Video Standards Council Releases Annual Report on UK Video Games Ratings

July 23, 2013 -

The Video Standards Council has published its first annual report since it was designated as the UK's regulatory body for classifying video games on July 30, 2012. The report covers the last 5 months of 2012, and offers a brief history of the VSC, a description of what it does, and how it uses PEGI in the UK for all types of games.

The most interesting aspect of the new report is just how many games were classified and under what category for the UK.

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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's DCMS Appoints The Video Standards Council to Oversee PEGI Ratings

May 10, 2012 -

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.

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UK Implementation of PEGI Pushed to 2011

July 16, 2010 -

MCVUK carries word from the Video Standards Council (VSC) that a mandatory shift to the Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) ratings system in the UK will not be legally enforceable until April 1, 2011.

The UK’s Digital Economy act dictated that PEGI would become the single system for rating games, replacing a current implementation that utilizes PEGI in conjunction with British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) ratings.

While the Digital Economy bill passed in April of this year, the delay was blamed on it not yet being “made effective.” A portion of a statement MCV obtained from the VFC reads:

Digital Economy Bill Passes

April 8, 2010 -

The UK’s Digital Economy Bill has been passed by the House of Commons, with MPs okaying the measure in a 189 to 47 vote.

The Bill, which also was granted Royal Assent, makes PEGI the UK’s sole rating system for videogames, introduces a variety of provisions for dealing with illegal file sharers, and debuts measures for blocking Internet access to online sites that may promote online copyright infringement.

The latter two procedures drew the ire of the Open Rights Group, whose Executive Director Jim Killock wrote, “What a debacle. Measures to allow disconnection of individuals from the internet, for undefined periods of time, web blocking laws; all with no real scrutiny and limited debate.”

VSC Ramps Up for Future, Adds Dr. Byron to Panel

January 18, 2010 -

As the UK moves to adopt the PEGI system as a sole means for rating videogames, the Video Standards Council (VSC), which will enforce and assign actual ratings, has added additional personnel to its ranks.

One new addition to the VSC is an Expert Advisory Panel reports GamesIndustry.biz, which will feature media violence expert Guy Cumberbatch, author Geoffrey Robertson and Dr. Tanya Byron (pictured), author of the Byron Report.

VSC Chair Baroness Shephard commented:

The newly established VSC Expert Advisory Panel will play a key role. The VSC will have the ability to effectively 'ban' a videogame from supply in the UK if it infringes the limits set out in the law.  Any such decision will not be taken lightly and will involve a number of legal, clinical and psychological issues.

A trio of board members was also added to the VSC, ex-Chief Constable Tony Lake, retired Director of the Family and Parenting Institute Mary MacLeod and Chris Atkinson of the National Socitey for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

13 comments

Video Standards Council to Play Enforcer Role In New UK Game Ratings Scheme

June 16, 2009 -

Although our initial coverage of today's Digital Britain report focused on the long-awaited decision regarding ownership of U.K. video game ratings, there is much more to the story.

In relation to PEGI's big win over BBFC, gamesindustry.biz reports that Britain's Video Standards Council will be given tough enforcement powers to ensure that game publishers and retailers conform to content rating guidelines. The VSC will be empowered to fine companies which do not adhere to the PEGI system and, in extreme cases, may even ban titles from being sold in the U.K.

Of the VCS's role in enforcing the new system, EA's Keith Ramsdale told gi.biz:

The VSC will be an independent body, as is the PEGI system, and while I'm sure there's some joining up to do, it's a tough system.

We've gone further than the recommendations and PEGI will impose fines for non-compliance and possible exclusion from the PEGI system for non compliance...


Of course there will be checks on what content people put in, and there will be highly punitive measures should publishers not comply.

 
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