ISFE Expert Conference 2007: The Challenges of Online Gaming

Reding:“The protection of children as users of online technology is of great importance to our society at large”.

Brussels, 29 June 2007– At an expert conference in Brussels on the challenges of online gaming, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media Viviane Reding spoke in favour of the PEGI Online system launched by the interactive software industry on the occasion of its yearly conference. PEGI Online is a labelling system developed by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) with the support of the European Commission with a view to protecting minors when they play online.

PEGI Online complements the existing PEGI system, which stands for Pan European Game Information ( www.pegi.info). Established in 2003, PEGI is the first ever pan-European rating system for digital content. It was developed by ISFE to help European parents make informed decisions on buying interactive games. It provides consumers with independently evaluated age-ratings displayed as logos and content descriptors that help identify content appropriate to various agegroups. As online gaming takes a growing share of interactive entertainment, PEGI Online improves the service offered by PEGI by creating a trust seal identifying those online game providers that have committed to a specific Code (PEGI Online Safety Code) and by affording parents an easy education on how to ensure safe online play and protect young people against unsuitable gaming content.

This is a good example of an industry initiative developed in co-operation with other stakeholders which allows a rapid and flexible solution to the problems of new technologies and greater safety for our children”, Commissioner Reding said.

The PEGI Online Label will appear on the packaging of a game if sold on a CD/DVD or on the game site itself. The label will show whether the game can be played online, and also whether the particular game or site is under the control of an operator that has committed to the provisions of the PEGI Online Safety Code.

The Code reflects a general commitment to provide safe environments for online gaming. It includes detailed provisions regarding gamers’ behaviour, privacy, safety, as well as sanctions in case of breaches of these commitments. All participants in the system must also sign a binding agreement with ISFE.

The 2007 Expert Conference, The Challenges of Online Gaming, was organised by ISFE, which represents the interests of the interactive software sector vis-à-vis the EU and international institutions. ISFE includes 14 national trade associations as well as game publishers operating within the 27 EU Member States plus Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

More information on PEGI and ISFE can be found at :

www.pegi.info www.pegionline.eu www.isfe.eu

The full text of Commissioner Reding’s speech can be downloaded at:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_barroso/reding/index_en.htm

About ISFE

Established in 1998 and registered in 2002 under Belgian law as an international association with scientific and pedagogical purposes, ISFE (the Interactive Software Federation of Europe) represents the interests of the interactive software sector throughout the 27 EU Member States plus Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Today, ISFE membership comprises 13 major publishers of interactive software as well as 11 interactive software trade associations throughout Europe.

ISFE has been running the Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) system since 2003 (see www.pegi.info). PEGI provides an age rating recommendation system intended to inform European parents regarding content that is suitable for their children. As a classification system PEGI supports informed adult choice and does not censor content.

For more information:

Katja Mader

15 rue Guimard

B-1040 Brussels

Tel: + 32 2 513 57 77

e-mail: katja.mader@isfe.eu


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