Converting ESRB Rating Descriptors to MPAA Rating Descriptors

Both the MPAA and ESRB rating systems have evolved since they were introduced in 1968 and 1994 respectively. Content descriptors were only introduced by the MPAA in 1990 for R-rated films before they were added for PG and PG-13-rated films several years later. I decided to do an experiment by converting ESRB Rating Descriptors to MPAA rating descriptors. Although they are now known as the Motion Picture Association, I still call them by their former name.

Let’s start off this post with the game’s I’ve made.

Drillimation’s Own Titles

GameESRB RatingMPAA Conversion
Chuhou Joutai: The Middle State of WarE10+ for Fantasy Violence and Comic MischiefPG for mild thematic elements and violence
Chuhou Joutai 2: Paraided!E10+ for Fantasy Violence, Comic Mischief, and Mild Suggestive ThemesPG for mild thematic elements and violence, and for some rude suggestive humor
ESRB ratings were obtained through IARC and cannot be found on the ESRB website.

Franchises Represented in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

I will now list each predominantly M-rated series represented in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, whether they are a playable character or Mii Fighter costume. I am listing their most recent installment in their respective series.

GameESRB RatingMPAA Conversion
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom PainM for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong LanguageR for intense scenes of war violence including torture throughout, some crude sexual content and brief strong language
Bayonetta 2M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Strong Language, Suggestive ThemesR for brutal scenes of torture and pervasive language throughout, brief graphic nudity
Persona 5M for Blood, Drug Reference, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, ViolenceR for crude sexual content and pervasive language throughout, some bloody images and drug material
Assassin’s Creed ValhallaM for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Drugs and AlcoholR for brutal violence and gory images throughout, brief graphic nudity and some strong language, and some interactive drug and alcohol use
Fallout 4M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Use of DrugsR for strong violence and bloody images throughout, brief strong language and drug material
No More Heroes 2: Desperate StruggleM for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong LanguageR for strong brutal violence including gore and pervasive language throughout, brief graphic nudity
Devil May Cry 5M for Blood, Partial Nudity, Strong Language, ViolenceR for language throughout and brief graphic nudity, some bloody images
The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimM for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Use of AlcoholR for intense scenes of fantasy violence and gore throughout, some crude sexual content and alcohol use

Other Titles

Here are some titles that I did just for fun, including some new titles and some older titles

GameESRB RatingMPAA Conversion
Red Dead Redemption IIM for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Use of Drugs and AlcoholR for brutal Western violence and pervasive language throughout, some crude sexual content including graphic nudity, interactive drug and alcohol use
Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library and the Monster SealM for Fantasy Violence, Language, Mild Blood, Partial Nudity, Sexual ThemesR for crude sexual content including brief graphic nudity throughout, some violent images and brief strong language
Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!M for Violence, Blood, Strong Language, and Suggestive ThemesR for disturbing bloody images and thematic elements, some strong language and suggestive references
Grand Theft Auto VM for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Mature Humor, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs and AlcoholR for sadistic scenes of brutal crime violence including torture, crude sexual humor including graphic nudity, and pervasive language throughout, interactive drug and alcohol usage
Yakuza 5M for Blood, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of AlcoholR for intense crime violence throughout, language and brief graphic nudity, interactive alcohol use
BlasphemousM for Blood and Gore, Nudity, ViolenceR for violence and bloody images throughout, some graphic nudity
Trover Saves the UniverseM for Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Mature Humor, Strong Language, ViolenceR for crude sexual humor, pervasive vulgar language, and bloody images throughout, and a drug reference

Understanding Descriptors

As the MPAA rating descriptor elements are far too numerous to list here, here are all of the ESRB rating descriptors and their MPAA equivalents. Keep in mind this is not a complete list. If you find anything missing feel free to drop a comment below.

Definitions of some of the adjectives used in MPAA ratings:

  • Brief – appears in one sequence.
  • Mild – content on the lower side of the spectrum usually gets this adjective, such as situations easily distinguishable from real life
  • Some – content that uses the normal situations easily found in real life. “Some brief” is used if a situation appears more than once.
  • Strong – frequent use or intense situations
  • Pervasive – content is prevalent throughout the game
ESRB Descriptor(s)MPAA equivalent(s) and examples
Mild LanguageBrief language, Mild language, sometimes paired with “some brief”, “brief mild” or “some mild”
Language[Brief] language, [Some] language, Language, Brief Strong Language
Strong LanguageStrong language, Pervasive language, [Some] Strong Language, [Pervasive] Strong Language
Cartoon Violence[Some] cartoon violence, [Brief] cartoon violence, [Mild] cartoon violence, sometimes paired with “some brief”, “brief mild” or “some mild”
Fantasy Violence[Some] fantasy violence, [brief] fantasy violence, [mild] fantasy violence, sometimes paired with “some brief”, “brief mild” or “some mild”
Mild Violence[Some] mild violence, [brief] mild violence, sometimes paired with “some brief”
Violence[Some] violence, [brief] violence, sometimes paired with “some brief”. Other descriptors include [some] violent images, disturbing images/material
Intense Violence[Some] intense violence, [some] strong violence, [some] brutal violence
Animated Blood[Mild] stylized blood, [brief] stylized blood, some stylized blood, sometimes paired with “some brief”, “brief mild” or “some mild”
Mild Blood[Mild] bloody images, [brief] bloody images
Blood[Some] bloody images
Blood and Gore[Some] bloody/gory images, bloody violence, graphic images,
Mild Suggestive ThemesMild suggestive references, brief suggestive references, rude suggestive humor, sometimes paired with “some mild” or “some brief” or “some brief mild”
Suggestive ThemesSuggestive references, suggestive humor, [some] sexuality,
Sexual Content[Crude] sexual content,
Strong Sexual Content[Graphic] sexual content, strong [graphic] sexuality
Partial Nudity[Brief graphic] nudity
Nudity[Graphic] nudity
Comic Mischief[Some] thematic elements
Crude Humor[Some] crude humor, [some] rude humor, [some/mild/brief] bodily humor
Mature Humor[Crude] sexual humor
Alcohol Reference[Brief] alcohol reference, [brief/some] alcohol material, [brief/some] alcohol content, sometimes paired with “some brief” or “some mild”
Tobacco Reference[Brief] tobacco reference(s), tobacco material, [brief/some] tobacco content, sometimes paired with “some brief” or “some mild”. Drug is in come cases used.
Drug Reference[Brief] drug reference(s), drug material, [brief/some] drug content, sometimes paired with “some brief” or “some mild” or “some mild”
Use of Alcohol[Some/Brief/Mild] drinking, [Some/Brief/Mild] alcohol use, [Some/Brief/Mild] alcohol use, sometimes paired with “some brief” or “some mild”
Use of Tobacco[Some/Brief/Mild] smoking, [Some/Brief/Mild] tobacco use, sometimes paired with “some brief” or “some mild”
Use of Drugs[Some/Brief/Mild] drug use, sometimes paired with “some brief” or “some mild” or “some mild”

There may be other descriptors; those are just some of the conversions I’ve put out. Why not try making your own?

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