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Tokyo Government Requests Violent Game Labeling

Tokyo Government Requests Violent Game Labeling

October 13, 2005 | By Nich Maragos

October 13, 2005 | By Nich Maragos
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The U.S. isn't the only place where the idea of government control of violent games has taken root; several Japanese prefectures such as Osaka, Ishikawa, and Saitama have also floated bills to officially prevent minors from playing games with violent content. Now, the city government of Tokyo has taken up the torch in a new measure aimed at retailers to enact a new labeling standard.

As in the U.S., the violent content labels would be over and above the existing ratings system, known as CERO and applied by the Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association. CESA already took steps this summer to preemptively ensure that retailers would post signage and ask for ID for games rated 18. However, city officials said that "the system is no more than a rough measure that says a product could be appropriate for an approximate age group. The labeling doesn't indicate that any particular product is inappropriate for minors."

The city government will hold a meeting with retail representatives and software publishers on October 19th to notify them of the ordinance. Attendees will include CESA officials, electronic software retailers, and nine game producers, one of which will be Nintendo.

One chief difference between American and Japanese efforts is that so far, the city's measure will only require retailers to take the same measures, such as racking 18 and older games separately from the other titles, that the CESA already enforced earlier this summer. The decision to apply labels on top of existing CERO ratings would be left up to the CESA and retailers. "It's best to leave the judgment to the industry's voluntary efforts, city officials stressed.

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