The Video Standards Council announced this morning that the Department for Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) has confirmed their intention to appoint the organization as the regulator for rating games in the United Kingdom using the PEGI system used for the rest of Europe. The DCMS informed the UK Parliament of their intentions today.
Established in 1989, the Video Standards Council (VSC) is a UK regulating body set up to oversee a Code of Practice designed to promote high standards within the video/DVD industry. This Code of Conduct was later expanded to promote higher standards in the video games industry. In 1994 the VSC became responsible for the age-rating of most video games under the scheme developed by the European Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) now UKIE.
"This news is very welcome and gives us the mandate to undertake the role of statutory video games regulator in the UK, stated Laurie Hall, Director-General of the VSC. "It is role that we will relish and which will ensure that children and younger people are protected and kept safe from inappropriate video games."
"It has been a long and arduous task to arrive at this point and we thank all those involved in helping to establish PEGI as the legally recognised system," Hall continued. "All the necessary administrative and technical systems are in place and we are simply awaiting confirmation of when we can officially start. The VSC has been rating video games since 1994. We will use our wealth of skill and experience to good effect in our new role as the national video games regulator."
The announcement brings to fruition a process that started in 2008 when it was recommended that PEGI be adopted in the UK by the Byron Review. No official date has been set as of this writing but VCS expects that games in the UK will begin being regulated under the PEGI system, as soon as this summer.