a better way, its panorama is to achieve a place where it can be able to define the best age for each computer game. The best age during it, the game has no psychic and behavioral harm and helps the growth and the development of the addressee.
ESRA organization, in National Association of Computer Games, is going to continue its activities having two aims:
The first aim is to continue the studies and researches. Using the new perspectives as communication science, educational science and social psychology, designing the criteria and the new harmful scenes, classifying and distinguishing them were among the important research activities besides getting literacy for it which was designed and programmed in 5 research phases in guide map of ESRA.
The next aim was about the executing organization of ESRA. Taking film and extracting the contents of game, analyzing the gameplay, considering and defining the proper age group for each game were among the activities of this phase. Training human force of experts, who are responsible for this aim, is a difficult and expensive task, achieving which need using all capacities.