UK government to enforce PEGI age ratings
The UK's videogame rating system has been revised by the government to bring it in line with European standards from July.
As such, games released in the UK will receive a PEGI rating from the Video Standards Council (VSC) as opposed to the British Board of Film Classification. The BBFC will still deal with games that are considered to contain gross violence or sexual material, however.
The VSC will be responsible for ensuring retailers comply with the PEGI ratings, and any staff caught selling a game to a child below the stipulated age could face a a prison term for the first time.
Despite the tighter restrictions, the new ratings only apply to games sold in bricks and mortar stores, while online purchases remain exempt.
"It will give parents greater confidence that their children can only get suitable games while we are creating a simpler system for the industry having their games age-rated," says UK minister for culture Ed Vaizey.
TIGA CEO Richard Wilson adds: "It simplifies the system, the PEGIi system is reasonably easy to understand. The fact there are criminal sanctions in place will mean that retailers will want to train and support their staff."