PEGI Game Ratings Now Legally Enforceable In The UK
PEGI, otherwise known as Pan-European Game Information, is a rating system for games that as of today has become enforceable in the UK. The system, which is used across Europe, is based on age ratings which are determined by various criteria. The age ratings are 3, 7, 12, 16 and 18 with 12, 16 and 18 being enforceable. The criteria used to determine the age ratings are gambling, drugs, violence, sex, bad language, discrimination, online gaming and fear. Of course all these criteria have easily identifiable symbols for consumers to see and recognize in order to better inform them of the content found in the games they are purchasing. The online game symbol however stands out a bit as it pertains to child safety online with PEGI's explanation being "This icon may only be used by online gameplay providers who have committed to uphold certain standards aimed at making online gameplay safer for children. These include measures aimed at keeping gameplay free of illegal and offensive content and to protect the privacy of children when playing games online."
Those found guilty of selling games to underage consumers will face a penalty of up to 6 years imprisonment with a fine of £5,000. While it's good to see these ratings enforced and becoming more widespread, it sadly wont make much of a difference in most parents' purchase decisions, experience dictates that children will still get hold of these games and people will decry that violent video games ruin our youth. At least with this rating system in place, it's not the game developer nor is it a retailers fault, as laws are in place. It now falls to parents' to read the labels and determine if the game is suitable for their children. For more information on PEGI and its rating system, visit their site here.
Interactive Software Federation of Europe describe the purpose of the PEGI system as follows; “The main purpose of PEGI is to provide information on whether the content of a game is suitable for a specific age group, in addition to indicating what content forms the basis for the classification. The age labelling is intended to be a recommendation on whether the game’s content is suitable for children, and not on the level of difficulty. The PEGI system has developed different symbols for the various age ratings and the content that forms the basis for the age rating”
Posted by | Mon, Jul 30, 2012 - 03:56 PM