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Video game content rating system

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An example of different rating systems on video game discs which is common practice in Europe and Australia. From top left to down right: the Russian video game rating system, the European PEGI system, the German USK, all sharing the same age classification on this example game.
An example of different rating systems on video game discs which is common practice in Europe and Australia. From top left to down right: the Russian video game rating system, the European PEGI system, the German USK, all sharing the same age classification on this example game.

A video game content rating system is a system used for the classification of video games based on suitability for target audiences. Most of these systems are associated with and/or sponsored by a government, and are sometimes part of the local motion picture rating system. The utility of such ratings has been called into question by studies that publish findings such as 90% of teenagers claim that their parents "never" check the ratings before allowing them to rent or buy video games,[1] and as such, calls have been made to "fix" the existing rating systems.[2][3] Video game content rating systems can be used as the basis for laws that cover the sales of video games to minors, such as in Australia. Rating checking and approval is part of the game localization when they are being prepared for their distribution in other countries or locales. These rating systems have also been used to voluntarily restrict sales of certain video games by stores, such as the German retailer Galeria Kaufhof's removal of all video games rated 18+ by the USK following the Winnenden school shooting.[4]

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Content rating

Content rating

A content rating rates the suitability of TV shows, movies, comic books, or video games to this primary targeted audience. A content rating usually places a media source into one of a number of different categories, to show which age group is suitable to view media and entertainment. The individual categories include the stated age groups within the category, along with all ages greater than the ages of that category.

Video game

Video game

Video games, also known as computer games, are electronic games that involve interaction with a user interface or input device – such as a joystick, controller, keyboard, or motion sensing device – to generate audiovisual feedback. This feedback is most commonly shown on a video display device, such as a TV set, monitor, touchscreen, or virtual reality headset. Some computer games do not always depend on a graphics display; for example, text adventure games and computer chess can be played through teletype printers. Video games are often augmented with audio feedback delivered through speakers or headphones, and sometimes with other types of feedback, including haptic technology.

Winnenden school shooting

Winnenden school shooting

The Winnenden school shooting occurred on the morning of 11 March 2009 at the Albertville-Realschule, a secondary school in Winnenden, southwestern Germany, followed by a shootout at a car dealership in nearby Wendlingen. The shooting spree resulted in 16 deaths, including the suicide of the perpetrator, 17-year-old Tim Kretschmer, who had graduated from the school a year earlier. Nine people were injured during the incident.

Comparison table

A comparison of current video game rating systems, showing age on the horizontal axis. Note however that the specific criteria used in assigning a classification can vary widely from one country to another. Thus a color code or age range cannot be directly compared from one country to another.

Key:

  •  White No restrictions: Suitable for all ages / Aimed at young audiences / Exempt / Not rated / No applicable rating.
  •  Yellow No restrictions: Parental guidance is suggested for designated age range.
  •  Purple No restrictions: Not recommended for a younger audience but not restricted.
  •  Red Restricted: Parental accompaniment required for younger audiences.
  •  Black Prohibitive: Exclusively for older audience / Purchase age-restricted / Banned.
Country/System 0/1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Other Notes
App Store (iOS/iPadOS) 4+
(aged 5 and under)
4+
(ages 6–8)
9+ 12+ 17+ No Rating Ratings are required for applications to be released or sold on the App Store. The 4+ rating is divided into three sub-categories: aged 5 and under, 6–8 and 9–11. 17+ rated applications/games can only be purchased with an Apple ID belonging to a person of that age or over.[5]
4+
(ages 9–11)
Argentina ATP +13 +18 N/A Adopted on 15 October 2005.
Australia G M R 18+ RC The restricted categories are MA 15+ and R 18+, the latter was introduced at the start of 2013.
PG MA 15+ CTC
Brazil L 10 12 14 16 18 N/A The same rating system is used for television and motion pictures in Brazil.
Chile TE 8+ 14+ 18+ Educational Some games use this rating system rather than the ESRB.
China N/A 8+ 12+ 16+ N/A Applies to games with online components.
ESRB
 Canada
 United States of America
E E10+ T M AO RP This was adopted in 1994 in the United States, most of Canada, and Mexico. The AO rating is the only rating that is legally restricted (except in the United States). The ESRB Retail Council “Ratings Education and Enforcement Code” requires that AO-rated games are not supplied to minors, and that M-rated games are not supplied to customers under the age of 17 unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.[6]
eC RP
Likely M17+
Germany 0 6 12 16 18 BPjM restricted The USK system is also mandatory in Salzburg, Austria.
No labelling StGB confiscated (Banned)
Hong Kong I
(Neither obscene nor indecent)
II(alert)
Inelegant
III(prohibit)
Obscenity
Hong Kong and Macau have no game classification system, but for games that are not suitable for minors, there must be warnings.Among them, there is no specific legal provisions, registration and / or licenses in Hong Kong, operate and release mobile games and online computer games.Any items that appear in the game are subject to "obscene and indecent item control regulations"
IARC N/A 3+ 7+ 12+ 16+ 18+ N/A These ratings are used in most countries that aren't represented by or don't have any rating authority.[7]
Indonesia SU 3+ 7+ 13+ 18+ N/A
Iran N/A +3 +7 +12 +15 +18 N/A Some games are forbidden. Games with extreme violence, explicit sexual content or explicit nudity are prohibited.
Japan
CERO
A B C D Z 審査予定 These ratings have been used since March 1, 2006. The Z rating is the only rating that is legally restricted.
Japan
EOCS
G 12 15 18 N/A This rating system is used for PC games only.
Mexico A B B15 C P Established in May 27, 2021.
D
New Zealand G R13 R15 M R18 Objectionable Games with an unrestricted label in Australia can carry Australian classification labels, but New Zealand labels are required if the game is restricted (MA15+ or R18+) in Australia or is classified RC.
PG R16
PEGI
 Europe except for Germany and Russia
 Israel
3 7 12 16 18 N/A Legally enforced in some countries (but not all).
7 12 16 18
Russia 0+ 6+ 12+ 16+ 18+ N/A These ratings have been used since 1 September 2012. The same rating system is used for television, motion pictures, and publications in Russia.
Samsung Galaxy Store All 4+ 12+ 16+ 18+ Banned
Saudi Arabia N/A 3 7 12 16 18 Banned Adopted in 2016.[8]
Singapore G ADV16 M18 Refused classification Adopted on 28 April 2008.
Slovakia "Teddy bear's head" 12 15 18 N/A Ratings -7, 7+, 12+ and 15+ imply that game is educational.
U 7
-7 7+ 12+ 15+
South Africa PG 7–9PG 7–9PG 10–12PG 10–12PG 13 16 18 XX Introduced in 1996 to combat the extensive child abuse in South Africa.
South Korea ALL 12 15 18 Refused classification Before 2006, video games released in South Korea were rated by KMRB. There's age-restricted for rating 12 and 15, but unpunished.[9]
Taiwan 0+ 6+ 12+ 15+ 18+ N/A
United Arab Emirates N/A 3 7 12 16 18 21 N/A Introduced in November 2017, and was established commercially as of February 2018.

In the above table, Italics indicate a multinational/transnational organization.

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Apple ID

Apple ID

.

Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons

Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons

The Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons is an upper-level German federal censorship agency subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. It is responsible for examining and censoring media works suspected to be harmful to young people. These works are added to an official list – a process known as Indizierung (indexing) in German - as part of child protection efforts. The decision to index a work has a variety of legal implications; chiefly, restrictions on sale and advertisement.

Amtsgericht

Amtsgericht

An Amtsgericht in Germany is an official court. These courts form the lowest level of the so-called 'ordinary jurisdiction' of the German judiciary, which is responsible for most criminal and civil judicial matters. The German Amtsgericht may be compared to the magistrates' courts in England and Wales, although it has much broader sentencing powers. Its name derives from the Amt as a denomination for an administrative and court district in many of the territories of the Holy Roman Empire.

Computer Entertainment Rating Organization

Computer Entertainment Rating Organization

The Computer Entertainment Rating Organization (CERO) is a Japanese entertainment rating organization based in Tokyo that rates video game content in console games with levels of ratings that informs the customer(s) of the nature of the product and what age group it is suitable for. It was established in June 2002 as a branch of Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association, and became an officially recognized nonprofit organization under Japanese law in December 2003.

List of banned video games in Australia

List of banned video games in Australia

Below is a list and summary of video games that have been Refused Classification (banned) within Australia.

Korea Media Rating Board

Korea Media Rating Board

The Korea Media Rating Board is a public organization that classifies films, videos, and other motion pictures into age-based ratings and recommends domestic performances of foreign artists. Through these rating systems, the Korea Media Rating Board provides domestic viewers with accurate information for their viewing and protects children from harmful and unsuitable materials.

Initial controversy

Similar to other forms of media, video games have been the subject of argument between leading professionals and restriction and prohibition. Often these bouts of criticism come from use of debated topics such as video game graphic violence, virtual sex, violent and gory scenes, partial or full nudity, drug use, portrayal of criminal behavior or other provocative and objectionable material. Video games have also been studied for links to addiction and aggression. A meta analysis of studies from both eastern and western countries yielded evidence that "strongly suggests that exposure to violent video games is a causal risk factor for increased aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, and aggressive affect and for decreased empathy and prosocial behavior."[10]

There are also groups that have argued to the contrary, that few if any scientifically proven studies exist to back up these claims, and that the video game industry has become an easy target for the media to blame for many contemporary issues.[11][12][13] Researchers have also proposed potential positive effects of video games on aspects of social and cognitive development and psychological well-being.[14] It has been shown that action video game players have better hand-eye coordination and visuo-motor skills, such as their resistance to distraction, their sensitivity to information in the peripheral vision and their ability to count briefly presented objects, than non-players.[15]

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Video game controversies

Video game controversies

Video game controversies refers to a wide range of debates on the social effects of video games on players and broader society, as well as debates within the video game industry. Since the early 2000s, advocates of video games have emphasized their use as an expressive medium, arguing for their protection under the laws governing freedom of speech and also as an educational tool. Detractors argue that video games are harmful and therefore should be subject to legislative oversight and restrictions. The positive and negative characteristics and effects of video games are the subject of scientific study. Academic research has examined the links between video games and addiction, aggression, violence, social development, and a variety of stereotyping and sexual morality issues.

Video game

Video game

Video games, also known as computer games, are electronic games that involve interaction with a user interface or input device – such as a joystick, controller, keyboard, or motion sensing device – to generate audiovisual feedback. This feedback is most commonly shown on a video display device, such as a TV set, monitor, touchscreen, or virtual reality headset. Some computer games do not always depend on a graphics display; for example, text adventure games and computer chess can be played through teletype printers. Video games are often augmented with audio feedback delivered through speakers or headphones, and sometimes with other types of feedback, including haptic technology.

Graphic violence

Graphic violence

Graphic violence refers to the depiction of especially vivid, brutal and realistic acts of violence in visual media such as film, television, and video games. It may be real, simulated live action, or animated.

Crime

Crime

In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term crime does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition, though statutory definitions have been provided for certain purposes. The most popular view is that crime is a category created by law; in other words, something is a crime if declared as such by the relevant and applicable law. One proposed definition is that a crime or offence is an act harmful not only to some individual but also to a community, society, or the state. Such acts are forbidden and punishable by law.

Video game addiction

Video game addiction

Video game addiction (VGA), also known as gaming disorder or internet gaming disorder, is generally defined as a psychological addiction that is problematic, compulsive use of video games that results in significant impairment to an individual's ability to function in various life domains over a prolonged period of time. This and associated concepts have been the subject of considerable research, debate, and discussion among experts in several disciplines and has generated controversy within the medical, scientific, and gaming communities. Such disorders can be diagnosed when an individual engages in gaming activities at the cost of fulfilling daily responsibilities or pursuing other interests without regard for the negative consequences. As defined by the ICD-11, the main criterion for this disorder is a lack of self control over gaming.

Aggression

Aggression

Aggression is overt or covert, often harmful, social interaction with the intention of inflicting damage or other harm upon another individual; although it can be channeled into creative and practical outlets for some. It may occur either reactively or without provocation. In humans, aggression can be caused by various triggers, from frustration due to blocked goals to feeling disrespected. Human aggression can be classified into direct and indirect aggression; whilst the former is characterized by physical or verbal behavior intended to cause harm to someone, the latter is characterized by behavior intended to harm the social relations of an individual or group.

Rating systems

Argentina

The law 26.043 (passed in 2005) states that the National Council of Children, Youth and Family ('Consejo Nacional de la Niñez, Adolescencia y la Familia') in coordination with the National Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts will be the government agencies that assigns age ratings.[16][17][18] The Argentine Game Developer Association (Asociación de Desarrolladores de Videojuegos Argentina) was critical of the law.[19][20][21] There are three ratings: "Suitable for all public", "Suitable for those over 13 years of age" and "Suitable for those over 18 years of age".[22]

Australia

The Australian Classification Board (ACB) is a statutory classification body formed by the Australian Government which classifies films, video games and publications for exhibition, sale or hire in Australia since its establishment in 1970. The Classification Board was originally incorporated in the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) which was dissolved in 2006. Originally a part of the Attorney-General's Department and overseen by the Minister for Justice, the ACB is now a branch of the Department of Communications and the Arts which provides administrative support to the Board and is overseen by the Minister for Communications & the Arts. Decisions made by the Board may be reviewed by the Australian Classification Review Board.

Austria

There is no uniform ratings system in Austria, and the nine states regulate content in different ways. The two main systems are PEGI (applied in Vienna) and Germany's USK system (applied in Salzburg).[23]

Brazil

The advisory rating (ClassInd) (Classificação Indicativa in Portuguese) rates films, games and television shows in Brazil. It is controlled by the Ministry of Justice (Ministério da Justiça).

Chile

Games are classified by the Council of Cinematographic Classification (Consejo de Calificación Cinematográfica) which is a central agency under the Ministry of Education.[24]

The current age ratings are:

  • TE (Todo Espectador) – General audience (no objectionable content).
  • Mayores de 8 años – Not recommended for children younger than 8 years.
  • Mayores de 14 años – Not recommended for children younger than 14 years.
  • Mayores de 18 años – Not recommended for children younger than 18 years.

In addition to these ratings an educational category also exists.

China

China introduced a pilot content rating system in December 2020 called the Online Game Age-Appropriateness Warning, which is overseen by the governmental agency China Audio-video and Digital Publishing Association [zh] (CADPA). Games with online components are required to show one of the three classifications on websites and registration pages: green for "8+" (appropriate for players 8 years and older), blue for "12+", and yellow for "16+".[25]

Europe

The Pan European Game Information (PEGI) is a European video game content rating system established to help European parents make informed decisions on buying computer games with logos on games boxes. It was developed by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) and came into use in April 2003; it replaced many national age rating systems with a single European system. The PEGI system is now used in more than thirty-one countries and is based on a code of conduct, a set of rules to which every publisher using the PEGI system is contractually committed. PEGI self-regulation is composed by five age categories and seven content descriptors that advise the suitability and content of a game for a certain age range based on the games content. The age rating does not indicate the difficulty of the game or the skill required to play it.[26]Turkey is a semi-official user of PEGI, but it is not represented in the PEGI council, alongside Northern Cyprus but it is not recognized internationally.[27][28][29]

Germany

Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (USK) (Entertainment Software Self-control), is Germany's software rating organization founded in 1994.

  • USK 0 - Playable for all ages
  • USK 6 - Ages 6 and over
  • USK 12 - Ages 12 and over
  • USK 16 - Ages 16 and over
  • USK 18 - Ages 18 and over

Indonesia

The IGRS ratings used in Indonesia
The IGRS ratings used in Indonesia
The IGRS ratings used in Indonesia
The IGRS ratings used in Indonesia
The IGRS ratings used in Indonesia
The IGRS ratings used in Indonesia

The Indonesian Game Rating System (IGRS) is an official video game content rating system founded and set by the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Informatics in 2016.[30] IGRS rates games that are developed and published in Indonesia. There are 5 classifications of ratings based on the game content, which includes the use of alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, violence, blood, language, sexual content, etc.

These are the following classifications:

  • SU ("Semua Umur", All Ages in English)  – Playable for all ages.
  • 3+  – Age 3 and over. No restricted content is shown including adult content, use of drugs, gambling simulation, and online interactions.
  • 7+  – Age 7 and over. No restricted content is shown including adult content, use of drugs, gambling simulation, and online interactions.
  • 13+  – Age 13 and over. Restricted contents are partially shown, including light use of drugs and alcohol by figures/background characters, cartoon violence, mild language, gambling simulation, horror theme, and online interactions.
  • 18+  – Age 18 and over. Restricted contents are mostly shown, if not all, including use of drugs and alcohol by main characters, realistic violence (blood, gore, mutilation, etc.), crude humor, gambling simulation, horror theme, and online interactions.

As of November 2019, various imported PlayStation titles released since then have been rated by the IGRS after SIE Asia opened their Indonesian office. Those titles are also marked as "Official Indonesia Products" (Indonesian: Produk Resmi Indonesia).

Iran

The Entertainment Software Rating Association (Persian: اسرا) (ESRA) is a governmental video game content rating system that is used in Iran. Games that have been exempt from the rating are de facto banned from sale in Iran.

  • +3 – Ages 3 and over
  • +7 – Ages 7 and over
  • +12 – Ages 12 and over
  • +15 – Ages 15 and over
  • +18 – Ages 18 and over

In practise, the rating applies largely to PC and mobile games, as none of the console games are officially released for the Iranian market.

Japan

In Japan, the content rating is not required by law, but most commercial video game publishers take the industry self-regulations. Console manufacturers force for video game publishers that games must be rated by CERO. Distributors of PC games (mostly dating sims, visual novels, and eroge) require games having the approval of EOCS or Japan contents Review Center.[31] These ratings are referred to by local governments, and the Ordinance Regarding the Healthy Development of Youths (青少年健全育成条例) prohibits retailers from supplying 18+ rating games to persons under 18.[32][33] Dōjin softs don't have such restrictions, but distribution of obscene materials can be punished under the Article 175 of the Penal Code of Japan.

Computer Entertainment Rating Organization

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 an organization that rates video games in Japan, with different levels of rating that inform the customer of the nature of the product and what age group it suits. It was established in June 2002 as a branch of the Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association, and became an officially recognized non-profit organization in December 2003. It currently consists of five age categories and nine content descriptors.

  • A – All ages. Formerly "All."
  • B – Ages 12 and over. Formerly "12."
  • C – Ages 15 and over. Formerly "15."
  • D – Ages 17 and over.
  • Z – Ages 18 and over only. Formerly "18." This is the only rating that is legally enforced.
  • CERO – Assigned to free demos and trial versions of games
  • 審査予定 – Assigned to games which are currently awaiting classification

Ethics Organization of Computer Software

The Ethics Organization of Computer Software (一般社団法人コンピュータソフトウェア倫理機構, Ippan Shadan Hōjin Konpyūta Sofutowea Rinri Kikō) (EOCS, or Sofurin)[34] is an incorporated association that rates PC games in Japan. It was established on November 20, 1992,[35] and was incorporated in 2009. The association also works to crack down on copyright infringement of PC games for the companies it represents, and sponsors the Moe Game Award (萌えゲーアワード) to help PC game sales.[36]

The current ratings are:[37]

  • General Software - All ages.
  • General Software (recommended to ages 12 and over)
  • General Software (recommended to ages 15 and over)
  • Software that is banned from selling to persons under 18

Japan contents Review Center

The Japan contents Review Center (日本コンテンツ審査センター, Nihon Kontentsu Shinsa Sentā) is a cooperative that reviews adult videos and adult PC games in Japan. The organization was founded on December 1, 2010 as Ethics Organization of Video (映像倫理機構, Eizō Rinri Kikō) after the dissolution of the Content Soft Association (CSA).[38]

Mexico

On November 27, 2020, the Secretariat of the Interior (SEGOB) published a new set of guidelines on the Official Journal of the Federation called Lineamentos Generales del Sistema Mexicano de Equivalencias de Clasificación de Contenidos de Videojuegos (General Guidelines of the Mexican System of Classification Equivalencies for Video Game Content).[39] This states that all games distributed in Mexico will have their own set of ratings effective May 27, 2021, replacing the ESRB ratings system that was being used, while still being in accordance with them.

The ratings are as follows:

  • A (Todo Público): For all ages.
  • B (+12 Años): Content for teens 12 and over.
  • B15 (+15 Años): Content for ages 15 and over.
  • C (Adultos +18 Años): Content not suitable for those under 18.
  • D (Exclusivo Adultos): Extreme and adult content.
  • P (Etiquetado Pendiente): Content pending for its classification.

New Zealand

The Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) is the government agency in New Zealand that is responsible for classification of all films, videos, publications, and some video games in New Zealand. It was created by the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 (FVPC Act), replacing various film classification acts, and is an independent Crown entity[40] in terms of the Crown Entities Act 2004. The head of the OFLC is called the Chief Censor, maintaining a title that has described the government officer in charge of censorship in New Zealand since 1916.

The current ratings are:[41]

  • G: This can be shown and sold to anyone.
  • PG: Films and games with a PG label can be sold, hired, or shown to anyone. The PG label means guidance from a parent or guardian is recommended for younger viewers.
  • M: Films and games with an M label can be sold, hired, or shown to anyone. Films with an M label are more suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over.[42]
  • R13: Restricted to persons 13 years and over.
  • R15: Restricted to persons 15 years and over.
  • R16: Restricted to persons 16 years and over.
  • R18: Restricted to persons 18 years and over.
  • R: Restricted to a particular class of people.

United states and Canada

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is a self-regulatory organization that assigns age and content ratings, enforces industry-adopted advertising guidelines, and ensures responsible online privacy principles for computer and video games and other entertainment software in Canada and the United States.[43] PEGI ratings are used on some French-language games sold in Canada. Despite being self-regulatory, in Canada, games rated by the ESRB are required by law to be rated and/or restricted, though this only varies at a province and territory level. ESRB ratings can be found on games for Nintendo systems in the countries of Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates. This system was used in Mexico as well until it was replaced by a local rating system on May 27, 2021.

A similar system also exists for arcade video games, which is enforced by the American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA) and the Amusement and Music Operators Association (AMOA).[44] It is called the Parental Advisory System, and uses three colors for ratings - green (Suitable for All Ages), yellow (Mild Content), and red (Strong Content). Stickers displaying the ratings are placed on the game marquees, and the rating can also be displayed during the attract mode if the game's developer or publisher chooses to do so.[45][46]

Russia

The Age classification of information products is a new statutory classification set of rules formed by the Russian Government after enacting in September 2012 a Federal Law of Russian Federation no. 436-FZ of 2010-12-23 “On Protecting of Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and Development” (Russian: Федеральный закон Российской Федерации от 29 декабря 2010 г. N 436-ФЗ «О защите детей от информации, причиняющей вред их здоровью и развитию»), which classifies films, video games and publications for exhibition, sale or hire in Russia since 1 September 2012. The Ministry of Culture provides administrative support to the classification.

Saudi Arabia

The General Commission for Audiovisual Media (Arabic: الهيئة العامة للإعلام المرئي والمسموع, romanizedAlhy'eh Al'amah lel-E'elam Almar'ey wal-Masmoo') (GCAM) is responsible for the age-ratings of films, television programs and interactive games.[47][48]

Singapore

The Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) is a statutory board of the Singapore Government which regulates films, television programs and video games in Singapore.

Slovakia

Jetnotný systém označovania (English: Unified System of Age Rating/Labeling) (JSO) is a statutory board of Ministry of Culture of Slovakia under act 589/2007, which regulates age restriction of films, television programs and video games in Slovakia. [49]

The current age ratings are:

  • "Teddy bear's head" – Content targeted towards children younger than 12 years.
  • U – General audience
  • 7 – Not recommended for children younger than 7 years.
  • 12 – Not recommended for children younger than 12 years.
  • 15 – Not recommended for children younger than 15 years.
  • 18 – Prohibited for minors under 18 years of age.

In addition, educational game ratings are:

  • -7 – Targetted towards children younger than 7 years.
  • 7+ – Appropriate for persons 7 years and over.
  • 12+ – Appropriate for persons 12 years and over.
  • 15+ – Appropriate for persons 15 years and over.

The labeling is mandatory for all physical releases (Games redeemable from gift cards including), but there is no legislative basis for labeling electronic releases (instead, PEGI rating is shown).

South Africa

The South African Film and Publication Board (FPB) is a statutory classification body formed by the South African Government under the Films and Publications Act of 1996 which classifies films, music, television programmes, and video games for exhibition, sale or hire in South Africa. Distributors and exhibitors are legally compelled to comply with the age ratings.[50][51]

South Korea

The Game Rating and Administration Committee (게임물관리위원회 Geimmul Gwanri Wiwonhoe) (GRAC) is the South Korean video game content rating board. A governmental organization, the GRAC rates video and computer games to inform customers of the nature of game contents.

Taiwan

Game Software Rating Regulations (遊戲軟體分級辦法), also translated as Game Software Rating Management Regulations, is the video game content rating system used in Taiwan. [52]

United Arab Emirates

The National Media Council (Arabic: المجلس الوطني للإعلام, romanizedal-Majlis al-Watani li'al-Ealam) (NMC) is a body of the federal U.A.E. government which regulates all aspects of media production, publication, and media trade in the United Arab Emirates. The body was established under Federal Law (1) of 2006. By 2013, the NMC has sustained full authority over the media market in the country.

In 2018, the NMC introduced local age rating systems for various media, including video games available in retail.[53][54]

In June 2021, the Ministry of Culture & Youth launched the Media Regulatory Office (Arabic: مكتب تنظيم الإعلام, romanizedMaktabat Tanzheem al-Ealam) (MRO) to execute a number of functions and tasks previously under the National Media Council,[55] following a restructure of the federal U.A.E. government that was approved in July 2020.[56] In June 2022, the 2018 NMC rating labels for video games began phasing out in favour of new labels reflecting the corporate image of the MRO. The ratings themselves are unchanged.

United Kingdom

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), originally British Board of Film Censors, is a non-governmental organisation, funded by the film industry and responsible for the national classification of films within the United Kingdom.[57] It has a statutory requirement to classify videos and DVDs. It no longer has responsibility for rating video games in the UK. This role has been passed to the Video Standards Council (formerly known as the VSC Rating Board).[58]

In July 2012, the VSC Rating Board became the sole UK statutory video games regulator for the UK. The VSC Rating Board has been a PEGI Administrator since 2003 and subsequently uses the PEGI criteria to classify video games. The UK Interactive Entertainment Association, a UK industry trade group, works with the VSC to help properly label such games and provide informational material to parents. Games featuring strong pornographic content or ancillary mini-games to be included with a DVD feature will still be rated by the BBFC.

International

IARC

Some app stores that support IARC use this rating in countries and regions where there is no rating system. The classification standard adopted by IARC is the same as that of PEGI. This rating is not recognized in some countries.[59]

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National Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts

National Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts

The National Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts is an agency of the Government of Argentina. It promotes the Argentine film industry by funding qualified Argentine film production companies and supporting new filmmakers. The Institute was established on 14 May 1968 by law nº 17.741. The INCAA also organizes the Mar del Plata International Film Festival, Ventana Sur film market, and has its own film school called ENERC.

Government agency

Government agency

A government or state agency, sometimes an appointed commission, is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an administration. There is a notable variety of agency types. Although usage differs, a government agency is normally distinct both from a department or ministry, and other types of public body established by government. The functions of an agency are normally executive in character since different types of organizations are most often constituted in an advisory role—this distinction is often blurred in practice however, it is not allowed.

Australian Classification Board

Australian Classification Board

The Australian Classification Board is an Australian government statutory body responsible for the classification and censorship of films, video games and publications for exhibition, sale or hire in Australia. The ACB was established in 1970 and was once part of the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC), which was dissolved in 2006. The Department of Communications and the Arts provided administrative support to the ACB from 2006 until 2020, when it was merged into the 'mega department' of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications. Decisions made by the ACB may be reviewed by the Australian Classification Review Board. The ACB now operates under the Commonwealth Classification Act 1995. The ACB is made up of a director, a deputy director, and three other board members, appointed by the government for three- or four-year terms, and temporary board members. The ACB is located in Sydney, New South Wales.

Film

Film

A film – also called a movie, motion picture, moving picture, picture, photoplay or (slang) flick – is a work of visual art that simulates experiences and otherwise communicates ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty, or atmosphere through the use of moving images. These images are generally accompanied by sound and, more rarely, other sensory stimulations. The word "cinema", short for cinematography, is often used to refer to filmmaking and the film industry, and to the art form that is the result of it.

Australia

Australia

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of 7,617,930 square kilometres (2,941,300 sq mi), Australia is the largest country by area in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country. Australia is the oldest, flattest, and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils. It is a megadiverse country, and its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes and climates, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east, and mountain ranges in the south-east.

Attorney-General's Department (Australia)

Attorney-General's Department (Australia)

The Attorney-General's Department is a department of the federal government of Australia responsible for law and justice, and since 29 May 2019, industrial relations.

Minister for Justice (Australia)

Minister for Justice (Australia)

The Minister for Justice was a portfolio in the Australian government between 18 September 1987, when the post was held by Michael Tate, and 20 December 2017, when the last incumbent of the office was Michael Keenan. Keenan was appointed to the post on 18 September 2013. Following a rearrangement of the Second Turnbull Ministry in December 2017, the post was subsumed into the newly-established portfolio of the Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity, part of the Home Affairs portfolio.

Minister for Communications (Australia)

Minister for Communications (Australia)

The Australian Minister for Communications has overall responsibility for broadcasting, the information and communications technology industry, the information economy, and telecommunications within Australia. The portfolio is currently held by Michelle Rowland in the Albanese ministry since 1 June 2022, following the Australian federal election in 2022.

Australian Classification Review Board

Australian Classification Review Board

The Australian Classification Review Board is a statutory censorship and classification body overseen by the Australian Government. The corporate body is responsible for reviewing classification decisions made by the Australian Classification Board concerning films, video games and publications for exhibition, sale or hire in Australia. Review decisions need to be initiated by an appeal from a previous applicant, most commonly referred to as "aggrieved party", or a Federal or State Attorney-General.

Brazilian advisory rating system

Brazilian advisory rating system

The Brazilian Advisory Rating is a content rating system for the classification of movies, games and television programs. The ClassInd rating system is controlled by the Advisory Rating Coordination of the Department of Justice Policies. It is established on the National Secretariat of Justice of the Ministry of Justice.

Game

Game

A game is a structured form of play, usually undertaken for entertainment or fun, and sometimes used as an educational tool. Many games are also considered to be work or art.

Brazil

Brazil

Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in South America and in Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3,300,000 sq mi) and with over 217 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the seventh most populous. Its capital is Brasília, and its most populous city is São Paulo. The federation is composed of the union of the 26 states and the Federal District. It is the only country in the Americas to have Portuguese as an official language. It is one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to over a century of mass immigration from around the world, and the most populous Roman Catholic-majority country.

Usage

The image below presents outdated usage of various video game content rating systems around the world. Countries filled with gradients are using several rating systems.

Türkiye: Almost all video games published in Turkey have the PEGI rating-system, and so are they advertised with PEGI, but it is not legally supported and semi-officially used. See here & here (usage) for more information.

Source: "Video game content rating system", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 26th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_content_rating_system.

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Notes
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