How Games Get Rated in South Africa

If you woke up this morning wondering who handles video game content rating chores in South Africa, Johannesburg newspaper The Times explains all.

American parents rely on the ESRB while mums and dads in the U.K. will be turning exclusively to PEGI by year’s end. In South Africa, however, the Film and Publications Board is responsible for issuing age guidelines for game content. Ratings run from PG, 13, 16 and 18. The Times explains:

Games rated PG contain no references to drugs, no foul language and no nudity, but may contain “minimal violence in playful, comic or highly stylis ed settings”…

Further, games rated 13 are similarly restricted in terms of drug references, foul language and nudity, but may contain “sequences of mild violence”, provided there is “no mutilation or dismemberment of animal or human bodies”.

The 16+ classification makes allowances for drug reference — provided they do not glamorise their use — and some nudity, provided it is not tied to incentives within the game. But with regard to violence, the game may include sequences of intense violence in graphic detail. Mutilation and dismemberment may occur in animated contexts.

The FPB’s mission statement mentions that it seeks to maintain "relevance to the values and norms of South African society through scientific research."

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    JDKJ says:

    Too busy prattling on about how the shamen are whipping the tribesmen into toddler-raping, AIDS-curing frenzies down in British-owned South Africa.

  2. 0
    JDKJ says:

    Just so you know and don’t end up proceeding on the basis of any unreasonable expectations, Ol’ Doc Kefka is as crazy, batshit-shit insane as they come.

  3. 0
    LujanD says:

    Could you elaborate on how the UK apparently still owns South Africa, because I find that extremely difficult to believe.

    Actually, I think that’s just nonsense in general.

  4. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    The exact wording is "PEGI will form the basis for a new ratings body".


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

  5. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    Weird, you didn’t mention Obama once.

    Are you feeling ok? I’m a little worried!


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

  6. 0
    Alyric says:

    Like the previous commenter, I have no idea what your point is.

    But, regarding your comment, the "sex with a virgin cures AIDS" myth is only a part of the reason that South Africa has so many problems with rape.  (Though it’s the primary reason that child and even infant rape is so rampant).  They also rape lesbians to "cure" them of the tokolos (demon) inside them, and there are quite literally wandering gangs of young men that consider gang rape a sport.

    An international organization did a survey a few years back, and one in three women they talked to had been raped in the previous three months.

    The ignorance in the country (and, indeed, many parts of the world) is staggering, and it’s in spite of attempts by the outside world to educate them – just look at their presidents. Their last president, Mbeki, was very vocal in saying that AIDS and HIV were not related. Their current president, Zuma – during an investigation into his rape of an HIV positive woman (he claimed it was consensual) said that it was "ok because he took a bath afterwards to wash the disease off". That’s their president.

  7. 0
    LujanD says:

    I’m not quite sure what your point is…

    The FPB simply classify games but they leave the right to choose up to the buyer. They don’t enforce their classifications. So I doubt any of those involved in combating rape (or any crime for that matter) are being pestered by them; like lawyers, law enforcement, etc.

  8. 0
    Neo_DrKefka says:



    Weird. So is South Africa doing anything to curb the Black Sub Saharan African tribes view in South Africa that raping toddlers cures aids which has caused South Africa to be the rape capitol of the world?

    Or what they don’t want to seem racist? It sounds like to me, they have better things to do then worry what type of video games are played by kids when you got little kids being raped in massive numbers in South Africa because Black Shamans and tribes men are preaching raping toddlers will cure Aids. Even Oprah did a special on that, surprisingly.

  9. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    For gods sake GP, how many more times do you need to be told that the UK is NOT going to PEGI, they are using PEGI as a basis for a newly designed ratings system. That’s in their own words.


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

  10. 0
    JDKJ says:

    Perhaps it was originally written in Afrikaans and got lost in the translation, but I wonder what sort of "scientific research" the South African Films and Publication Board does. And why an agency seemingly dedicated to rating media content would ever have a need to conduct scientific research. 

  11. 0
    LujanD says:

    You’re right Andrew, we haven’t had anything banned over here.

    As for Resident Evil 5’s age restriction, I couldn’t find it anywhere on the disk cover and I’m not really sure if the game came in a box… If it did, maybe the rating was on there.

    By the way, I was searching through some other games and noticed that the FPB’s age restriction features very little, if at all. Instead, I found a ton of ratings belonging to PEGI and ESRB; mostly PEGI. So I’m not sure where The Times is getting its information from… Perhaps the FPB just checks the game.

  12. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    Looking at the FPB site, it doesn’t appear to ban anything other than child pornography.  Can’t find a rating for Resident Evil 5 but then again, I couldn’t find a rating for any video game.


    Andrew Eisen

  13. 0
    MaskedPixelante says:

    I imagine Resident Evil 5 was insta-banned, unless… wait, is South Africa the white part of Africa?

    —You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Leave a Reply