The El Kadsre Film and Gaming Rating Board, often abbreviated as EKFGR and formerly known as the El Kadsre Film Board, is a self-regulatory organization known for assigning content ratings for films and video games determining which age groups they would be appropriate for. The board serves all of El Kadsre and was created in 1919 for protecting children from harmful content.
Originally rating motion pictures, they dominantly began rating video games in 1993 after receiving complaints from a few moderately violent video games such as Super Smash Keyboards, Angry Video Game Nerd: The Arcade, and Killer Minecraft: Immaterial and Missing Power, all of which were developed by Drillimation Studios and published by Namco. This caused a public outrage among Drillimation fans in El Kadsre, as Drillimation was known for their family-friendly games such as Mr. Driller and Lucky Star.
According to local El Kadsreian laws, all films and games are required to have a rating before being released. EKFGR also participates in the We Card program and many theater and retail store chains enforce these ratings and have consumers show ID on games/films with strong/explicit content. It is unlawful for anyone under restricted age limits to purchase content without adult accompaniment, and violators are subject to fines and disciplinary hearings.
The board was founded in 1951 as El Kadsre Film Board after the El Kadsre Media Rating Act was passed. During its first years, El Kadsre's rating system is the same as Sentan's with the exception of its designs. In 1971, the PG rating was introduced. A year later, a new restricted rating for patrons 15 and older was introduced, followed by an R-20 rating four years later.
In 1993, El Kadsre Film Board was changed to El Kadsre Film and Game Rating Board to assign ratings to video games in response of the criticism of video games that contained high gore violence, profanity or sexual content. One of the first games that were rated by EKFGR were Mortal Kombat, Myst and Daytona USA.In 1997, EKFGR became part of the We Card program to help enforce the El Kadsre Media Rating Act. Within the same year, a poster for the ratings was introduced to retailers, theatres, and video stores so they can help consumers make good decisions about a film/game's content. The poster is only available to these and can be purchased directly from their website.
In 2007, EKFGR introduced the R18 and R20 ratings to video games, since these ratings before 2007 didn't exist at the time EKFGR started rating video games up to R15.
|Everyone||1951||Content is appropriate for viewers of all ages. Contains no content that would offend parents in viewing by children. Titles in this category contain little-to-no violence and do not have any profanity and/or sexual content.|
|Parental Guidance||1971||Content is suitable to those generally ten years and older but contains some content that parents might not like for younger viewers. Titles in this category may contain mild violence and/or sexual content but rarely have any profanity and/or drug references. Some films with mild profanity have also received the PG rating due to not having as much strong or heavy violence to receive an M rating.|
|Mature||1951||Content is suitable to those generally thirteen years and older but parents are to be strongly cautioned when bringing children under thirteen. Titles in this category may contain a good amount of violence but rarely have any blood. Mild-to-moderate profanity and/or sexual content may also be present, as well as drug/alcohol use and/or simulated gambling.|
|Restricted||1982||Content is suitable for those who are generally fifteen, eighteen, or twenty years and older. The limit used to be seventeen years but was changed to the current rules as of 1982. Children under these limits are not admitted unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian, and must show ID if they are over these limits. Parents are to know more about the content before taking their children with them. Titles in this category contain large amounts of violence with bloodshed, strong profanity and/or sexual content with nudity, as well as gambling with real currency. There is no R20 rating for games.|
|Pornography||1951||Content is unsuitable to minors under eighteen years of age, and minors under that limit are not admitted, regardless of permission. Titles with this rating contain sexually explicit content and are essentially banned from the general public. Many theater chains, as well as all major console manufacturers, have policies that they will not show and/or sell any titles with this rating.|
|Banned||1951||This title is essentially banned from El Kadsre. Several things can cause titles to get this rating if it conflicts with local laws or is linked to controversy in any way.|
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In order for a film distributor or a game publisher to obtain a rating for a film/game, they first must send a copy of their film or game to the board for review. Films are rated after a single screening to three professionally trained raters. Game publishers only need to send a video containing the game's most graphic content, as the raters do not generally play the games that are submitted to them, as they often contain an estimated 50 hours of gameplay. The film/game's screenwriters are also recommended to provide copies of the game's script for easy review.
Criticism and controversies
Emphasis on strong content
In 1997, Nintendo and Namco released To Heart for the Nintendo 64, which was developed by three studios: Leaf, Drillimation, and Rareware. The game was rated R-15 instead of the intended M that Drillimation was aiming for. The real reason for the game to be rated R-15 was "bloody violence, brief strong language, drug use, some crude humor, and brief sexual content".
This led to controversies among Drillimation players regarding the game, and its sequel, To Heart 2, received an R-15 rating as well for the same reason. There were three instances of Drillimation games receiving an R-15 rating; the two To Heart games and Super Smash Keyboards 8 received an R-15 rating for a cutscene where Tsukasa Hiiragi poses partially nude while wearing only thick cloth strips over her breast and butt areas. In the same scene, Hiiragi asks Mike Matei to draw her that way, before getting busted by Hiiragi's mother, Miki. The reason for that game's R-15 rating was "bloody violence, brief strong language, drug and alcohol use, crude humor, and brief sexual content with partial nudity, including exploitation of a minor." Shortly after the home console version of the game was released, players realized that using a hacking device can unlock it as an alternate costume for her.
This caused so much outrage among parents that this prompted them to ask the EKFGR to change the rating. Several parents ended up returning the game to retailers among seeing this. However, Drillimation released a patch update that removed the offending costume. Many players who were affected by the returns were able to redownload it for free if their console already has save data for the game.
Restricting content containing partial nudity
EKFGR has been criticized for being strict on partial nudity. According to their standards, any game or film containing partial nudity in a typical T-rated game by the ESRB or PG-13 film by the MPAA will earn them an automatic R-15 rating in El Kadsre. Games that have been affected by this include the two To Heart games and Super Smash Keyboards 8 by Drillimation, as well as Omega Quintet by Compile Heart. The Simpsons Movie was also hit by this for the same reason.