Computer Entertainment Rating Organization
|Industry||Organization and rating system|
|Headquarters||Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan|
The Computer Entertainment Rating Organization (特定非営利活動法人コンピュータエンターテインメントレーティング機構 Tokutei Hieiri Katsudō Hōjin Konpyūta Entāteinmento Rētingu Kikō?) (CERO) is a Japanese entertainment rating organization based in Tokyo that rates video game content in console games with levels of rating that informs the customer of the nature of the product and for what age group it is suitable. It was established in July 2002 as a branch of Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association, and became an officially recognized nonprofit organization in 2003. Personal computer games (including dating sims, dōjin soft, eroge, and visual novels) are rated by a different organization, the Ethics Organization of Computer Software (EOCS).
On March 1, 2006, CERO implemented the latest revision of its ratings system. The symbols that CERO uses are stylized depictions of letters, meant to convey at a glance, a game's suitability for minors:
|All ages (全年齢対象 Zen nenrei taishō?)||Content is suitable for all ages. Contains no content that should offend children.|
|Ages 12 and up (12才以上対象 Jūnisai ijō taishō?)||Contains some content parents may not like for children under the age of 12. May contain mild sexual content, some violence, mild horror content or infrequent use of profanity.|
|Ages 15 and up (15才以上対象 Jūgosai ijō taishō?)||Some content may be inappropriate for children under the age of 15. May contain moderate sexual content, more violence, more horror content, mild gambling or more frequent use of profanity.|
|Ages 17 and up (17才以上対象 Jūnanasai ijō taishō?)||Contains some adult material. Children under the age of 17 may not buy games with this rating without permission. May contain strong sexual content, partial nudity, strong violence with blood and gore, more gambling, or strong profanity.|
|Ages 18 and up only (18才以上のみ対象 Jūhachisai ijō nomi taishō?)||Content is clearly adult. No one under 18 is allowed to buy video games with this rating. May contain prolonged scenes of intense violence with blood and gore, very strong sexual content or nudity, or very strong profanity. It is the only rating that is legally restricted.|
|Education/Database (教育・データベース Kyouiku Deitabeisu?)||A special rating applied only to non-game educational/utility software (e.g. Cookbooks) released on consoles. Despite having education on its name, it can still feature contents that might not be suitable for minors.|
|Rating pending (審査予定 Shinsa yotei?)||This game has not been assigned its final rating.|
|Demonstration (規定適合 Kitei tekigō?)||Applied only to trial versions of games, titles with this rating do not have all of the content featured in the final game. |
Contents descriptor icons
In April 2005, CERO defined the following "content descriptor icons". These icons are displayed on the back of all packages except on those rated "A" or "Education & Database".
|Contents description||Corresponding ratings|
|Use of alcohol or tobacco (of minor)|
|Use of drugs|
|Language or other|
According to Kazuya Watanabe, CERO's senior director, the group of assessors is composed of three "regular people, unaffiliated with the game industry". They are trained by rating past games. The ratings process is determined by 30 different types of content ranging from sexual content to violence. In addition six types of content are not allowed. Each content is rated using the A to Z scale that the labels use. After the group evaluates the game, the results are sent to CERO's main office where the final rating attempts to use the majority of the evaluators' ratings.
Scandals and controversy
|This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (September 2011)|
One month after the initial release of Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland, shipments of it were halted due to it having been mis-rated. It was re-released a few days later with a B rating from CERO. Its A (All Ages) rating was revoked and it was given a B (Ages 12+) rating instead, due to some provocative scenes featured in-game. One of these features several characters in a hot spring with their genitalia barely covered (i.e. hidden by towels and heavy steam effects) or their buttocks visible. There are also some cleavage shots and see-through articles of clothing throughout the game. The in-game camera can also be scrolled to view female characters' underwear (lingerie). The game was originally rated for all ages due to Gust allegedly not providing them with the complete content of the game for them to review.
- Gifford, Kevin (March 10, 2010). "All about Japan's Anti-Violence Game Rating System". 1UP.com. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
- "Atelier Meruru game held back in Japan due to rating". Anime News Network. 2011-10-24. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
- "Atelier Meruru PS3 RPG age rating changed to 12". Anime News Network. 2011-10-24. Retrieved 2011-11-01.