I’m not much of a gamer these days. I’m pretty sure the last time I sat down for some serious screen time (outside of a few minutes here and there on my iPhone) was before my first son was born… he’s 9 now. So I think it’s fair to say that I’m pretty well out of the loop when it comes to gaming so this may not come as much of a revelation to some current gamers but it did to me.
I ran across a trailer for WWE 2K16 the other day and prior to it running I saw this warning.
I’ve seen these sorts of ERSB warnings in the past but I’ve never noticed the “Use of Tobacco” line in there. If you’re not familiar with the ERSB it’s the Entertainment Software Rating Board – www.esrb.org. According to their website the, “ESRB assigns age and content ratings for video games and mobile apps, enforces advertising and marketing guidelines for the video game industry, and helps companies implement responsible online and mobile privacy practices.”
I did some digging and I see they define their “Use of Tobacco” rating as such:
Use of Tobacco – The consumption of tobacco products
As it pertains to the above game I can only assume they’re referring to wrestlers such as Stone Cold Steve Austin who for years was an active dipper.
In doing some further digging into the ERSB Chronology, I see that this reference to tobacco has been a part of the ratings system since 2002 so it appears I’m WAY late on this:
2002- “Partial Nudity,” “Nudity,” “Reference to Drugs,” “Reference to Alcohol,” “Reference to Tobacco,” and “Mature Humor” content descriptors introduced
That said… it was news to me so I figured I’d point it out. I’m not for “banning” these products but I think it’s very important that parents know how and where their kids are being introduced to them. This is a very positive step.