CESA Introduces Age Controls For Game RetailersCESA introduces age controls for Japanese game retailers Retailers to halt sale of 18-rated games to minors, unless accompanied by parents The Computer Entertainment Suppliers Association in Japan has pre-empted possible legislation by prefectural and national government by introducing new voluntary measures to prevent the sale of 18-rated games to minors. A number of crimes supposedly influenced by titles ranging from Grand Theft Auto III to Resident Evil have made headlines this year in Japan, putting the issue of videogame violence on the agenda in a nation where the media has traditionally been free of heavy constraints on violent or sexual content. Now CESA has created a plan which will see videogame retailers refusing to sell 18-rated games to minors, unless accompanied by a consenting parent or guardian, and placing the titles on shelves separately from those suitable for children. Retailers will also be requested to post information about the CERO (Computer Entertainment Rating Organisation) ratings system in their stores, to help parents to make more informed decisions about their purchases. Although the scheme remains voluntary, and no penalties for retailers who do not participate have been outlined, CESA distribution committee boss Kiyoshi Komatsu claims that over 95 per cent of game retailers support the proposals, including electronics stores and convenience stores as well as specialist retailers. CESA is hoping that the introduction of these voluntary measures will put the brakes on efforts to legislate against violent videogames in Japan, which have already seen Kanagawa prefecture banning sales of GTA3 to underage customers, with several other prefectures on the verge of introducing legislation.