I remember going through retail stores when I was younger and browsing Halo 2. I had played it at my friend's house recently and I was more than pumped to have my parents buy it for me. The only thing is, my parents were serious about game ratings and it was rated M for Mature.
I didn't own a Halo game for myself until Halo 3, in 2007, when I was twelve. To some, that may seem trivial, but when you're a young gamer and most of the titles you want have mature ratings, and all your friends can play them, but you can't, it becomes a big deal.
A major part of what goes into game ratings is the ESRB, or Entertainment Software Rating Board. It was started in the 90s after U.S. government investigations, following the release of games like Mortal Kombat, and is responsible for listing what all is involved in a video game before it launches.
NoClip, the games documentary team, just launched their nearly forty-five minute film onto their YouTube page. Covering ESRB history and interviewing a select few members, viewers get to check out what goes into the ratings process, and even the fact that the ESRB viewed games through VHS all the way up until 2008. The documentary covers more than just history though, going all the way to its current controversy that has players wanting it to weigh in on lootboxes.
Check it out.