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Rating System

Age Rating System

The system is to indicate target ages of potential game players based on content and expressions of computer and video games. It endeavors to indicate age classification marks covering all the computer and video games for household use sold domestically. The system that started on October 1, 2002 is maintained and implemented by Computer Entertainment Rating Organization (abbreviated as CERO) established in June 2002.
An indicated "age classification mark" represents that the game has been reviewed according to the CERO Code of Ethics and that the game includes content suitable for the game players of the indicated age and above. The marks are to be used for informed purchasing decisions. 

1. Scope of Rating

The rating by CERO covers the computer and video games for household use (including cellular phone-type games) sold in Japan. It covers not only main stories but also all the recorded expressions such as hidden commands and tricks. Computer and video games for household use are the ones that are developed and sold for the following hardware devices. 
Sony Interactive Entertainment
Play Station 
Portable Play Station (including go)
Play Station 3
Play Station Vita
Play Station 4
Play Station 5
Nintendo 64
Nintendo GameCube
Game Boy
Game Boy Advance
Nintendo DS
Nintendo 3DS
New Nintendo 3DS
Nintendo Switch
BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
Wonder swan
Xbox 360
Xbox One
Xbox Series X| S 
Personal computer manufacturers
Personal computer
(the correspondence OS: a lot of Windows, a lot of MAC)
Cell-phone manufacturers
Cell-phone, smartphone
(the correspondence OS: Android, iOS, WindowsPhone)
Cloud game service providers
Cloud game service
(as of October, 2020 )

2. Categories of representation to be covered by rating

-- Sex-related expression type --
● kiss
● embrace
● underwear exposure
● sexual intercourse
● nudity
● sex-evoking expression
● adultery
● defecation
● sex entertainment industry 
● swimwear/costume
-- Violence expression type --
● description of animated blood
● description of mutilation/body-cutting 
● description of corpse 
● killing/wounding
● horror
● description of versus beat 'em-up game/fighting
-- Antisocial act expression type --
● description of crime
● controlled substance such as narcotics
● abuse
● illegal drinking/smoking 
● illegal gambling 
● incest, sexual crime, etc.
● providing/soliciting prostitution
● suicide/self-injury
● human trafficking, etc.
-- Language- and ideology-related expression type--
● Improper expressions related to language and ideology
Note: Each expression item has an upper limit, the content and expressions that exceed the upper limit are designated as "banned expressions," and the computer and video games that include the banned expressions will not be assigned a rating. (See Appendix 3, CERO Code of Ethics for the banned expressions.) 

3. CERO Rating Marks

"CERO rating marks" are grouped broadly into "age classification marks" and "other marks."
A. Age Classification Marks
Age classification marks include the following five marks. One of the marks is indicated on the left bottom of the game box front, and a corresponding color bar is also shown on the box spine. (Bar colors: black for "A"; green for "B"; blue for "C"; orange for "D"; red for "Z")
Note: Products indicated with the classification marks are being sold, the products having been rated according to the pre-revision criteria. 
"※Pre-Revision Age Classification Mark"
B. Other Marks
Other marks include three marks of "Educational/Database," "CERO Regulations-Compatible" used for trial versions, and "Rating Scheduled" used for promotion items that game publishers use for advertisements of their games being created (having yet to be reviewed at this point).
Irrelevant to CERO rating, cases have recently occurred in which a "rating mark" or a similar mark is indicated on product boxes in the market. Since such conduct confuses people and allows them misunderstand that the game in question has been assigned rating by CERO and infringes the Unfair Competition Prevention Law, please be reminded that such conduct should not be performed.

4. Content Icons

The rating mark is indicated on the game box front, and the content icon, on the back. Content icons represent that the age classification decision has been made based on the expressions belonging to one (or more) of the content icons. They are grouped into nine categories.

5. Rating Process

The flows from rating examination to age division mark indication are as follows.
1) Receive a request of the ethic examination of the game software from a software maker.
2) Plural judges examine it about expression contents about a work asked for.
※In 27 items of "the expression item which the rating is for 2", there is the upper limit in each expression item, and the expression item targeted for the examination does the expression contents more than the upper limits with prohibition expression and prevents you from giving software including the prohibition expression rating. 
3) Based on each examination result, decide age division.
4) Notify a software maker of a judgement result.
5) The software maker displays age division mark to a product based on a judgement result.
・The judge consists of the man and woman of various occupations from the public to 20s - 60s that raised widely, and beforehand training by CERO
 I receive it.
・The judge has confidentiality about examination contents in a registration system.
・The one related to the game industry does not adopt it to a judge.
・In the examination, I consider it so that the attributes such as sex or the generation of the judge do not have deflection.
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