Game Critic Keith Vaz Supports PEGI Ratings, Says ELSPA Head

Labour MP Keith Vaz (left), a longstanding critic of the video game industry, is apparently lending his support to the use of PEGI as the UK’s sole rating system.

At least, that’s the word from ELSPA. A press release issued today by the UK game publishers group reports on a "quick meeting" between ELSPA boss Michael Rawlinson and Vaz:

London, United Kingdom – 24 July, 2009: ELSPA’s Director General, Michael Rawlinson, met with Keith Vaz MP this week. During the meeting the Home Affairs Select Committee Chairman made it clear he supports the single rating system being introduced for videogames and also commended the improvements to PEGI.
“We had a quick meeting with Mr Vaz and he made it apparent that he believes it is important to have a single, rather than a confusing dual, rating system in the UK,” said Michael Rawlinson. “Mr Vaz added that he was keen to see the changes being made to the PEGI system and acknowledged the UK games industry’s commitment to an advertising and education campaign around the new age symbols and content descriptors when they are introduced to further protect players.”

"Quick meeting" leaves a lot to the imagination: Hallway? Elevator? Men’s room? We’ve asked ELSPA for clarification and whether we can expect any type of announcement in which Vaz states his position for himself.

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


  1. 0
    Erik says:

    Perhaps there would be an appeals process if the US government gets its wish to deputize the ESRB and give its ratings force of law.  But we, unlike Jack, don’t want to go down that road now do we?  I mean appealing the ESRB?  Come on.  That is like "appealing" Pepsi to bring back Crystal Pepsi.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  2. 0
    State says:

    The point remains that the ESRB also gave Manhunt 2 AO status, essentially banning it too, although it allowed a cut version at M rating. They did the same was San Andreas and guess what? There isn’t an appeals process like there is within the UK.

  3. 0
    State says:

    Saw and Manhunt 2 aren’t comparable. (I don’t know if you use Saw as an example of an "extreme" film rather than the film’s actual content). Saw isn’t that violent or graphic (most of the gore is implied), Manhunt 2 in its orginal form was and the gore definitely wasn’t implied. More comparable films would be Murder Set Pieces (banned by the BBFC) and Ichi the Killer (cut by the BBFC). Saw and add to that Hostel are not examples of extreme cinema.

    The BBFC actually bans and forces more cuts to be made to films than it does to games (only two in its history).

  4. 0
    Erik says:

    It isn’t that people have trouble remembering it.  Everyone remembers it.  But the fact that it was overturned is irrelevant.  The point remains is that it happened in the first place.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  5. 0
    State says:

    Because the BBFC treat the content in films and games equally. In America Hot Coffee was seen as pornographic, the scenes in Basic Instinct weren’t. PEGI think Mass Effect deserves an 18, BBFC believe a 12 is sufficient. The BBFC were quite open with the people they employ to rate the games and they were serious gamers, this wasn’t some hack job.

    The support that you have seen for PEGI comes from the industry itself, not from the consumers. PEGI is not publically accountable (unlike the BBFC was as evidenced from Manhunt 2), therefore the games companies have their say in the matter, no one else does.

  6. 0
    TBoneTony says:

    Well I could care too hoots about Vaz, he is just a opportunistic politician who will probably be voted out sooner or later.

    Also condeming a game in Japan just because it was on and nowhere else, seems really desperate for a politician to do in order to scare parents.

    Then trying to lable the Videogame Industry who do not really make games like that in the first place, (which is like trying to blame Hollywood movie industry for the Porno films that are run under a seperate organisation all together) and having a real hate against Videogames (does not surprize me is Vaz was also the one who put in that health poster about a boy playing videogames and saying it leads to an early death).

    Yeah, Vaz is allot like Jack Thompson only worse because he is a politician, well at least most of you guys don’t live in Australia, I have got Michael Atkinson doing the same thing in Australia and he is bullying all the Australian Adult Gamers who do want an 18+ rating for games.

    I only hope that this does not lead the UK for banning 18 rated games though, because it would be just as worse as what goes on in Australia.


    And for those who believe in protecting the children? Just wait until something YOU like becomes attacked and banned….



  7. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    Indeed. I’ve spent many a year laughing at the glaring inconsistencies between the two. Anything BBFC rates, PEGI rates harsher.


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

  8. 0
    Canary Wundaboy says:

    PEGI will be a lot quicker to slap the harsher certificates on games, as evidenced by Mass Effect being given an 18 rating. The European influence will also be a factor, countries like Germany are a lot quicker to condemn games, while the BBFC was traditionally quite relaxed. Manhunt 2 was an unfortunate and isolated incident.



    Check out my blog –

  9. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Anyone with half a brain dose not need ratings, between box art and whats on the back you can tell if soemthing is bad or not for your kids.


    I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay’s outside our bedrooms..

  10. 0
    Roh02 says:

    Im sure there insnt anything wrong with pegi and their ratings system as such but they claim its to prevent confusion. despite the fact that all the people (responsible parents) who will bother learning it allready know about the old one. a new one will have to be learned all over again for no good reason.

  11. 0
    Magic says:

    I don’t understand why people praise the BBFC or are disappointed that we’ve got PEGI. I remember reading in PCG years ago the problems with the BBFC (The ‘F’ stands for film by the way – I’ve always presumed that it originated with interactive movies having relevant content, but they never had a clue about games themselves). I’ve read several articles in games industry magazines showing consistent support for PEGI, I can’t recall any defense of the BBFC.

    Also, I’d imagine "quick meeting" to be at least under half an hour.

  12. 0
    Roh02 says:

    do you know what else is confusing? changing the ratings system  (thats been proven to work great for years) to something new that doesnt make a blind bit of difference apart from causing the probleme your trying to prevent.

    the old ratings system worked great you changed it for the sake of changing it PEGI was just marking its territory with the change.

Leave a Reply