Age-based Rating Systems for Game Software
(Updated on August 12, 2013)
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) aims to make games as popular as music, movies and broadcasting and has been developing our PlayStation® business for users in all age groups. Game industry organizations have responded to the proliferation of new game genres by introducing rating systems for customers in Japan, the United States and Europe (CERO, ESRB and PEGI, respectively), based on games' target age groups. The U.S. system has operated for more than 10 years and won top marks from the public not only for indicating age categories but also for being the first to add descriptions that detail the contents of a game. PEGI is endorsed by the European Commission as a paradigm of self-regulation in the entertainment industry. In Japan, measures are being promoted to make the system more effective, including, with the cooperation of retailers, the voluntary refusal to sell software rated by CERO for ages 18 and above to underage customers.
To regulate access by underage users, SCE has included a Parental Lock function in PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) and PlayStation®3. This function enables customers to adjust access levels and limit children's access only to appropriate software across the PlayStation® platform. With the average age of Web users declining, concern is growing about sites on the Internet containing content that is inappropriate for or harmful to children. So-net Corporation, which provides an Internet-related service in Japan, has introduced "Site Select," a filtering system that blocks access to such sites, as well as to sites targeted by phishing scams, thereby aiming to create an environment in which the whole family can enjoy Internet use worry free.