UK adopts the PEGI games rating system; selling vids to minors could mean jail time
Today, a new age rating system for video games came into effect in the UK. Designed to prevent the sale of age-inappropriate games to children under the age of twelve, this new set of standards gives the industry more straightforward rules for categorizing their games according to age, said the government.
However, the system they're bringing in is hardly a new one. It's PEGI (Pan European Game Information), a scheme that's been regulating games across Europe for several years now. Up to this point, the British Board of Film Classification was responsible for enforcing games ratings. From here on out, unless a game contains explicit sexual content (netting it a rating of R18), the BBFC no longer has a legally enforceable role in games ratings, bringing in rules that prevent the sale of games intended for 12 years and older to anyone under twelve; a certificate which was notably absent under the BBFC.
"We very much believe that the sole adoption of PEGI will provide clear and consistent direction on age ratings for parents and will be a vital tool in helping them to understand the types of games that their children should be playing," said Dr. Jo Twist, Association of UK Interactive Entertainment CEO.
The UK-based Video Standards Council will take over for the BBFC in enforcing PEGI ratings in the UK, and will have the power to refuse an age-rating for a game if they feel it includes extreme content- banning the sale of that title in the UK.
Let's just hope they've got some good heads on their shoulders.
"As we mark the start of PEGI as the single video game age rating system, we're delighted to use the opportunity to help parents make informed decisions about which video games to choose for the family," said Twist. "A key way we're doing this is through the relaunch of www.askaboutgames.com." We'd urge parents to use this really helpful tool to ensure that playing video games has the biggest positive impact on their children and family as a whole."
Source: UK Press Association
A gamer at heart, Nick started writing when he was a child. He holds a BA in English, works as a freelancer, and loves every minute of it. One day, he hopes to net himself a career in game design - but that's something for the future.
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