PEGI likely to become law in 2010

PEGI will have to wait the best part of a year until it becomes the UK’s sole classification system by law.

The proposal to implement PEGI as the UK’s only games age classification model, overseen by the Video Standards Council, was put forward by Labour in its Digital Britain White Paper earlier this week.

More consultation will now take place between stakeholders PEGI, the VSC and the Department of Culture, Media And Sport to ‘fine tune’ the bill, which will eventually alter the the Video Recordings Act – last tweaked back in 1994.

Following this, it will have to be approved by Parliamentary procedure, which is not likely to be completed until 2010.

However, as reported by MCV, the all-new PEGI logos WILL start appearing on boxes across Europe this summer – and are already being manufactured.

Subsequent reports have suggested that the Government would rush the amendment of the Video Recordings Act through Parliament this year – but MCV understands this process is likely to take around 10 months.

Industry figureheads are hopeful the process can be completed by next May, when a new election is likely.

However, ELSPA’s director general Mike Rawlinson told MCV that he was confident a change in Government is not likely to affect the ascent of the prospective bill.

The legal side doesn’t happen overnight – it could take a whole year,” Rawlinson told MCV.

We have and will continue to work with all parties in the house to ensure they understand this is not a party political issue. We are looking for co-operation from all parties to ensure a smooth path to legislation.

"We’ve spoken to the current shadow ministers, and both Conservative and Lib Dems have recognised the advantage of the PEGI system and support this solution.

The timeframe depends on when the Video Recordings Act is changed to have all video games rated under the law – and that has to go through Parliament.

Our colleagues at the VSC have immense experience in the drafting of the Video Recordings Act. Secretary General Laurie Hall helped draft the initial act in 1984. He also worked on the re-draft in 1994.

This will be the third time he’s worked in this area. It’s interesting that the BBFC have offered to help. I don’t believe that any of their senior staff have been involved with either of the previous two Video Recordings Act.”

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