Amid concerns over recent video-game related violent incidents in Japan, the Japanese gaming industry is rolling out a video game ratings system. The system asks retailers to not sell over-18 rated games to minors unless they are accompanied by an adult, but retailers are under no legal obligation to comply. It's been speculated that this is a move by the Japanese gaming industry to forestall government regulation on video game content, in light of the recent move by Kanagawa prefecture to ban the sale of Grand Theft Auto III to minors. Whether this move will be enough to keep the government out of gaming is an open question; the North American ESRB ratings system, which itself was set up by big gaming companies to avoid government regulation, is presently being eroded by recent government bans on the sale of games to minors, and by Ms. Hilary Clinton's actions in the wake of the Hot Coffee fiasco.
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