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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Grand Theft Auto III restricted in Japan
Japan's Kanagawa prefecture says GTAIII is too violent for minors; will limit sales to adults starting next week.

TOKYO--Kanagawa prefecture, a region located immediately south of Tokyo, announced today that it will ban the sale of Grand Theft Auto III to minors as of June 7. This will be the first time that a game will be designated as a harmful publication in Japan. GTAIII, published in America by Rockstar Games and developed by Rockstar North, is published in Japan by Capcom. The game has shipped 350,000 units in Japan since its release in the country in September 2003.

Last week, Kanagawa governor Shigefumi Matsuzawa told the press that his prefecture was planning to halt sales of the game to minors because "its setting is very similar to real society, and its level of violence and cruelty is extremely high."

Matsuzaka also said that "unlike videos and movies, games allow users to participate as the main character, and it creates an illusion of reality."

According to Mainichi Shinbun, GTAIII will have to be displayed apart from other software in Kanagawa stores, and those who sell it to minors under the age of 18 will be forced to pay a fine of up to 300,000 yen ($2,776).

The local government of Saitama, another prefecture near Tokyo, may also ban sales of the game to minors. Officials in Saitama are worried that young gamers may migrate to nearby prefectures to avoid the Kanagawa ban. It is unknown at this time whether Tokyo will follow suit and restrict sales of the game as well and whether Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the Miami-themed follow-up to GTAIII, which was recently released in Japan, will also be tagged with the same fate.

The United States has also been rife with new restrictions on game sales in 2005. Legislative bodies in Illinois, California, and North Carolina are currently considering laws that would restrict sales of M-rated games to minors.

By Staff -- GameSpot
POSTED: 05/31/05 02:11 PM PST
http://www1.gamespot.com/news/2005/05/31/news_6126706.html

I don't recall the setting of GTA3 bearing any resemblance to Japan. How does playing as a white guy create an illusion of reality for a Japanese youth? Is the cruelty and violence in this game much worse than what Japan develops? Are they doing this to hinder the sales of a foreign yet popular game? The Japanese can be hookers at 13 but they can't beat hookers in a videogame until they're 18.
 

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band
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wait a second...who said prostitution was legal in japan at all? the age of consent for sexual intercourse is 13 years of age.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Technically prostitution is illegal afaik but just as pachinko is a way to get around anti-gambling laws enjo kosai, compensated dating, is sort of a way to get around anti-prostitution laws. Though iirc Japan does have red-light districts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Enjo Kosai is basically prostitution but it is legal since the transaction isn't as simple and direct as money for sex. When a 40 year old man pays for a date with a 13 year old girl there is an expectation she will perform sexual services.
 

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band
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i know what enjo kosai is. but that can and is happening anywhere in the world and does not change the fact that in japan girls cannot be hookers at 13 years of age or any age.

enjo kosai does not have to include sexual services. prostitution/being hookers does. that said tho, i think enjo kosai/other forms of compensated dating is definitely a problem that needs to be addressed not only in japan but all over the world.
 

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The Hunter
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I think it's a good thing if they want to be consequent in the decisions they make. Wether it's good for gamers or the industry (piracy because someone isn't allowed to buy the game, so they'll get an illegal copy instead), that's a different thing. What do those indications have for purpose when it says 'mature', if anyone can buy it? At least they don't work in the way that someone wouldn't buy it if they see the logo of 'mature' or 'sex' on it, because they realise that content isn't meant for them.
 

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Tulac said:
I don't get it, what's so violent in GTA series, that can't be seen in many other games/movies?
Well the violence is pretty obvious isn't it? It makes the gangster life look like a good one for example.

And according to the article the difference is that in GTA you actually take part in the violence.
 

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From the country where anime was created and nudity rules, along with games and video's of violent nature, this does kinda shock me....the age of consent in Japan is 13??? Talk about open minded....
 

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So tenticle pr0n is ok, rape is ok, but GTA3 isn't?
I don't understand how a society that treats women like sex objects and has pr0n in its cartoons is offended by a "Godfather" type video game?
 

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Paratech said:
So tenticle pr0n is ok, rape is ok, but GTA3 isn't?
I don't understand how a society that treats women like sex objects and has pr0n in its cartoons is offended by a "Godfather" type video game?
Hard as it may be to believe, some places actually consider gratuitous violence to be more offesive than sex. No, I can't believe it either... </sarcasm> On the other hand though, Japan does kinda take sexuality too far by letting a 13 year old girl have sex for money. I dunno, I guess it's hard to stike a balance on a subject like that.
 

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Even though you can legally have sex at 13, I'm sure they are not selling hentai to minors in Japan. Making laws against teenagers having sex would be pointless because I'm sure teenagers would still have sex if they wanted to because there is no real way for Japanese police to enforce a law against it. I don't agree with the fact that someone over 18 though should be allowed to have sex with a 13 year old because it is still somewhat molestation because an adult mind is much more developed and can persuade a teenager very easily.
 

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DarkAurora said:
Even though you can legally have sex at 13, I'm sure they are not selling hentai to minors in Japan.
With regards to the hentai, on the contrary it is readily accessible. The real kicker is that you find the hentai in the most unusual places. One of the magazines I looked through a book shop was a men's clothing magazine selling designer clothes and stuff.

In the middle of the magazine is a red section and a quick peek revealed that it was hentai. I put the magazine back and right away a kid about 12-13 years of age picks it up looks at the red section and goes and buys it. They let him buy it, which was kind of a surprise at first, but then I realize, this is Japan. Perversion seems to be like a normal thing and no one looks at you funny for picking up hentai.
 

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Paratech said:
So tenticle pr0n is ok, rape is ok, but GTA3 isn't?
I don't understand how a society that treats women like sex objects and has pr0n in its cartoons is offended by a "Godfather" type video game?
Japan has a tendency not to admit to its own problems. It's some way of "saving face" I guess.

Aside from the fact that the "under 18" strategy is a law and carries a fine, the situation with GTA3 isn't any different in Japan than it is in the US. Most retailers of video games (Target, Walmart, Kmart, GameStop, EBgames, etc) have an "agreement" with the ESRB that they aren't supposed to sell M-rated games to people under 18. Of course, they sell them anyway, but it looks good on paper.
 

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Until they punish parents for buying "M/AO" games for kids, I don't think laws will solve anything...Parents' seem to buy adult games for kids with no understanding of the content of such games...
But I'm not sure punishing adults for buying games for kids will bode well *at least in the US* where parents think they can do whatever they want in raising their children...
 

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Do they have any studies showing that violent games can affect children negatively? Or this is just a product of their unaided intuition?

There’s no known causal relation between violent games/movies and children/teenage violence. Only the media (including the pop psychologists and children counselors) and stupid politicians (and parents) think that there’s one.

These “M” ratings are complete crap. It should be up to the parents to decide if their kids can play the game or not. Government restrictions are not doing any good.

BTW, what’s the problem with prostitution, as long as it’s consensual?
 
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