End in sight for dual ratings as Parliament starts PEGI plan

Michael French
End in sight for dual ratings as Parliament starts PEGI plan

After a drawn out saga, the Government today began the Parliamentary process to have the PEGI ratings for video games become the de facto classification in the UK.

The dual-ratings system that has seen responsibilities shared with the BBFC and its iconic symbols seen on DVD, video and film will come to an end.

A statement from the DCMS said that the benefit is "a simpler and stronger age-rating system for video games".

To recap: relying 100 per cent on self-certified PEGI labels will mean that more contentious games won't have to be submitted to the BBFC for approval.

Now the Video Standards Council will have the power to refuse an age-rating for a video game if it includes extreme content.

"The new system will stop inappropriate video games being sold direct to young children while providing industry with a simpler system for having games age rated," said the DCMS.

"The PEGI system is specifically designed for video games and the age rating on the packaging will be accompanied by information about the type of content that led to the rating."

Jo Twist, CEO of games and interactive entertainment trade body UKIE, which has fought hard for the transition to the simpler ratings, said: “We are pleased to hear that the PEGI regulations are another step closer to becoming the UK’s sole age rating system for video games, giving much needed clarity for consumers.

“We are also in the planning stages of a major awareness campaign to help the public understand the system and other aspects of responsible gaming as soon as PEGI become law in the UK.”

VSC Chair Baroness Shephard added: “This news is very welcome and finally gives us the mandate to undertake the role of statutory video games regulator in the UK.  The VSC is fully prepared and ready to carry out the vital role of providing consumers with a single, straightforward games rating system whilst ensuring that child-safety remains our first priority.”

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Tags: UKIE , pegi , bbfc , dcms

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