How to Use Game Ratings for Better Purchase Decisions
Game ratings are designed to represent the quality of content within the game, however most of the time it can tell you much more. Proper Video Game Testing is done before a rating is assigned to a ...
Game ratings are designed to represent the quality of content within the game, however most of the time it can tell you much more. Proper Video Game Testing is done before a rating is assigned to a game; yet most of us underestimate these ratings and often ignore them. Here is how to judge a game based on its rating and save yourself from a bad purchase, especially if you are not into gaming or are buying the game as a gift for someone.
·Understand the ratings: Most games are assigned Entertainment Software Rating Board’s (ESRB) ratings. They have five categories for different age groups and the type of content within a game. These are the Early Childhood (ages 3 and up, example Lego games), Everyone (minimum violence and clean content), Teens (13 and up, some violence), Mature (17 and up, lots of violence with profanity) and Adults (18 and up, can include graphical violence, sex and more – few games exist with this rating and they are generally not sold in mainstream retail stores.)
·Test the game: What better way to judge a game then to test it? Many publishers offer the chance to test an upcoming game during their beta stages. However most of the time these tests are related to Game Development and features testing. Other ways to test a game is by playing them at an arcade or playing a free demo at home. You will find that many games have a free demo of them available for online download, although bear in mind that this is not the complete game, it usually is limited to just one or two levels. Most games with a RP (rating pending) could mean that you need to test it yourself.
·Visit a game show or studio: For the more curious and impatient ones, you can always visit a game conference or the studio itself to get a firsthand experience during the game QA or testing phase. This could be quite hard to do, unless you have connections in the industry, as many video game conferences that show games in the development phase are not open to the public. Still, it is possible, but it is obviously not the easiest solution nor the cheapest one either, as attending a game conference may require that you travel to a different city. Remember however that unreleased games are hard to get your hands on and can have unedited content that could be removed before the publisher submits the game for a rating or its release.
·Read reviews: There are many individual rating boards and gaming groups that can give you a clear idea of what to expect from a game irrespective of its original ratings. Sometimes a game could have content that the rating boards cannot evaluate and the best way to find what a game has to offer is perhaps from a gamer’s point of view.
Related Article: Why Create Games for Mobile Platforms?
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gina Kraft is a video and mobile game enthusiast. Gina is very interested in the process of Game Development. She thinks that Game Testers are very important in the industry. She also thinks that all video game publishers should invest in game quality assurance.