EC Commissioner backs PEGI Online

Ben Parfitt
A new rating system from PEGI that is designed to incorporate the growing MMO sector has been backed by the European Commissioner for education and Culture, Viviane Reding.

At a recent conference held by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe in Brussels Reding stated: “The protection of children as users of online technologies is of great importance for the Commission.

“The internet has added a whole new dimension to the various forms of media consumption. This includes video games. In that context, I believe that Europe needs a strong interactive games industry. Indeed, interactive games now sell more, in terms of value, than films in Europe’s cinemas.

“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.”

Paul Jackson, director general of UK video games trade body ELSPA, added: “We are fully behind the new PEGI Online system, which we hope will reassure parents that games which are playable online are being marketed responsibly by our members.

“The PEGI system has proved a great success since it started five years ago. Since April 2003 no less than 7,000 games have been rated ¬– it’s all about ensuring the right games get into hands of the right gamers.”

The PEGI Online system has also received the backing of Microsoft Entertainment Products Division boss Chris Lewis, who said of it: “At Microsoft we actively look for ways to work with partners to empower parents – and provide great digital entertainment for consumers.

“We’re really happy to be able to sign up to PEGI Online, extending the information, education and protection PEGI ratings give to gamers into the online space with Xbox LIVE and Games For Windows LIVE.”

For more information about PEGI Online head over to www.pegionline.eu

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