European Parliament Endorses PEGI Rating System

January 26, 2009 -

The European Parliament has given its endorsement to the Pan-European Game Information rating system, better known as PEGI.

Edge reports:

The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs had recently convened to discuss a report on aiding consumers (particularly minors) in playing the right kind of videogames for their maturity. In their discussions, says ELSPA, the European Parliament had endorsed a single age rating system, and that “the PEGI system provides an elegant solution to the questions raised by the evolving global games industry.”

The Committee’s [concluded]... that “video games are predominantly non-violent, and a winning form of entertainment.” ELSPA adds that the Committee also claimed that games “can also be used well for valuable educational purposes..."

 

Finally, the Committee encouraged its member states to use and promote the PEGI system. The group also acknowledged the shift gaming has taken to online content, stressed the importance of adequate control measures for online purchases, and supported the PEGI Online system in light of this.

Mainland Europe may be settled with PEGI, but in the UK PEGI remains locked in a bitter fight with the British Board of Film Classification for control of the game content rating process.


Comments

Re: European Parliament Endorses PEGI Rating System

It's amazing that whenever a story about game classification arises people start complaining about the fact that games are rated at all. I find this odd as as adults we shouldn't be affected by the ratings as they don't prevent us from buying the games at all and surely this thought process should be carried over to film too. If we were to do away with certification then people would have no idea of the content contained inside the game (or indeed film), sure everyone knows what GTA (the game with many publicised articles about its content) contains, but how are people supposed to know with new IPs?

Again they are used for guidance and as adults it does not affect our right to buy them. Surely if you want to buy a game for your child if it had a high age rating on it you would be much more likely to consider trying it first before giving it to your child instead of a low rated a game where you would less likely to try it beforehand.

Re: European Parliament Endorses PEGI Rating System

Hey europe, you can be just like the U.S. by joining the E.U.! Lose your competitiveness, cater to the lowest common denomonator, hurrah!

Seriously though, government does NOT need to regulate consumer entertainment like this. Their only place is to say if something is or isn't harmful to children.

Re: European Parliament Endorses PEGI Rating System

I think that I can say for all of us Gamers and also Parents who grew up playing Videogames that were rated by the ESRB, BBFC, PEGI and the OFLC and other rating systems all around the world like the CERO from Japan, that we gamers who grew up with videogame content rating systems know excactly what to do when we become parents.

Sadly there are still many parents around the world who are still confused about the rating systems simply because that they have never grew up with videogames and never cared to even look at the Videogame Package.

All some people know about Videogames are all about, blip music (as they call it) or scoring points. The kind of information that videogames were about ever since the 1980's of the Atari 2600 days and the Arcades.

It seems that thanks to the Videogame Market Crash of 1983, most of these people have simply forgotten about videogames or still think of videogames as what they think of them back in the 80s when all they were about was scoring points and blip music.

It is those people who also can't understand about the Violence in Videogames and that when it comes to shooting games you don't even score points if you shoot someone in many of the violent games at the moment.

But no matter how much you try, you will never get though to those types of people. And they will still be blaming violent videogames and the rating system because they can't even understand it.

All these people do is that they blame the ratings system, or the industry, the person who sold them the game, or even their own kids who wanted the violent videogame in the first place because they will never admit to blame themselves for not understanding more about videogames.

These people are also the same people who never grew up with technology so they don't even know how to even work the parental controls on the consoles.

I know I am generalizing, but to be honest, I asked one woman who I was talking about videogames to that if she wanted to understand more about videogames, all she needed to do was to take the time to PLAY videogames with her child and also to take the time to understand them.

And all she said was...

"Oh...but I don't have enough TIME to understand all about videogames..."

-.-

Even though the ESRB in North America, BBFC in the UK, PEGI in Europe, OFLC in Australia and New Zealand and the CERO in Japan are all doing their part. There will always be some parents who will never understand Videogames because they will never take the time to listen and they will never take the time to try and learn about Videogames from their children.

But I also know that not all parents are like that, there are other parents that I know that have taken the time to understand videogames, but it they had to understand videogames well after they had been afraid because of the fear that the Mainstreem News had told them.

And even then, they had only just understood the basics of Videogames and that is just with the content rating system.

Think about it, that is all that parents really needed to know.

They don't need to know all about the violence in videogames and about the nonsence of school shootings and game addiction.

All they need to understand is how to understand the content rating systems and also the fact that it is always a good thing to go walking with their kids after dinner sometimes just to have a bit of excersise.

that is all.

But then there are some who will conplain that they have too many things to do at home and that they can't go walking with their kids and that they wanted their kids to take up other interests besides from videogames....

I have heard it all from many different parents, not all of them are like that but there are just some who I know will never even take the time to understand videogames all because they don't want to understand.

and there is nothing that anyone can ever really do about it.

some people like some certain politicians are too set in their ways that they will never understand anything about videogames at all and all they will do is that they quote the sensationalist news stories about school shootings and game addiction and they will never really understand the lies that the mainstreem news media had told them all because that the mainstreem news media is just selling the news.

TBoneTony

Re: European Parliament Endorses PEGI Rating System

If parents were doing their jobs by researching games on the internet and monitoring their kids gaming, there would be no point in a rating system.  For those of us who take parenting seriously, this whole issue is nonsense.  It's like having a rating system for soft drinks - you only need it if you're particularly stupid and are afraid to buy stuff without authoritarian guidance.

Re: European Parliament Endorses PEGI Rating System

This doesn't actually have anything to do with PEGI's petulant argument with the BBFC, as someone else said the EU was presented with one European-wide system and it of course backed it. The EU will generally promote anything that is European wide, but as someone has already noted this causes problems with individual countries' attitudes towards games. Germany is very stict on the issue so how they would get on with a more liberal system is anybody's guess and the UK which currently uses a hybrid of both PEGI and BBFC is used to having a system that treats and rates sex sensibly (through the BBFC).

The fact is that the EU is too big for its own good, and the cultural differences is in some cases too apparent. Whilst PEGI is good in principle, in practice it has its problems and would likely be exacerbated if it was to become to only ratings agency as it would have to end up rating games more harsly to accomodate every country's opinions.

Re: European Parliament Endorses PEGI Rating System

 From the Edge article:

Of that new system, there are four suggested options: to either enhance the BBFC’s system, or to enhance the PEGI system, to scrap both systems and use a voluntary code of practice, or to use a hybrid system where PEGI rates games for under 12s and the BBFC rates games for over 12s.

I would like to know what that would entail. Obviously it's the least likely one to get picked out of the four (although, the most likely one that we'll wind up doing at some stage- all other options are unworkable in the long term) but it'd still be interesting to see how itwould work out in the real world.

/b

Re: European Parliament Endorses PEGI Rating System

I would pick the one where PEGI rates ever game and the BBFC rates the 12, 15 and 18 rating games.

I think that is perfect the way things are. Except you need to have parents be aware more about the PEGI and the BBFC and what they do when it comes to Videogame Classification ratings.

the more you try to change it, the less and less you make it work. Because they are not focusing on the real problem, and that is the majorty of parents are getting the wrong information from newspapers like the Daily Mail.

Why?

it is because, in my general belief that many politicians still don't understand anything about Videogames and they will continue to misslead parents no matter what they say. The Daily Mail and other Mainstreem News Media are not interested in educating parents, they are only interested in selling news.

They all need to go into the rooms of the BBFC and the PEGI to understand how BOTH rating systems work and THEN decide on what is the best option.

But all they really needed to do was to support both the BBFC and the PEGI with advertising adds across the UK and Europe so it gives the parents a chance to understand what the content ratings systems on the Videogames are all about.

But I bet none of them would do that because it all costs money that politicians don't want to waste especilly in this time of global financial resession.

TBoneTony

Re: European Parliament Endorses PEGI Rating System

 >I would pick the one where PEGI rates ever game and the BBFC rates the 12, 15 and 18 rating games.

The only problem with that is the stuff that's borderline PG/7+ and 12/12+. (and this is a matter of two different individuals, not cultures) Any rating given by the BBFC would stick, which means eventually people would cut out the middleman and you'd see the BBFC rating PG, 12, 15 and 18, giving you the same issue with the U/3+ and PG borderline, which would also eventually trickle the same way.

Better would be handing it to either one or the other now and skipping the hassle.

Even better would be binning them both and removing the outdated notion of centralised classification clearinghouses and moving on, but that, sadly, is never going to happen.

/b

Re: European Parliament Endorses PEGI Rating System

A cut version of the Half Life 2 Orange Box is rated 18+ in Germany, while the uncut international version has a PEGI rating of 16+, and the madmen that lobby against video games in Germany consider the USK ratings still too soft. A ratings board that's softer than the USK and can't be bullied by national politicians will never see any use in Germany.

Isn't PEGI used in all of Europe except Germany and the UK already? So what exactly is accomplished by giving PEGI official endorsement?

Re: European Parliament Endorses PEGI Rating System

 I think the actual endorsement is fairly old news, but ELSPA's dredging it up as the Byron Review aftermath starts drawing to a close, as a way of explaining to the Government as to why PEGI is better than the BBFC.

/b

Re: European Parliament Endorses PEGI Rating System

Go PEGI. :) *Waves a PEGI flag*

Re: European Parliament Endorses PEGI Rating System

I'm not British, but I'll celebrate a step towards victory! Go Brits!

Re: European Parliament Endorses PEGI Rating System

No, Britain still wants the BBFC, but the British government still hasn't given up on trying to force us into fully joining the EU, so this will be interesting.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: European Parliament Endorses PEGI Rating System

I seem to remember that the UK 'fully joined' the EU in 1973. It is also worth noting that the EC has no competence to legislate in this area so the EPs opinion is restricted to being that; a simple opinion.

Not to mention the fact that the EP was presented with only one 'European' system, pretty much guarantees their support of it. It was the best of the one options available ...

 

Re: European Parliament Endorses PEGI Rating System

"I seem to remember that the UK 'fully joined' the EU in 1973."

Well, since Britain still doesn't use the Euro, I think that's a strong sign that Britain is not fully joined with the EU.

Re: European Parliament Endorses PEGI Rating System

HA, this will put the cat among the pigeons!

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: European Parliament Endorses PEGI Rating System

Actually it will do nothing.  PEGI has always been pan-european and BBFC has always been the BRITISH Board of Film (and game) Classification.

Re: European Parliament Endorses PEGI Rating System

Will this ever end?  Or will these citizens get more and more rights taken away long before it ends?  Oh, I wave my right to bear arms btw.

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