Reviewed Ratings System Review Reviewed

By John Walker on June 17th, 2009 at 9:30 am.

CENSORED!

An interesting story from yesterday merits a brief comment, I think. The PEGI rating system for games in the UK is to become the industry standard, and legal. The current confusion, where the BBFC ratings are often voluntary but enforced by law, and the PEGI ratings required but not enforced, has been muddling parents and shop assistants for years. After the Byron Review, Tanya Byron suggested just one ratings system, more robust, and far more clear. And it looks like it’s now going to happen.

Eurogamer quote Creative Industries Minister Siôn Simon saying,

“Protecting children and giving parents a clear and robust new system has always been our starting point. The new system of classification follows the essential criteria set out by Professor Tanya Byron, who recommended a trustworthy, uniform and clear set of symbols that is flexible and future proof.”

Clearly there had to be some change, and hopefully this will replace the complete mess that’s currently in place. However, it will be interesting to see how long it takes for the promised new PEGI logos to become as recognisable and semiotically powerful as the BBFC’s big red circles of doom.

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104 Comments »

  1. Crispy says:

    Not sure if that suggestion was meant in jest, but that’s 12 different obscure abbreviations for non-game-playing parents and guardians to keep track of.

  2. Chemix says:

    It was meant in jest, sort of, as OMGWTFBBQ should have noted. The point is that parents need to pay more attention to their kids in a direct sense. The television and the computer aren’t surrogate parents, not good ones anyway.

  3. DMJ says:

    [i]I’ll decide when my son is old enough to kill virtual hookers, not anyone else.[/i]

    Despite the flippant tone to this comment, I endorse BigJonno’s remark.

  4. MistressOfSerenity says:

    Re: choosing PEGI over BBFC, could the question of not wanting to bankrupt small, indy or struggling game makers been a matter in this?

    The BBFC normally charges £2000+ for rating a product of any substantive lenght, and these fees are based on *runtime* (starts at £300 for a 1 minute long video game). Putting aside how long one decides a game is (is WoW a 1 hour or 1million hour long game?) that BBFC fee is for just the UK, how much does PEGI charge to rate a game, is it lenght based, or fixed? is the charge presumptive on release across the EU? and if you don’t want to release it in every EU member, can you get a discount? Do the charges multiply if you have multiple language audio in game?