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CERO is a rating system that is exclusively used in Japanese video games, except for PC games (which are rated by the EOCS, or the Ethics Organization of Computer Software). It was originally founded in July 2002, though it wasn't officially recognized as its own organization until 2003. Like other video game rating systems such as the ESRB and PEGI, it determines the content of the video game and what ages it's best suited for.
CERO

CERO logo.

Ratings

80px-CERO A.svg


This rating indicates the game contains almost nothing that would be unsuitable and\or inappropriate for minors under 12. Equivalent to ESRB’s E and/or soft E10+.


80px-CERO B.svg


This rating indicates content suited best for anyone ages 12 and over. Equivalent to the ESRB’s hard E10+ and/or soft T.

80px-CERO C.svg



This rating indicates content suited best for ages 15 and over. Equivalent to the ESRB’s hard T and/or soft M.


200px-CERO D.svg


This rating indicates that the game contains some adult content and therefore minors must get permission to get games with this rating. It's recommended for ages 17 and above. Equivalent to the ESRB’s hard T and/or soft M.
80px-CERO Z.svg



This rating indicates content ONLY for those ages 18 and over. Nobody under this age can purchase the game. Equivalent to the ESRB’s AO.


In addition, cultural factors unique to Japan have caused discord among this series. Some games have gotten A's In Japan but received Mature (17+) in North America, while on the other hand, some games are getting Teen (13+) in North America, while getting a Z rating in Japan (I.E. Infamous), Or sometimes even games with an E rating will get a CERO B rating.

Ninja Gaiden 3 CERO Rating

Example of video game cover with CERO rating in bottom-left corner.

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