I feel it was quite essential to my character design rearching the different types of game rating systems, and understanding what conventions each follow, in order to apply my own character/game into a catagory. This will obviously affect the character greatly, as certaint styles/ may appear offensive to a certain audience.
ESRB Rating Symbols:
Titles rated EC (Early Childhood) have content that may be suitable for ages 3 and older. Contains no material that parents would find inappropriate.
Sesame Street: Cookie's Counting Carnival
Titles rated E (Everyone) have content that may be suitable for ages 6 and older. Titles in this category may contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
Little Big Planet
Titles rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) have content that may be suitable for ages 10 and older. Titles in this category may contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
Monkey Island 2
KIDS TO ADULTS
Titles rated "Kids to Adult (K-A)" have content that may be suitable for persons ages six and older. These titles will appeal to people of many ages and tastes. They may contain minimal violence, some comic mischief (for example, slapstick comedy), or some crude language.
Mario Kart 64
Titles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.
Final Fantasy 13
Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
Titles rated AO (Adults Only) have content that should only be played by persons 18 years and older. Titles in this category may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity.
Titles listed as RP (Rating Pending) have been submitted to the ESRB and are awaiting final rating. (This symbol appears only in advertising prior to a game's release.)
From this point onwards, I will begin to narrow down my audience, by researching firstly into what games fall into these catagory's, and thereafter finding a suitable audience to aim my character/game at, collecting images and reference from other examples already in that area, and finally putting together an influence map to help retain certain styles/themes.
Here is a useful, official age rating website that will help me narrow my search down: