On February 28, the Game Management Committee (hereinafter referred to as the Game Committee) released the meeting minutes through its official website. What was released this time is a summary of the main contents of the meeting held for five years from 2018 to 2022, and although it is not a full text, the opinions of the Game Committee researchers who reviewed each game and the questions and exchanges of opinions of the members can be confirmed.
In the meantime, gamers and the game industry have pointed out the biggest problem with the Game Board’s rating classification is the so-called ‘rubber band review’, where it is difficult to predict the age rating and whether or not it will pass with only the published rating classification standards. Accordingly, we set up time to clearly examine the grounds contained in the minutes of the Game Committee regarding the major incidents related to the classification.
One of the biggest incidents related to game ratings last year was the decision not to use Blue Archive for youth. The discussion on this was held at a meeting held on October 27, 2022, and looking at the minutes of the meeting, there is a point that the Izumi swimsuit character pointed out as a problem by the game committee at the press conference was similar to a certain Chunhwa (a picture depicting sexual intercourse between men and women). .
The Izumi swimsuit character is depicted with an octopus clinging to the lower body, which the Game Committee researcher judged to be similar to the famous Japanese pornography, The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife. The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife is a pornographic painting by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, depicting a sexual relationship between a woman and an octopus. The scene in the Blue Archive is not depicted as nakedly as Chunhwa, but consists of simple happenings, but it is an explanation that the sexual act is expressed implicitly and indirectly as if Chunhwa can be inferred through the scene. Along with this, issues such as losing a bet with a teacher and putting on a leash and lying down like a dog, asking for industry rewards (a situation where a student working at a maid cafe looks like he is being bullied but prefers to be a victim) and physical contact using his feet have been pointed out as problems. .
However, the aforementioned Chunhwa is not a work that is popularly known in Korea. In addition, although the exposure level of the Blue Archive Izumi swimsuit is rather high, the character is expressed in a cartoon style rather than a live action, and the exposure of key parts is limited. If you don’t know Chunhwa, there are only a limited number of people who can recall the dream of the fisherman’s wife only with cartoonish illustrations and lines, and if you don’t know this picture, there is little probability that you can connect it as ‘indirectly expressing sexual activity’.
In addition, for games with animation-style graphics instead of live action, such as the Blue Archive, when specific body parts such as pubic area or nipples were not directly exposed, 15-year-olds were usually accepted. An example is Fate Grand/Order, where age rating adjustments were discussed on the same day. In this case, the previous subcommittee reviewed that it could not be used by teenagers, but Netmarble applied for 15-year-old users. In addition, at the rating classification meeting, there was a suggestive opinion from a researcher of the Game Committee that although there was a sensational exposure, the chest and buttocks were partially expressed, and as a result of the vote, it was decided that it was a 15-year-old user.
In addition, the part contained in the blue archive, such as the Izumi swimsuit scene, is positioned as sub-content, not the main content of the entire blue archive dealing with students’ battles, and it is difficult to understand that the content contained in additional content raises the overall age rating. there was. This is in contrast to the previous explanation of the Game Committee, which considers context and importance as well as simple expressions while proceeding with rating classification.
Exposure here isn’t the only part that determines ratings. In the Fate/Grand Order case introduced by the leaf book, the committee member asked whether nipple exposure was considered a 15-year-old subject, and the researcher explained that there are cases in which youths are not allowed to use even if they are fully clothed. In fact, Masterpiece Online, discussed at the meeting on January 3, 2019, although the body exposure seems to be about 15-year-olds, the system that treats female characters as concubines and joins them was pointed out as a problem. It was suggested by the members that it could be done. In addition, this game was banned for use by young people in terms of sensationalism and speculation, as it included a paid goods exchange.
In other words, beyond how much the body is exposed, how the sexual parts are expressed in the game also affects the rating. The problem is that this part is somewhat vaguely described in the rating classification regulations as ‘cases where there is an expression of behavior that goes against general social ethics (incest, promiscuity, etc.), but not excessively’. If the classification regulations are made too detailed, it is forced to make games according to them and there is a part that freedom of expression can be harmed. There is a need.