XNA Creators Club game ratings categories

jwatte's picture

I realized that there is no available description of the different XNA game ratings other than on the actual game submit and review forms, which aren't easily found through search engines (and require sign-up and attempted game submissions to actually get to read). So here are an excerpt of the descriptions, as of 2008-12-18:



What was the impact of blood in the game?

  1. This means there was no blood in the game at all.
  2. Users can see sporting or arcade game play with violence but no blood or gore.
  3. This means human/non-human blood is shed as a result of injuries in a realistic manner but not throughout the game.
  4. This means you see definitely see blood spattering or pools of blood; bloody imagery is shown throughout the game, to include sporting or arcade game play as well as more realistic depictions of violence.


This rates the game for its measure of cruelty experienced during game play by the player or others.

  1. This means there was no cruelty at all in the game.
  2. This means the game contains verbal mocking or taunts, but no physical cruelty
  3. This means your character causes or sees gratuitous insults, bullying, intimidation or otherwise violent or emotional abuse of a position of power. You or other characters leave innocents or bystanders slightly injured but not dead.
  4. This means your character or others participate in purposeful severe injury/killing of otherwise innocent bystanders outside of designated game combat. If someone dies as an innocent bystander as a result of your actions, it can be rated no less than 3.


What were the amount and intensity of injuries witnessed or experienced by your character in the game?

  1. This means no creature or character is injured during game play.
  2. Injuries in the game are either to non-human characters, non-detailed human-like characters, or to fantasy characters (dragons, etc). Injuries to human characters are either implied or not shown. Injuries may be set in a cartoon, slapstick or child-like setting.
  3. The game contains realistic violence against fantasy characters, or non-realistic violence towards human/animal like characters. This category also includes minor assaults on humanlike characters that don't result in obvious injury being shown.
  4. This means sustained depictions of dismemberment, maiming, decapitation, or mutilation occurs to human or animal-like character. Your humanlike character or others die in the game and it's particularly realistic, or your character/others suffer very gory wounds constantly during game play.


partial nudity

This score rates the game for the frequency and presence of partial nudity in the game play.

  1. No depictions of the human body partially unclothed, whether as art or game characters
  2. Gym clothes level of modesty (shorts and tank top). You see some skin, but nothing startling.
  3. Male or female buttocks exposed for brief periods of time, partial female breast exposed for small periods of time. A thong or bikini worn by a character for a brief period would fall into this category.
  4. Partial breast exposure for prolonged periods of time, male/female buttocks exposed in a prolonged or unavoidable fashion in the game.

sexual overtones

What is the frequency/pervasiveness of sexual overtones during game play?

  1. This means there are no sexual overtones to the game
  2. The game contains indirect or light verbal references to kissing or hugging. There is no reference to sexual words or imagery, or sex and romance are very peripheral to the game play.
  3. Direct verbal references to romance, characters kissing or hugging, sexual overtones are part of the game. A game where your character is required to ask another out on a date would be rated no less than a 2.
  4. The game contains words or activities that amount to obvious sexual innuendo or mildly explicit sexual descriptions or images or sexual posturing.

Mature Content


How is crime featured in this game?

  1. There are no references to crime in the game.
  2. Criminal activities may be briefly mentioned or non-essential to the storyline.
  3. Criminal activities are more relevant to the story and are presented unfavorably. Crime does not pay in this game.
  4. Crime is glamorized in this game and much of the storyline of the game centers around criminal acts and organizations. Crime DOES pay in the game.


This score rates the experience of fear or horror during game play. This means the game offered situations that cause fear or terror in the player.

  1. This means there was no fear or horror as part of the game play experience
  2. The scenery of the game includes a setting of fear or horror (vampires, ghosts, and zombies) but would not be scary to young children.
  3. Primary theme of the game will frighten younger children. Game play is menacing and can be aggressive.
  4. Express purpose of the game is to create terror in the player (the game is the equivalent of a horror movie).


Please rate the game you have chosen according to its depictions of gambling.

  1. This means there is no depiction of gambling activity in the game.
  2. This means there is "fantasy gambling" not associated with real-world games of chance (racing cars to win "pink slips").
  3. This means during game play you must participate in-game illegal gambling, or organized commercial gambling (example: your character visits a casino during one level or wagers on a gladiator ring). Betting or gambling is simply part of the general storyline.
  4. This means that gambling is the primary game experience (the game simulates a slot machine, poker, etc) and the game actually teaches you how to gamble (play poker, roulette, etc).

offensive language

What level of offensive language was present in the game?

  1. This means there was no offensive or potentially offensive language
  2. This means you encountered mean-spirited or demeaning language during game play but no vulgarity or profanity ("You jerk!").
  3. There was occasional profanity or vulgarity in the game but it wasn't a common experience.
  4. Mild swearing, or expletives were present in the game.

substance use

Substances are items used by characters purposefully to change mental state or support chemical addictions.

  1. This means there are no substances present in the game.
  2. This means you saw/heard references to alcohol, tobacco or drugs or other substances but no physical presence of any of these
  3. There are objects in the game that can be used like a drug and are available to your character or others.
  4. The game contains depictions of the use of illegal drugs or encouragement of the use of tobacco or alcohol, or the character gains advantage in the game by the use of tobacco, alcohol or drugs.

Note that Microsoft may change these ratings levels in the future. Your best bet is to look at the Submission or Review process pages on http://creators.xna.com/ when time comes to submit or rate your game. I'm aware of no simpler listing of these categories on the Microsoft site for reference, though.