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."

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