"All Ages" vs CERO A

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#1 by butterflygrrl
2019-09-01 at 16:35
< report >Okay, maybe I'm the only person who's bothered by this. However, the age rating option when entering games specifically says that rating something "All Ages" is meant to be equivalent to a CERO A rating.

That's basically an E rating, for US people. No sexual content, no violence, no horror, no drinking/smoking, no gambling, no crime, no drugs, no harsh language, not even any kissing or hugging!

And yet routinely people put this "all ages" descriptor on games when what they actually mean is "Not 18+". This is especially the case with DLsite games, because the game listing on their site will say "G-rated" even though the game is neither officially rated by anyone nor actually anywhere near what would qualify as A (or E, or G), or with censored releases in English cheerfully labeled the "All Ages" edition when all they mean is that they cut the H-scenes and it still has every other form of risque content.

This means the information on a vast number of games is hopelessly misleading and does not match the description in the database.

Since "All Ages" now appears to be an English VN industry standard way of saying "Not 18+", as long as that category exists in the listing people are going to keep choosing it even though it does not apply.

My suggestion would be to remove the mention of CERO A from the existing "All Ages" descriptor and make that a category for No Adult Content, then create a separate new rating category for CERO A, without putting the phrase "all ages" on it.

Then we could separate "this is a game that is okay for children" from "this is a game that does not contain explicit sex".
#2 by gvbn
2019-09-01 at 18:59
< report >I'd like to see a precise rating system that also shows the rating organization, or at least an explanation of each organization.

There was a guy who went to vndb and saw that Island was rated "all ages" for PC but "15+" for consoles, who then asked what risque content they added for the console release to make the rating go up...
#3 by butterflygrrl
2019-09-03 at 00:18
< report >How many games have 'official' ratings from an actual organisation? The console games do and they're likely to have multiple different ratings from different countries they were released in. But a lot of games have never been officially rated by anyone, just self-labeled.

The most accurate would be to allow for a long list of applicable ratings, which would have to include things like "Developer says 'for teens'" and "DLsite General Audience" alongside "ESRB T" and "PEGI 15"

But is the most accurate answer the most useful?Last modified on 2019-09-03 at 00:19
#4 by ffthewinner
2019-09-03 at 00:44
< report >i highly doubt that anyone cares beyond knowing whether it has +18 content or not. not like little children play VNs anyway lol.
#5 by eacil
2019-09-03 at 01:29
< report >The lack of rating is kinda a given that it is equivalent to your "not 18+" but it looks more like a lack of data than an actual data. That's why some people can have this temptation to use the all-age rating instead of letting it empty. I am sure I did at least once before. I agree that a "Not 18+" would be welcomed.
Apart from that, I also agree with ffthewinner that no one cares about the particularity of all those ratings.Last modified on 2019-09-03 at 01:29
#6 by mutsuki
2019-09-03 at 02:16
< report >If it's a PC game, especially eroge outside Japan (retail eroge in Japan all are rated 18+), unless it's a console port, then it won't have an official rating. As a result, the all-ages implicitly means the "not porn" and 18+ means "porn". Unfortunately it's not a very clear method if you don't know this but it is distinct.
#7 by bobjr2000
2019-09-03 at 05:59
< report >Meh, I guess right it not entirely accurate with all ages but its like kids sneaking into R rated movies. Most kids can't and those old enough to do have little impact. Unless concern parent or some one just personal annoyed with labeling just don't see need to change unless everyone does
#8 by anonymous
2019-09-03 at 16:22
< report >I agree that using the "All ages" rating just to exclude "18+" is needlessly confusing, creating false expectations of the VN release's content. Having a "Not Rated" or "N/A" (not applicable) rating for releases makes far more sense to me.
#9 by mutsuki
2019-09-03 at 17:05
< report >#8, problem with that is that people (the type who are already confused about this problem) will get confused between 'unrated' (18+) and your 'not rated'.
#10 by butterflygrrl
2019-09-03 at 19:45
< report >yeah, it needs to be something straightforward. if what people choosing a rating want to say is "Not Porn" then it needs to be clear.
#11 by anonymous
2019-09-04 at 01:13
< report >To accommodate releases that have no official age ratings, the Age Rating field could have a mandatory sexual content sub-field that appears when selecting 'Not Rated'. This sub-field could be implemented in one of two ways. 1. A binary toggle for "Contains graphic sex scenes". 2. A pull-down list ranging all the way from No Sexual Content, Implied Sexual Content, Text-only Sexually Explicit Content, to Sexually Explicit Content.
#12 by butterflygrrl
2019-12-16 at 23:14
< report >Bumping this as I still see games being set to "All Ages" that are definitely not "CERO A".

Can we please have some way to tell the difference between games that are actually intended for small children and games that simply don't contain explicitly pornographic sexual content?

Or if TRULY no one cares about anything beyond "is it porn or not", should the whole rating entry be dropped in favor of "Sex, Y/N"?Last modified on 2019-12-16 at 23:14
#13 by rampaa
2019-12-16 at 23:50
< report >I have the exact opposite problem. I personally don't care beyond "does it have h-scenes in it or not?". But, funnily enough, the current system fails to convey even that much, at least in one particular case: r34979

Apparently it is identical to Japanese version but it's rated as 17+ (r34979.10), which is super misleading (at least for me). I would mark it as 18+ for pragmatical reasons if I could. But if it should remain as 17+, I would really like to have a boolean "Adult Content" field for releases.
#14 by adamstan
2019-12-17 at 07:08
< report >#13 - How the hell did it get ESRB "M" rating with scenes like those in nsfw-tagged screenshots? And, what's more, got approved by Steam with same rating? That's truly bizarre case.
#15 by eacil
2019-12-17 at 08:56
< report >Difference between pornography and eroticism in Western culture?
IIRC, Okujou no Yurirei-san from the same developer was the first allowed porn game on steam because the sex scenes were super soft.
#16 by adamstan
2019-12-17 at 09:27
< report >#15, yeah, it's allowed on Steam, and indeed it looks rather softcore, but still has "+18" rating. "+17" rating for Gatkhun is surprising, if that release indeed has h-scenes.Last modified on 2019-12-17 at 09:27
#17 by eacil
2019-12-17 at 09:46
< report >Both Gatkhun and Okujou no Yurirei-san are not considered adult games on steam. You can access them without being logged in.
My point was that it's not surprising because they are considered erotic games, not pornographic games. Eroticism is not rated 18+. For example, in France erotic movies are rated 16+.
As for the inconsistency between Gatkhun and Okujou, Okujou was rated 18+ on the old version of the official website (I had to browsed an archived version to be able to confirm it) but the current version doesn't have any mention of such kind of warning.
#18 by rampaa
2019-12-17 at 18:58
< report >Whether it's surprising or not does not matter. Official age ratings are bullshit. They convey no meaningful information whatsoever and they are inconsistent as hell.

Steins;Gate is 17+ (r53521), is it an erotic game? No. Danganronpa is 17+ (r47406), is it an erotic game? No. Ourai no Gahkthun is 17+ (r34979), is it an erotic game? Yes. How the hell am I supposed to know that from the age rating field? Don't get me even started on game consoles' age ratings. As far as I am concerned, they are utterly useless.

I see that Okujou no Yurirei-san has been marked as 18+ on VNDB (and I am thankful for it) despite not being rated as AO in Steam. So should it be changed to 17+ as well? If so, can we get an adult content field for releases pretty please?
#19 by mrkew
2019-12-17 at 19:05
< report >You have that. It's called link
#20 by rampaa
2019-12-17 at 19:13
< report >No, I don't have that. That does not help even a bit. You don't seem to understand the problem at all.

r42099 has erotic content but r61774 does not.
r22437 has erotic content and so does r34979.

And, as is, neither the tags nor age field helps to determine whether or not a release has erotic/pornographic content or not.Last modified on 2019-12-17 at 19:15
#21 by eacil
2019-12-17 at 22:01
< report >Ratings mix violence and sex together to give you a global indicator. It depends on the country, the period, the intention. You forgot that you can have a 18+ even though you DON'T feature pornography. link You can raise your rating just by featuring a cigarette.
Of course it's not here to tell you if it has sexual content. Complaining that they didn't warn you that a Liar-soft doesn't have (softcore) h-scenes is like complaining that they didn't warn you with a 18+ that this movie has like the other a token sex scene.
Once again, in France, Bible Black is sold 16+ and you can find those DVD next to Ghibli's movies. I wtf-ed pretty hard when I saw that.
Yes, I believe Okujou no Yurirei-san should be downgrade to 17+ unless someone can find a proof it's still marked as 18+ even though it's sold on GOG...
#22 by rampaa
2019-12-17 at 22:17
< report >
It depends on the country, the period, the intention.
That's why I called it what it is: Bullshit. It gives no concrete information that I can use. It's subjective as hell.

You forgot that you can have a 18+ even though you DON'T feature pornography.
I did not. I specially said "Don't get me even started on game consoles' age ratings.". But the thing is, I know most consoles don't have games with sexual content, ever, and that is consistent.

Of course it's not here to tell you if it has sexual content.
Funny you say that when you yourself admitted you used all-ages to mean "not 18+" and no one really cares about more than that at #5. So really, age rating is there to tell me whether or not a release has sexual content, that is the de facto rule for Windows releases.

Yes, I believe Okujou no Yurirei-san should be downgrade to 17+
If that's the case, I implore @Yorhel to implement a new field for releases to indicate the existence of sexual content.Last modified on 2019-12-17 at 22:23
#23 by butterflygrrl
2019-12-17 at 23:12
< report >> It depends on the country, the period, the intention.

Which makes the existing dropdown, and any sorting based on it, pretty much useless.

If porn/not-porn is really all anyone cares about then dropping the rating category entirely in favor of that would be a better solution.

I'm just irritated by games being given "lower" age ratings than other games with more-questionable content, because then it's actively incorrect. If the game about fluffy bunnies and the game about zombies are both labeled not-porn, then the rating is accurate for both of them. If the game about fluffy bunnies is rated 13+ and the zombies are rated All Ages because somebody just meant to say not-porn, my brain's desire to sort things into categories whines.Last modified on 2019-12-17 at 23:23
#24 by eacil
2019-12-17 at 23:32
< report >
Funny you say that when you yourself admitted you used all-ages to mean "not 18+" and no one really cares about more than that at #5.
1/ I don't need the rating to know that there is no porn on console (doesn't make their rating consistent when you have 18+ for non ultra violent games).
2/ Windows releases are pretty consistent overall i.e. 18+ means porn, especially Japanese windows releases. When you add a release, without official rating, the presence of porn makes it de facto 18+. And, yes, *default* "all-ages" rating means no porn on vndb.
3/ You could only find one exception with Liar-soft.
4/ You can compare the (more trustworthy Japanese) original rating to the localization rating.
5/ In case of inconsistency, the note field is here for you. "The content of the English version of the game is identical to the Japanese version." r34979.

There is a difference between what something was designed for and what it is used for.

Mind you, I am not arguing against a porn boolean. I was just explaining to you that ratings were not mono factorial and that sex doesn't equate to adult content. I was making your case. If I can easily infer if a windows release has porn or not is because of the peculiarities of the medium. We don't have non pornish ultra violent VN which need a 18+ rating like GTA afaik. Most VN are not released on consoles. Windows is more free than consoles because you are not forced to sell it on retail stores and therefore don't need a rating. Even package editions don't need a retail store thanks to internet, now. Japanese don't make a difference between eroticism and pornography, for them sex scenes = 18+. Etc.Last modified on 2019-12-17 at 23:38
#25 by beliar
2019-12-18 at 00:02
< report >
Yes, I believe Okujou no Yurirei-san should be downgrade to 17+

That would be a very arbitrary decision. The only reason r34979 is 17+, is because it has an official rating by a respective agency. Otherwise it would be rated 18+ just like any other title on the site. While it does create a small inconsistency, an official rating still trumps our established "porn=18+, no porn=all-ages" mindset.

Okujou no Yurirei-san is still rated 18+, because why wouldn't it be? It's about as explicit as other Liar-Soft games, like Inganock or Sharnoth, and MangaGamer still has it in the adult section.

That is unless you want to establish a new rule that softcore games should be rated 17+ in the absence of an official rating? That won't work. Warfoki once tried to define "Softcore" and after about a hundred different definitions by various users, it was established that it is impossible to establish a definition for "Softcore" :-D Hence the whole thing died an ignoble death.

Trying to enforce arbitrary rating based on the hardness of sex scenes is such a mind-bogglingly bad idea that it can never work in real life. It's much better just to go with the flow and say that adult content means 18+, allowing a small exception where the official rating says otherwise.Last modified on 2019-12-18 at 00:04