UK Games Rating Authority Launches New Site with 'Additional Consumer Information'

October 2, 2012 -

The Games Rating Authority (GRA), part of the United Kingdom's Video Standards Council (VSC) has launched its new website today. The new site adds what the GRA calls "Additional Consumer Information" (ACI) that gives consumers the ability to search for a specific game title and learn what it was rated under a certain category. The ACI is a text-based system that is meant to supplement the PEGI visual descriptors. It offers a brief outline of the game and information about the "strength and frequency of a rating issue."

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Australian AG Greenlights MA15+ and R18+ Game Ratings Classifications

September 18, 2012 -

Australia’s Attorney General John Rau has done an about face according to Indaily, who reports that he has given a greenlight to both MA15+ and R18+ games rating classifications. Previously he had made a decision to abolish the MA15+ classification in South Australia when the new 18-rated game classification was approved.

The Attorney General said that the recently released guidelines were "stringent enough" and different enough from an earlier draft he had some qualms about.

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Australia's Classification Board Puts Emphasis on Interactive Elements

September 13, 2012 -

VG247 points out the release of a new document released by Australia's classification board, which puts a strong emphasis on the negative effects that games can have due to their "interactive elements."

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Australian Capital Territory Introduces R18+ Ratings Classification for Games

August 24, 2012 -

The Australian Capital Territory has officially introduced the R18+ ratings classification for games, according to Gamespot (Thanks to Cheater87 for the tip). The law was passed by the ACT Legislative Assembly this week, making it the first territory in the country to do so. The new rating was introduced earlier this year.

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Verizon App Store for Android Adds ESRB Ratings

August 14, 2012 -

While other App stores such as Google Play and Apple App Store have eschewed the ESRB ratings system here in the United States in favor of their own internal systems, Verizon is taking a different tact. Verizon has been slowly adding the ESRB ratings system for all of the gaming apps in the Verizon App Store for its supported Android devices.

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PEGI Officially Enforceable in the UK

July 30, 2012 -

The Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) ratings system is officially in effect in the United Kingdom today, with the reins of the video game ratings bureaucracy leaving the auspices of the  BBFC. The change means that retailers in the region that sell video games rated for 12-, 16- or 18-year-olds to children below those age limits would be subject to prosecution and other legal actions. Packaging for games in the UK will now contain age ratings, and descriptors for language, drug use, discrimination, gambling, sex, violence, online gameplay, and more.

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Japanese Release of Sleeping Dogs to Feature Punishment System for Killing Citizens

June 27, 2012 -

It looks like Square Enix is editing the contents of its upcoming game in order for it to be released in Japan. The game, (called Sleeping Dogs Hong Kong Secret Police in Japan and Sleeping Dogs in other parts of the world) developed by United Front, will be edited to fit the market in some bizarre ways.

Besides getting a rating of CERO Z (adults only), the game will be edited with a system that punishes players for killing civilians. We have no idea what that punishment will be, but we imagine it will be much more than a "time out."

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UKIE: PEGI Could Be UK Law as Soon as July 23

June 12, 2012 -

The pan-European games ratings system (PEGI) could be legally enforceable in the United Kingdom as soon as July 23, according to UKIE. Though the date is not set in stone, the UKIE is getting the word out that the new rating system approved by Parliament last month will soon be the law of the land. And when we say law, we mean there are certain rules that will apply to retailers that can get them a hefty fine or prosecution if they are caught selling age-inappropriate games to minors.

A subsequent update from UKIE CEO Jo Twist back pedaled slightly on the July 23 date: 

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June is 'Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month'

June 1, 2012 -

The Digital Media Association (DiMA), Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA), National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM), and National Association of Theatre Owners declare June to be "Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month." June has been proclaimed "Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month" by the groups since 2004. The participating organizations are encouraging movie theaters, and retailers of movies, music, and video games to highlight the importance of ratings systems to their customers.

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VSC Clarifies New PEGI Ratings Guidelines, Penalties for UK

May 16, 2012 -

The Video Standards Council (VSC) issued a press release today announcing details on how the PEGI ratings system will work in the United Kingdom when it replaces the current ratings system used in the region to rate video game content. The VSC said that it issued the statement today to provide "greater clarity" on how their position as the new UK regulator for video games will affect future video game regulations in the country.

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UK PEGI Ratings Bring Penalties to Careless Retailers

May 11, 2012 -

One of the things we did not note when we wrote about it earlier this week is that, with the PEGI rating system coming to the United Kingdom, there will be a change in the law that retailers will want to take note of. According to the official release from the Department for Culture Media and Sports (DCMS) the Video Standards Council (VSC) will have the right to "refuse to grant an age-rating for a video game if it includes extreme content” (which means it can’t be sold in the UK).

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PEGI Games Age Ratings in July, Says UKIE

April 26, 2012 -

The long-delayed implementation of the PEGI age rating system will be ready for prime time by July of this year in the UK, according to MCV. This news comes from UK video game industry trade group UKIE.

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ESRB's Patricia Vance Talks About a Universal Ratings System

April 10, 2012 -

In a freshly-posted interview with Gamasutra, the ESRB's top executive talks about making the voluntary ratings system used by the North American video game industry a universal ratings system, among various topics including how to deal with getting consistent ratings on mobile and portable platforms such as Android and iOS devices and the challenges related to digitally distributed games.

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South Australia to Keep MA15+ Rating

April 3, 2012 -

South Australia will introduce a new law that would ban anyone under the age of 18 from purchasing a game with a rating of MA15+, according to a report from Gamespot Australia. A spokesperson for South Australian Attorney-General John Rau told GameSpot that this move is "a more practical measure" than Rau's previously announced plan of removing the MA15+ category altogether.

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Australian Capital Takes R18+ Rating for a Test Drive

March 27, 2012 -

It’s been a long time coming but Australia is finally getting the adult rating for video games that Aussie gamers have been clamoring for.  You know, the adult rating that movies and books in that country already have.

Ahem.

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Australia's R18+ Legislation Passes Lower House

March 20, 2012 -

Australia's R18+ legislation has passed the House of Representatives, with advocates hoping that it will be adopted by the Senate at some point. This puts the adult classification that most Australian citizens have been asking for multiple years on track to becoming law by early 2013. In order for it to pass through the Senate, the bill will require the support of either the coalition or the Greens (both support the R18+ classification). Once it passes the Senate, the R18+ legislation will become law.

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Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to Label All Games With Warning Labels

March 20, 2012 -

Congressmen Joe Baca (D-Calif.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) introduced a bill on Monday that would require video games to carry a special warning label similar to the kind found on cigarettes. That warning would be:

"WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior."

The bill is H.R. 4204, or Violence in Video Games Labeling Act. The sponsors say the law is a reaction to increasing evidence that playing violent games can have a serious long-lasting impact on children that should require a health warning to consumers.

Ubisoft Encouraged Swearing in Shoot Many Robots

March 15, 2012 -

What the F@#k? Apparently Ubisoft encouraged developer Demiurge Studios to make their first independent title, Shoot Many Robots, as filthy as possible. According to Demiurge CEO Albert Reed Ubisoft encouraged them to drop as many f-bombs as they liked in the game.

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Australian Law Reform Commission: Game Industry Should Self-Regulate

March 5, 2012 -

The Australian Law Reform Commission is proposing a voluntary system where only games with a rating of MA15+ content or above would have to be classified by the Australian government. The Commission also suggested that all classification ratings for various forms of entertainment should become consistent across all forms of media. That is the conclusion of the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) Classification-Content Regulation and Convergent Media report that was commissioned late last year by Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland.

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Australia's R18+ Ratings Bill Sent to Inquiry Hearing

February 16, 2012 -

According to a Kotaku Australia report, the R18+ ratings bill has hit a slight snag in the Australia Parliament. According to a tweet from Ed Husic, MP for Chifley, the Coalition government has asked that the R18+ bill be sent for an inquiry. Under the rules, if one MP calls for an inquiry on a proposed bill, it must undergo further scrutiny by a Standing Committee.

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Australian R18+ Classification to Take Effect January 1, 2013

February 15, 2012 -

According to the Australian government, gamers in the country can expect the adult-level R18+ classification for video games to be in place by January 1, 2013 (thanks to Cheater87). As promised, Federal Minister for Home Affairs Jason Clare introduced the R18+ bill in parliament yesterday and announced that the federal government expects the R18+ for games legislation to officially come into effect next year.

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R18+ Ratings Classification Heading to Australia's Parliament

February 14, 2012 -

Australia's Federal Minister for Home Affairs Jason Clare announced last month tentative plans to continue the work of former Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor in introducing an R18+ adult ratings classification for video games to lawmakers. At the time he said that he would introduce a bill in the February session of the parliament.

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Australia's R18+ Gets Debate and Vote in February

January 24, 2012 -

The Australian Government will finally debate and vote on an R18+ video games classification in February, according to several published reports. Former Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor had taken responsibility for the bill, and had been pushing for a vote on the subject for a very long time. 

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UKIE Sells Stake in GfK Chart-Track

January 23, 2012 -

UK video game industry trade group UKIE has sold its stake in chart tracking firm GfK Chart-Track, according to a report in MCV. The trade group has reserved - but still has a deal for exclusive access to its data. UKIE held a 20 percent stake, which it sold to GfK, which has had a majority ownership of Chart-Track since 2008.

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Australian Christian Lobby Compares Games Industry to Tobacco Companies

January 12, 2012 -

Update: This story is apparently ancient history from March 2010. While it's fun to refresh your memory, it's not news. We apologize for presenting it as such.

The Australian Christian Lobby is doing its best to slow down the momentum of an R18+ ratings classification in Australia by using a new tactic: comparing mature video games to cigarettes. The group used the public consultation period for the R18+ classification to assail the games industry.

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Pro-Gaming Australian Federal Minister Brendan O'Connor Exits Home Affairs Post

December 12, 2011 -

Former Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor, a staunch supporter of R18+ for games in Australia, was today renamed minister for Human Services and minister assisting the School Education. He'll be replaced by former Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare. Naturally he'll inherit his portfolio of issues including the R18+ ratings classification for games.

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id Software Developer Explains Why Google, Apple Avoided New ESRB Ratings System

December 1, 2011 -

The ESRB and the CTIA detailed a new ratings systems for mobile games this week - backed by such companies as AT&T, Microsoft, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless. Two companies that were curiously absent from that list hold the lion's share of the market when it comes to platforms: Apple and Google.

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ESRB and CTIA Detail Voluntary Ratings System for Mobile Games

November 29, 2011 -

The ESRB and CTIA have finally revealed details on the voluntary rating system for mobile apps that was revealed last week. The ratings system currently has the support of six major mobile service and hardware providers including AT&T, Microsoft, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless. Apple and Google did not throw their support behind the new ratings system because they already have their own process and system in place - and it has been refined to their satisfaction.

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ESRB, CTIA Team Up for Mobile Game Ratings

November 21, 2011 -

The Entertainment Software Review Board (ESRB) has teamed up with trade group Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association to create a standardized rating system for mobile applications and games. The ESRB says that the new ratings system will be "based on age-appropriateness of their content and context," according to Gamasutra. An official announcement on the new ratings system will take place next Tuesday in Washington, DC.

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Final Australian R18+ Guidelines Released

November 4, 2011 -

The final guidelines for the new r18+ games rating classification have been released by the Australian government (thanks to Cheater87). Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor also announced that all of the states have signed off on these new guidelines. The guidelines, made public this week, finally explain the important parts of the R18+ rating, and show changes to the existing MA15+ rating.

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Andrew EisenAs it happens, Chinatown Wars is the only GTA game I've played.04/19/2014 - 10:43am
Papa MidnightWith GTA5 (to date) failing to even provide indication of a PC release, I'm realising that this might be the first GTA game that I have not played (outside of Chinatown Wars) since the series inception.04/19/2014 - 8:14am
IanCSo im guessing a bunch of edutainment games, which a lot of people elsewhere are going gaga over, dot count as classics? Okay. If you don't mind me, i have a sudden urge to play Putt Putt....04/19/2014 - 6:15am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/18/playstation-99-cent-sale-discounts-tokyo-jungle-super-stardust/ Weekend long PSN flash sale. So much stuff is 99 cents for the rest of the weekend.04/18/2014 - 5:59pm
Adam802http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/18/5627928/newtown-video-game-addiction-forum04/18/2014 - 4:14pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a video talking about why certain games/products/consoles do well, and others do not. he back it up with solid research.04/18/2014 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenI'm not keen on blind links. What is it?04/18/2014 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonthis is worth a whatch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyXcr6sDRtw&list=PL35FE5C4B157509C904/18/2014 - 3:43pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
MaskedPixelanteWell, I am officially done with Night Dive Studios. Unless they can bring something worthwhile back, I'm never buying another game from them.04/17/2014 - 2:29pm
PHX Corphttp://www.msnbc.com/ronan-farrow/watch/video-games-continue-to-break-the-mold-229561923638 Ronan Farrow Daily on Video games breaking the mold04/17/2014 - 2:13pm
 

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