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What Kind of Video Games Is Your Child Playing?

video game rating

Parenting is not an easy task, but at least school is there to take the kids away for a few hours each day. That helps. However, summer is now here and the kids are free from school for the season. It can be tough for parents to figure out how to keep their kids busy and entertained over the summer.

Nowadays, many kids are easily entertained with a video game of some sort. Luckily, there are plenty of games to choose from to keep the kiddies entertained. However, a parent needs to make sure that the game their kid is playing is appropriate for them. Some parents don’t realize that there is a way to determine what is in a game without having to play it.

How to Rate a Game

Video games come in all sorts of “shapes and sizes.” There truly is something for everyone, so long as they are willing to look for the right game. One of the ways that people can tell what is in a game, aside from reading the back of the box, is to look at the rating system. Every single game in the United States has a rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).

The ESRB is tasked with providing consumers with the information to determine what kind of audience the game is made for. The ESRB examines a game and determines if its content is meant more for kids, or adults. Once a decision has been decided on for a game, the game receives a letter rating.

While some people may be confused by the letter system used for rating video games, it is actually pretty straightforward. The following letters can be used for ratings:

  • EC – EC stands for early childhood and are usually meant as educational games for very young kids. This rating isn’t used much in most games.
  • E – E stands for everyone, meaning that the game is suitable for all ages. An E game can contain minimal cartoon, fantasy, mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language. Games like Pokémon fall into this category.
  • E10+ – E10+ stands for everyone age ten and up. These games can contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes. Minecraft falls into this category.
  • T – T stands for teen, meaning the game is meant for anyone 13 and older. These games can contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language. The popular battle royal style game Fortnite falls into this category.
  • M – M stands for mature, meaning a player should be 17 or older to buy or play the game. These games contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language. Any first-person shooter (FPS) game, like Call of Duty, typically fits into this category.
  • AO – AO stands for adults only, meaning a person should be 18 or older to play the game. Admittedly, this rating is very rarely used. These games can contain prolonged scenes of intense violence, graphic sexual content and/or gambling with real currency.
  • RP – RP stands for rating pending, meaning the game hasn’t gotten an official rating yet. This is usually seen on adds for games long before their official release and therefore will never be on a game once it is available to purchase.
  • More information can be found on the ESRB website, as well as a helpful lookup tool, here.

    Be Wary of Loot Boxes

    Another thing a parent should be wary of in their child’s games, are loot boxes. Loot boxes are highly controversial at the moment with many people debating whether or not they constitute gambling.

    Loot boxes typically work as follows: A player acquires a box in game, sometimes by earning, though usually through purchasing the box with real world money. The player then opens the box is given a random in-game reward. If a player didn’t get the reward they wanted, they can always purchase another loot box to try again. This can very quickly add up to a lot of money.

    Some popular games that include loot boxes include:

    • Apex Legends
    • Counter-Strike
    • FIFA
    • Fortnite
    • Overwatch
    • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
    • Star Wars Battlefront 2

    Due to these questionable practices, many governments around the world are weighing in on whether or not loot boxes count as gambling. Until governments can come to any sort of decision on this front, parents should pay attention to games with these, as kids have been known to use their parent’s credit cards to buy a lot of these loot boxes.

    Pay Close Attention

    Video games can be a great way to keep a child entertained this summer, so long as a parent is aware of what games their letting their child play. When a parent buys a game for their child, they need to make sure that the game is appropriate. If they don’t want their child seeing anything super violent, then M rated games are out of the picture. No cartoon violence, then T games are out as well. E and E10+ games are usually a safe bet for young children.

    Unfortunately, if a parent wants to avoid games with loot boxes, they are going to have to a look a little more closely at the rating box on the game’s case. Loot boxes themselves don’t currently affect a game’s rating with the ESRB, however they should be listed next to the games rating under the category of in-game purchases.

    Do you have a favorite child appropriate game? If so, share it in the comments below and help other parents find a good game for their child this summer.

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    Reckless Driving in Los Angeles and California

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    Recently, a video surfaced of a group of cars taking over an intersection in South Los Angeles late one night. The video shows at least three separate vehicles doing doughnuts through the intersection at the same time. Meanwhile, spectators look on from the sidewalks, some dangerously close to the vehicles.

    To some people, this may look like fun, but most others see that this is a very dangerous. Not only did this block traffic in the intersection, but it put many people in danger. While it is unclear if any arrests were made in relation to this incident, it is likely that if any of the drivers were caught, they would have been charged with reckless driving.

    California Vehicle Code 23103 makes it a crime for any person to drive their vehicle in a reckless fashion with complete disregard to the safety of any nearby people or property. This is exactly what the people in the video were doing. They were driving in a reckless fashion with complete disregard for any of the bystanders, some of which came with inches of the fast moving vehicles.

    The penalties for reckless driving in California include a fine and possible jail time. The severity of these consequences is dependent on whether the crime is charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony. In most cases, reckless driving is a misdemeanor offense that comes with 5 to 90 days in a county jail and/or a fine of no more than $1,000. However, if a person is injured as a result of the reckless driving, the person will likely face felony charges. These charges are much steeper and can include up to a 3 year stay in jail, and/or a max fine of $10,000. Regardless of how it is charged, reckless driving also adds 2 points to a driver’s license.

    Driving a vehicle erratically can be very dangerous for both the driver and pedestrians. The video in questions shows multiple instances where a driver almost hit a pedestrian which would have carried serious consequences.

    llegal Fireworks within California

    Illegal Fireworks within California

    llegal Fireworks within California

    The Fourth of July is coming up, and it’s an exciting time to let your American spirit fly. It feels like just yesterday we were talking about Valentine’s Day and recommending great date ideals. Now we’re here gearing up to get as patriotic a possible. What better way to enjoy being an American than by dressing up in the flag and setting off fireworks.

    Fireworks are exciting, but can be dangerous. Here in California, certain fireworks are banned for the public’s safety. The list of banned fireworks is long, but it’s all in the public’s best interest. California is a very populated state, as well as one of the driest. Fireworks going wrong can result in a large fire, and deaths. Rules regarding where you can set fireworks off vary from city to city. Some towns don’t even allow their residents to set off fireworks. The following are the banned fireworks in California:

    • Firecrackers.
    • Skyrockets.
    • Rockets.
    • Roman candles.
    • Chasers.
    • All wire & wooden stick sparklers.
    • Surprise items.
    • Friction items.
    • Torpedoes.
    • Firework kits.
    • Fireworks containing arsenic, phosphorus, thiocyanates magnesium (magnesium-aluminum alloys permitted ), mercury salts, picrates or picric acid, gallates or gallic acid, chlorates (with few excepts), boron, titanium (except particle sizes larger than 100 mesh), zirconium, gunpowder, and fireworks kits.

    There are a lot of restrictions when it comes to setting off fireworks in California. For starters you can’t even purchase fireworks unless your 16 years or older. Fireworks are considered illegal, unless you have special permit. You can also only find fireworks being sold from June 28 to July 6. That’s why you can’t find fireworks year round.

    If you decide to let your American spirit go out of control, you’ll probably land in some big trouble. California takes their laws regarding fireworks very seriously. However, most firework violations typically result in misdemeanors, which can result in up to one year in county jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines. Having a large quantity of fireworks that are considered dangerous without the proper permits can result in a felony. Receiving a felony charge can result in three years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

    Fireworks sometimes feel like an American staple. In order to be considered an American, you must enjoy fireworks on the Fourth of July. Fireworks are mind blowing contraptions that excite us with their danger and beauty. However, we need to remember that while we go full blown American, we need take precautions. We need to be aware of the safety of others as we set off fireworks.

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    At What Age Can You Leave Your Child Alone

    when to leave child alone

    Every parent has been there. They need to quickly run into town for something such as a gallon of milk, an emergency dental appointment, or to pick up something from work. You don’t want to bring your child with you, but you’re not sure if you’re legally allowed to leave them at home.

    California’s Laws About Leaving Children Home Alone

    At this moment, the State of California doesn’t have any actual laws that deal how old your child has to be before you can leave them unattended while you run to the store. The only states that currently have such laws are Maryland, Illinois, and Oregon. However, that doesn’t mean you’re free to leave your two-year-old in the crib while you nip out for a quick breakfast.

    California law makers believe that it should be up to the parent to decide at what age their child is responsible enough to care for themselves while home alone. The states that do have laws have set that age from 10-12. Child care experts are quick to point out that it should be determined from one child to another.

    It’s also worth noting that there’s a big difference between leaving a ten-year-old home alone while you make a quick dash to the store and leaving them alone while you go on an overnight trip with friends.

    Other factors that should be taken into consideration include:

  • How safe a neighborhood you live in
  • Whether there’s anyone in the area that will keep half an eye on your child and property while you’re out of town
  • If the child has enough safe activities to keep them busy and out of trouble.
  • Alternatives to Leaving Your Child Home Alone

    If you are in a position do to work or another commitment where you can’t routinely be with your child when they get home from school, most child care experts suggest looking for an after-school activity that they can participate in rather than leaving them to fend for themselves. Good choices include art classes, school sports, and organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club. Another option is working out a deal with one of your child’s friends parents in which they watch your child for a few hours each week in exchange for you taking over other responsibilities.

    Keep in mind that if your child gets into trouble because you have left them home alone, the law could consider you both criminally and civilly responsible for their actions.

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    Being a Single Dad

    difficulties of being a single dad

    We live in a world where we preach independence. We want independence from everyone and if someone says we can’t do something, we prove them wrong. When people say you can’t raise a child without being married, you prove them wrong. There is nothing wrong with being a single mother and to all those single moms out there, you’re killing it. Single moms get their holiday in May; single dads also get their holiday in June. Father Day is coming up on June 17th, and it’s time that we give them some recognition as well.

    Being a single father is a taboo thing. It’s a foreign concept to most people. After all, why wouldn’t the mother be in the picture? We’re not surprised when a father is absent in a child’s life, but when a mother is gone, we can’t believe it. Maybe it’s because as children we’ve seen movies where the only reason why a mom is out of the picture is because of some tragic death or possibly because she is in jail. This could be the case for some, but not all. Let’s face it, some people aren’t meant to be parents, while others are destined to be both parents.

    Single fathers are just like single mothers. Society, family, friends, and even their kids will challenge them. Whatever the reason is for being a single parent, you know that you’re doing it for your kid. You are accepting the responsibility to play both roles in your child’s life. You realize that you family is going to critique your methods. Your kid’s teacher may suggest that because of you, just child doesn’t understand math. Your friends will be put off at time when you can’t go out because your child is sick and the sitter canceled. The worst part of it all will be when your kid is mad at you, because they can only be mad at you.

    Those are some of the challenges a single father will face, but it isn’t all-bad. Being a single father is not a death sentence. Through all the unwanted advice and exhaustion you’ll find a rhythm. As a single father, you still have a lot to offer your kids. You’re showing your kid love in another way. You’re showing them perseverance. Life may not always go as planned, but you’ve got them. As a single father you get a front row seat to watch your kids grow into adults.

    Fathers typically provide for and discipline their children. The mother generally is the nurturer of the family. However, having two parents is becoming a rarity in the world around us. Wherever you’re the mother is, whether that be in jail, or out of the picture indefinitely, just know that you are capable of providing everything your child needs. As long as you provide your kids with love, they will be appreciative of you this Father’s Day.

    Staying--Safe-on-Winter-Roads

    Staying Safe on Winter Roads

    Staying--Safe-on-Winter-Roads

    As a kid, winter is a lot of fun. Winter brings storms, which in turn bring snow which can lead to extra days off from school, and all the while, the thought of Christmas is hanging in the air. While this is all great as a kid, as an adult things prove to be a little more difficult, especially when it comes to snow.

    Driving can already be a bit of a hassle, thanks to the increase in traffic, but the bad weather can make things worse. Driving in the rain or snow can be dangerous if a person is not prepared, or lacks any experience with the matter.

    To help take care of that, here are some winter driving tips.

    • Slow down on wet roads. Water on the roads can reduce friction, which will make it easy for cars to slide across the road without any control when at high speeds. Slowing down just a little bit can reduce the chances of this happening to you. If the vehicle you are driving starts to hydroplane, do not slam on the brakes as doing so will take away what little control you have. Instead, take your foot of the gas pedal and let the vehicle slow naturally. Once it slows enough, the tires will regain traction and you will have control of the vehicle again.
    • Slow everything down on frozen roads. Snow and ice reduce the grip your tires can get on roads far more than water. To compensate for this, a person needs to not only drive slower, but accelerate and brake at a slower pace as well. Accelerating too quickly can cause a car to spin out, while braking too suddenly will cause the car to slide.
    • Always use headlights. Headlights not only allow you to see better while driving, they allow other drivers to see you better. This can help prevent other cars from hitting you when visibility is low.
    • The best advice for driving in bad weather, is to avoid driving in bad weather. When the weather is bad, a person should only head out on the road if they absolutely have to. If they can avoid going out, they should.

    By following these tips, you will be able to stay safe on the roads this winter.


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    Bailing Someone Out Is Easier Than You Think

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    If this is your first time attempting to bail someone out of jail, you are probably curious as to how the bail process works. Bail is not a topic of conversation that comes up in normal situations. This leads to many people not knowing how bail works. Luckily, the experts here at Penny Bail Bonds in Redlands know everything there is to know about bail.

    To start, bail is assigned to a person after they are arrested. A judge determines the bail amount based off of several factors. These factors are:

    • The crime committed.
    • The person’s criminal record.
    • The chance of the person running when out on bail.
    • The threat the person may present to the community.

    The judge uses these factors to determine the person’s bail amount.

    Once a person has been assigned bail, he or she can be bailed out of jail. This can be done one of 2 ways. Either the full bail amount can be paid to the court, or the person can hire a bail agent. If a person decides to pay the bail themselves, they will need to pay the full amount of the bail in cash to the court. At the end of the trial, the money will be returned to the person who paid it.

    If the person hires a bail agent, they will not have to pay the full amount of the bail. Instead, they will only have to pay 10% of the bail to their bail agent. The agent will take care of the rest. The upside to hiring a bail agent, the person gets more flexible payment options with a smaller amount of money being owed. The downside, the money paid to the bail agent will not be returned at the end of the trial. This is because the money is considered payment for the agent’s services, which were completed once the person was bailed out of jail.

    Bailing someone out of jail can be really easy, so long as you get a bail bond from a professional company like Penny Bail Bonds in Redlands. We offer discounts for qualified clients and personalized payment plans for all of our clients. Coming to us for help is easier and much more affordable than paying for the bail on your own.


    You can talk to a bail agent right now by calling 866-736-6977 or by clicking Chat With Us now.


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    Strange Laws from Around the US

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    As many people are aware, not every law is a good law. There are some very strange and obscure laws out there. Every single state in the country has some weird law that would make a person wonder why it even exists.

    Here are a few examples:

    • Whistling while underwater is prohibited in West Virginia.
    • In Maine, you may not step out of a plain that is currently in flight.
    • In Delaware, it is illegal to fly over any body of water unless one is caring sufficient amounts of food and drink.
    • Prisoners in Louisiana who hurt themselves can end up serving an additional 2 years in jail.
    • Women in Vermont have to get permission from their husband in order to wear false teeth.
    • It is illegal to teach others what polygamy in Mississippi.

    These are just a sampling of weird laws from around the country. For something a little closer to home, check out some of these weird California laws.

    • Women may not drive in a house coat.
    • Animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship.
    • Bathhouses are illegal.
    • In Baldwin Park, nobody is allowed to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool.
    • Blythe residents are not allowed to wear cowboys unless they own more than 2 cows.

    As you can see, there are strange laws all over the US. It doesn’t matter what state a person lives in, there is undoubtedly some bizarre law that makes no sense. Luckily, most law enforcement agencies would not arrest someone for breaking these weird laws, although it could lead to being a great story later in life.


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    What Is Traffic School?

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    If you have ever gotten a ticket for a moving violation, you may have been given the option to attend traffic school. If you did this, then the ticket would have been dismissed and you would not get any points on your driving record. While it may not be the most fun, taking traffic school is something everyone should consider.

    There are 3 main reasons for attending traffic school:

    • Dismissing a traffic ticket
    • Avoiding points on your driving record
    • Avoiding an increase in car insurance

    When a person attends a traffic school, they are taught the basics in road safety. These courses are usually certified by the DMV to ensure that they are teaching their students properly. The courses cover topics such as California road laws, defensive driving, and driving tips. In California, drivers have the option to take the course online or in a classroom. The classes usually take around 6 hours to complete, and conclude with a final exam that must be passed.

    If you have received a ticket for a moving violation, you may be able to take a traffic school course to dismiss the ticket. However, this can only happen if:

    • You have a valid driver’s license
    • The violation was not in a commercial vehicle
    • The offense was not a misdemeanor
    • The offense was not alcohol related
    • Traffic school was not taken in the last year and a half to dismiss another ticket

    If you do not meet all of those, you will have to handle the traffic ticket the normal way.

    Aside from taking traffic school to avoid a ticket, you can also take it to try and lower your insurance rates. Some auto insurance companies offer safe driver discounts for their clients who have attended a defensive driving course. To find out if you can get a discount like this, contact your auto insurance company.


    Attending a traffic school for the day may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but it can save you some money and help keep your driving record clean. If you are ever given the opportunity to attend a traffic school or defensive driving program to dismiss a ticket, consider taking it.


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    Falsely Reporting a Crime

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    Just like it is a crime to falsely dial 9-1-1, it is also a crime to falsely report a crime in California. It is one thing to be innocently mistaken that a crime is taking, has taken, or is about to take place. In this case, the person reporting the false crime may not be charged because they were misled. However, it is another thing to purposely report a crime that you know for a fact never happened.

    There are many reasons a person would want to falsely report a crime, including getting revenge on someone they are mad at, to scare someone or make them feel threatened, to do a prank, or trying to make a profit from another individual because of a fake kidnapping, for instance.


    Anyone who falsely reports a crime to the police, the grand jury, a prosecutor, and 9-1-1 operators can be charged with a misdemeanor. If the charge ends up with a conviction, the person will pay up to a $1,000 fine and spend up to 6 months in jail.


    When deciding what the exact punishment will be, the judge will consider if and how others were affected by the false report, whether they have a prior criminal history, and their intentions behind filing the false report.

    As with any situation, each false report will be treated differently. Some are given more leeway than others, depending on the circumstances. All reports of crime are taken seriously to start out, but if it turns out to be a false report, then that is where problems for the person who made the report begin to arise. By investigating the false report, police exhaust their energy, resources, and time when they could have been attending to more serious situations and helping others who really are in need of assistance. A person who purposely delays real emergencies will be punished.