News Article

UK Games Rating System To Get Simpler

Posted by James Newton

PEGI to become the standard in Great Britain

For those of you unlucky enough to live outside of these sceptered isles, you may be confused by the two game classifications systems currently in place. Well, you can count your lucky stars, as the British Government has announced that PEGI - that's Pan-European Game Information, folks - is to become the sole classification board of video games, meaning there'll be no more BBFC certificates on games.

In future, PEGI ratings will be legally enforced by the Video Standards Council (VSC), meaning retailers could face fines and other legal trouble for providing the games to underage customers. The VSC will also gain the power to ban games outright if there the game doesn't conform to PEGI guidelines. These are both powers that currently rest with the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), the ratings board that classifies the most adult games in the UK.

With the BBFC gone, PEGI are proposing a "traffic lights" system of rating indicators, with clearer content descriptors on the back to warn buyers of the adult content contained with the titles.

There's no official word on when the changeover will take place, but the days of seeing the red circular BBFC ratings are certainly numbered.


From the web

User Comments (22)



Roopa132 said:

Hmm that probably means no more Gore-versions of games from the UK ...
First they want to ban all violent games here in germany and now we probably can't even get them from the UK since PEGI rates tougher than BBFC (I think)



James said:

Roopa132 - at the moment, the BBFC is the only board to be able to ban or recommend cuts that affect games in the UK, as far as I know. Whether or not PEGI will be more or less strict than the BBFC remains to be seen!



Damo said:

I don't think this will actually result in a change in content. The reason behind this move is to prevent confusion as both PEGI and the BBFC were operating ratings systems. Just having one is easier.



Wiiloveit said:

This is all good, but some of the ratings are completely different, such as when Resident Evil 4 was rated 18+ by PEGI and 15 by the BBFC, so whilst this may be good news for some, it may be worse news for younger kids and teens.

Oh, and it's also bad that shops selling games to underage people will get a doing as well.



Starwolf_UK said:

I wonder how this would affect MadWorld?
It won't. Game is already out so ratings stay as they are. Possibly a re-print will be using the red version of the 18+ logo but that is all.

I'm just hoping the redesigned coloured logos don't come off as cheesy.



RaviC said:

Will other European regional game ratings services like USK be the next to face the axe?



RGVEDA said:

That would be great, but i don´t think so, that the Pegi will be the new USK. Germany needs its own censoring and banning industry The BPJM and the USK will be there forever, i fear....



KDR_11k said:

Yeah, as long as the USK remains calling PEGI the standard across Europe is wrong.



James said:

"Oh, and it's also bad that shops selling games to underage people will get a doing as well."

That already happens though - sell a BBFC game to a minor and it's up to a £5,000 fine and some jail time too. Hopefully the penalties will be just as strict after the switch to PEGI.

Edit - also changed the article to reflect the different rating systems in Germany, which I'll be honest and say I didn't know about.



Wiiloveit said:

Have you guys seen the new logo's and the official description? I think that the traffic light thing looks terrible, I expected it to be more like the things on Sainsbury's packaging where it used colours on the different factors such as violence and language etc, but the logo's look quite frankly awful. At least the little images have a description underneath them now, which is handy. Here's the article on the PEGI website.



Slapshot said:

Just a matter of time before Obama puts his hands into the video game industry here in the US.



ToneDeath said:

I actually thought that the BBFC would have taken over if anything. You'd think their symbols would be more widely recognised and familiar to parents buying games for their kids (Though plenty still seem to be oblivious to the very concept of age ratings).



Sean_Aaron said:

The PEGI logo stands out more anyway; I frankly don't even notice the BBFC one on games.



Mayhem said:

@6 - doesn't and won't matter. If a kid wants a game, then there will usually be a stupid parent ignoring the age rating on it who will buy it for them... how else do I see so many underage players on XBL?



Machu said:

I'm sick off being in a game shop, queuing behind a kid or two and there useless mother, and she's buyin' GTA (or something else completely inappropriate for some one of there age) for them. The shop-guy knows, and no-one says ****.
The kid meanwhile, stands there quietly, salivating.



Incognito_D said:

I wrote an essay about this sort of thing a couple of years ago. It'll be totally out of date now.
On another note, has anyone ever actually seen a game with the Discrimination, Gambling or Drugs symbols? Actually, the only one that ever seems to be there is Violence.



James said:

Gambling can be found on Sega Casino (which is rated a PEGI 18+!), drugs can be found on anything that contains drinking (Virtua Fighter 5 for example) but I've never seen discrimination. I am looking for it though - I want a clean sweep!

Also, I read in MCV this week that the new PEGI ratings are already being printed and will be on shop shelves by the summer's end!

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...