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Japan Revamps Game Rating System 29

Next Generation reports on a controversial new game rating system recently rolled out in Japan. From the article: "The Z mark, which designates the most violent games, was the blocking issue for months while the new rating was in preparation. Game makers were hesitant to submit their new titles to the CESA rating check because they did not want to be the first to get this Z mark. Many titles were held back, including EA's The Godfather. Some shops have even declared they don't want to have Z rated titles on their shelves. On May 25, the CESA made its own list of Z rated titles already released on the market."
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Japan Revamps Game Rating System

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  • Z does stand for good things. Violence is a good thing, especially when it's something certain gamers look for. Like, say, myself.

    You know y'all loved the Postal series. [] At least your id did. There's no denying it.
  • What a shame... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dorbabil ( 969458 )
    It's good, and all, that the rating system is being revamped, but it lumps together artistic games like Killer 7 with mindless shooting like the GTA series, and (according to TFA) does not include games with fantasy or historical violence. Killer 7 probably deserves the Z rating (it's awfully violent, even though the player never attacks another human being throughout the game.), but man... it'd be a shame if Capcom didn't release a game like that just because of a ratings system.
    • Yea, it seems like people are going to avoid Z rated games. IMO, this is pretty bad. The Z rating seems to lump many games together and since some stores may not carry Z (which makes no sense, just check for id) it may not allow an otherwise fine game to be exposed enough. What do I care? I'm over 18? Haha, tough luck kiddies.
    • Just to sum up. Artistic violence = good. Mindless violence = bad. Now we just need everyone to agree on what is artistic and what is mindless.
      • is this any different from the debate over artistic sex and "mindless" sex (pr0n)? It would be nice if they'd stop trying to make decisions for us over whats good and whats bad in such controversial subjects. Honestly I have never bought or decided not to buy a title merely because it was a certain rating. I only buy GOOD games and GOOD movies, regardless of content sexually, violently, or humorously.
  • We have a smattering of 17 year old and up, but you have to wait 1 full year before you can get access to the 18 year old and up stuff.
  • Some shops have even declared they don't want to have Z rated titles on their shelves

    Yeah, god forbid such degenerate games share shelf space with the T rated tentacle rape and SQ (status quo) rated bukake [].
  • Anime Hentai Tree-Root
  • Historical violence (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @12:53PM (#15446289) Homepage Journal
    TFA: It appears that realistic violence is the main motivation of the Z mark. So, some developers are wondering if violence is okay as long as it remains in a fantasy world or in a historic context.

    Why the distinction of "historical" violence? As it is, it appears they can whip up an Old-West skin for GTA, relabel it "Grand Theft Horse: OK Corral" and get away with a softer rating for essentially the same game. Heck, they could even release "Vice City" as it is, if you consider the 1980s "history."

  • as long as tentacles aren't outlawed.

    Then, of course, only outlaws will have tentacles.
  • From TFA (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Here are the first games that have been Z-rated in Japan:

    Driver 3
    Max Payne
    Killer 7
    GTA Double Pack
    GTA Vice City
    The Getaway
    The Getaway Black Monday
    Simple 2000 series One Chambara
    Simple 2000 series One Champuru

    Reactions to the rating make it seem like its the equivalent of the American "AO" rating:

    A (black): for everybody
    B (green): for 12 years and up
    C (blue): for 15 years and up
    D (green): for 17 years and up
    Z (Red)" for 18 years and up

    Which is very good news for Amer

    • It's unlike AO because AO only covers porn (which I think has its own rating in Japan as well). But if enough games end up rated Z retailers will start carrying them.

      Also that list sounds like Manhunt and God of War weren't released in Japan...

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