Offering Educational Assistance as Part of Our Social
Responsibilities as a Game Software Manufacturer
Video games are a comparatively new cultural phenomenon about which there is little academic research. Rather than examining the educational aspects, theories about the detrimental effects resulting from violent content have been persistently trumpeted to the general public. Nevertheless, the idea of a "future career" as a video game creator is very popular among children, and some schools have even begun to incorporate portable video game consoles into the classroom in recent years.
As part of our corporate social responsibilities as a game software manufacturer, we believe that fostering an understanding about video games by inviting elementary and junior high school students to visit our company and proactively participate in classroom activities at schools. We conduct two highly acclaimed programs: the "Career Education Support program" providing an overview of the company, focusing on the rewards and challenges of developing video game software; and the "Game Literacy Education Support program" teaching students how to develop a healthy relationship with video games.
In the period under review, we launched a new educational program focused on the "Career Education Support program" based on the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's new guidelines on fostering "zest for life". This program represents our commitment to continually improve our educational assistance based on feedback received from educators.
As a result, as of March 31, 2012, 1,256 students from 177 schools had visited the company, and Capcom school visits have been held for a cumulative total 1,455 students in 15 schools, including Takarabe Kita Elementary School in Kagoshima Prefecture.
For the next fiscal year, based on the advice of a university education specialist and feedback received from schools, we will initiate a new program using the "Pictorial Book for Mathematics Used at Work" (tentative name) in collaboration with the NPO Association of Corporation and Education. This will enable us to promote CSR activities more aligned to the needs of schools today.
Educational Support Programs
Providing Free Copies of "Secrets of Video Games" to Schools and Public Libraries
Capcom publishes the educational comic "Secrets of Video Games" in cooperation with Gakken Co., Ltd. The comic offers insights into the game development process, promotes healthy relationships with video games and provides information on what to study to become a video game creator.
The comic is distributed free of charge to 24,000 elementary schools and 2,700 public libraries across Japan, as well as to students as an educational material in advance of a Capcom visit to their school. It is also recommended by the National Congress of Parents and Teachers Association of Japan for use as a secondary teaching material in integrated courses and other classroom settings.
Rating System for the Sound Development of Youth
The video game industry voluntarily restricts game content and sales methods to limit access to sexual and violent content for the healthy development of young people who frequently play home video games. Specifically, before all home video games are sold, they are given a rating by the Computer Entertainment Rating Organization (CERO) that informs consumers of the nature of the content and age-appropriateness via a label on the game package. The industry voluntarily prohibits the sale of software intended for users 18 years or older (category Z) to consumers who are under 18, with 99% of retailers* separating game displays by ratings category and checking purchaser identification to confirm age. Furthermore, to ensure fairness, CERO is not affiliated with any company or organization, but exists and operates independently.
In addition, the latest home video game consoles include a parental control function that enables parents to limit the purchase and use of certain games according to their ratings. The industry is making a concerted effort to promote the adoption of this ratings system and improve its efficacy.
In the period under review, Capcom made an effort to promote a greater understanding of this ratings system through detailed explanations in "Secrets of Video Games" and on its corporate website, as well as during student visits to the company and presentations at schools.
* From the results of the 4th CERO Age-Based Ratings System Field Survey