Brazilian Advisory Rating System
The Advisory Rating Coordination (Portuguese: Coordenação de Classificação Indicativa, abbreviated COCIND) of the Department of Justice, Rating, Titles and Qualification (Departamento de Justiça, Classificação, Títulos e Qualificação, Dejus) is responsible for the Advisory Rating (Classificação Indicativa, ClassInd) of movies, games and television programs in Brazil. The governmental organization is established on the National Secretary of Justice (Secretaria Nacional de Justiça) of the Brazilian Ministry of Justice.
The staff consists of about 30 people, including raters and the administrative staff, having passed public service exams, with various academic backgrounds. These content rating analysts undergo continuous training, and never affix a rating individually. All works are watched by at least two analysts separately and if there is no consensus, the analysis group is broadened.
Analyses and criteria
The criteria that guide the public policy of the content rating are supported under 3 broad themes - Sex, Drugs and Violence, content considered inappropriate to the upbringing of children and adolescents. The analysis is made counterbalancing the frequency, relevance, context, intensity and importance to the plot of scenes, dialogues and images containing violence, drug use and sex/nudity. This margin of subjectivity ensures flexibilities that are critical to the process and the rating result. The analyses consist of three steps: factual description, thematic description and age grading. When the process is finished, it is subjected to the coordination, and finally to the director of the department, who makes the order for publication on the Brazilian Official Journal, along with small content descriptors. The criteria for rating the works were developed taking into account national and international studies and public hearings in all regions across Brazil, including public debates, both face-to-face and online.
Aiming to provide an instrument for the choice of the family, the Practical Guide was created, which claims to bring transparency and objectivity to the public policy of the content rating, showing detailed analysis criteria, subdivided by age groups. They can serve broadcasters, producers and distributors of movies and games and also families and society in general.
The objectivity of the analysis departs from moral considerations and moralistic views. The Dejus specifically cited that sexual orientation does not aggravate the rating and that, in fact, showing material of respect and encouragement to diversity can attenuate the rating. They also specified that their job is to give an advisory rating for parents, therefore, they do not have any legal right to ban, demand cuts or refuse to rate any work.
Movies and TV programs
People under the minimum age indicated by the rating can watch the movie and/or TV program accompanied by their parents, except for 18-rated movies on the cinemas. Films for cinema and DVD/Blu-ray releases are previously rated by the Dejus. TV programs are rated by their own broadcasters and therefore the rating can be accepted or denied if considered inappropriate.
Games are rated in Brazil by the Dejus since October 2001. The growing game market in Brazil needed bigger control over the countless games sold in the country every day. It was introduced by Senator José Gregori.
The American system that was being used by some Brazilian distributors, from Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), was not translated from English or adapted to the Brazilian culture, being inappropriate for the Brazilian market and leaving most consumers uninformed.
Between October 2002 and September 2004, the Dejus analyzed and rated over 2,100 electronic games for both computer and video game consoles.
The game rating system is the same of the film and television rating system. Rating is mandatory for all games released in Brazil. A consequence, is that several online stores (such as the PlayStation Network or iTunes Store) do not sell games, or are not even available to Brazil.
NOTE: There are also operational descriptions of attenuating and aggravating elements, such as scene composition, relevance, frequency, motivation, among others, that can interfere on the final rating.
Information on the rating system includes content descriptors which are a summary of the main rating indicators inserted in the work rated. The list of descriptors explains the rating system and also informs parents and guardians about the type of content that the work contains. For instance, a work rated as “10 years old” and with the descriptor “Violence” will contain light violent scenes, while a work rated as “16 years old” and the same descriptor will show stronger violent scenes. Below is a list of the twelve terms used in the rating system:
- Violência (Violence);
- Violência Extrema (Extreme Violence);
- Conteúdo Sexual (Sexual Content);
- Nudez (Nudity);
- Sexo (Sex);
- Sexo Explícito (Explicit Sex);
- Drogas (Drugs);
- Drogas Lícitas (Legal Drugs);
- Drogas Ilícitas (Illegal Drugs);
- Linguagem Imprópria (Inappropriate Language);
- Atos Criminosos (Criminal Acts);
- Conteúdo Impactante (Shocking Content).
Requesting a rating
In order to request a Qualification Rating, one will have to provide a documentation (in a Portuguese-language form) which explains why a media (game/TV show, etc.) is recommended or not to a certain rating. A preview of that media is also compulsory to avoid mistakes during media verification.
The document will have to be sent to the Department. There's no fee to get the rating and the process from the documents reception to the official rating can take about 20 days.
- Practical Guide Content Rating (PDF)
- Dejus page (in Portuguese)
- Rated movies and games database (in Portuguese)
- Links to the needed forms (in Portuguese)