Morality and Religion as factors in Age Rating Computer and Video Games: ESRA, the Iranian Games Age Rating System

  • Stefan Piasecki (Author)
    CVJM-Hochschule / YMCA University of Applied Sciences Handlungsfelder der Sozialen Arbeit / Medienpädagogik
  • Setareh Malekpour (Author)
    University of Tehran


ESRA, the Entertainment Software Rating Association, is the name of Iran’s computer games age rating system introduced in 2008 by its video game association IRCG. This new rating system is based on what this country deems as social, psychological and religious norms and values and is the only games age rating system in the Middle East. It is now by far the most developed age rating system in the Muslim world that is based on the Islamic laws.

But based on what criteria is this system working – compared with other systems like USK or IARC? What procedure games go through before being classified and labeled? What have been the effects of the Islamic rules on the rating of the video games? What are the merits and demerits of this relatively new system?


Video Games, Religion, Islam, Age Rating, IARC, ESRA, USK, Youth Protection