After more than a year of consideration, the British Government has selected the Pan-European Game Information system, better known as PEGI, will handle video game content rating chores in the U.K.
The announcement was made a short time ago and is contained in Lord Stephen Carter’s Digital Britain report.
The U.K. video game industry is sure to be pleased with the news. British game publishers association ELSPA lobbied hard for PEGI during the 15 months since Dr. Tanya Byron’s review recommended that there be a single content rating system for the U.K. ELSPA boss Mike Rawlinson was ebullient over the announcement:
The Government has made absolutely the right decision for child safety. By choosing PEGI as the single classification system in the UK, British children will now get the best possible protection when playing videogames either on a console or on the internet.
Parents can be assured that they will have access to clear, uniform ratings on games and an accurate understanding of game content.
On the other hand – as in the United States where the ESRB handles ratings – some will question whether the video game industry can be relied up to effectively self-regulate.
For its part, the BBFC issued a statement reflecting its disappointment but vowing to support the Government’s decision:
The BBFC has always supported PEGI and wished it well, but it continues to believe that it satisfies these requirements better than PEGI. However, it will cooperate fully in the detailed work needed to give effect to the Government’s decision. And it must be independent in substance as well as appearance, reaching its decisions and providing information on the basis of its own detailed assessments.
Among the video game community the BBFC is best known for the controversial nationwide ban it imposed on Manhunt 2 in 2007. That edict was later overturned by Britain’s High Court.