New video games rating system

A new simpler and stronger age-rating system for video games comes into force today. The new system is designed to stop inappropriate games being sold to children under the age of 12, the Government has said.

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New video games rating system 'a vital tool' for parents

As we mark the start of PEGI as the single video game age rating system, we're delighted to use the opportunity to help parents to make informed decisions about which video games to choose for their family.

A key way we're doing this is through the relaunch of www.askaboutgames.com. We'd urge parents to use this really helpful tool to ensure that playing video games has the biggest positive impact on their children and family as a whole.

We very much believe that the sole adoption of PEGI will provide clear and consistent direction on age ratings for parents and will be a vital tool in helping them to understand the types of games that their children should be playing.

– Dr Jo Twist, chief executive of The Association of UK Interactive Entertainment

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What are the changes to the video games rating system?

  • All games sold in the UK will be regulated under the Europe-wide PEGI (Pan European Game Information) scheme.
  • The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) had provided 15 and 18 certificates that are legally enforceable here but was never tasked with providing 12 certificates meaning it was technically legal to sell a 12-rated game to younger children.
  • The new system will end the BBFC's role in rating video games, unless they contain explicit sexual content that warrants an R18 rating.
  • The changes mean anyone selling a 12-certificate game to a child under that age in the UK could be jailed.

New age-rating system for video games

A new age-rating system for video games comes into force today.

The new system will come into force today. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

The new system is designed to stop inappropriate games being sold to children under the age of 12 and give the industry more straightforward rules for rating games according to age, the Government has said.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) had provided 15 and 18 certificates that are legally enforceable here. However, the BBFC was never tasked with providing 12 certificates for video games, meaning it was technically legal to sell a 12-rated game to younger children.

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