PEGI becomes UK standard for games

Ratings system to be backed by law.

The PEGI ratings system is to become the sole standard form of classification for videogames in the UK, the Government has announced.

The Video Standards Council will oversee the system independent of the games industry, and will implement the PEGI system for all titles released in the region.

Selling a videogame rated 12 or over to a minor will now be illegal.

"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," commented Creative Industries Minister Sin Simon.

"We will now work with PEGI and the VSC to agree exactly what the new symbols will look like and how they will work in the UK market, to ensure they provide the clarity and safeguards that are needed."

The BBFC will no longer be involved in the classification of games, but will remain in place for linear content such as DVD and Blu-ray releases.

"The UK already has a robust system of classification for films and DVDs run by the BBFC. The new system of games classification will match those high standards as this important market continues to evolve," added Simon.

Lord Carter addressed the House of Commons this afternoon, revealing that - as part of the Digital Britain review - the videogames industry in the UK is set to receive a new age ratings system, "building on" the PEGI system.

"We will implement a new, more robust system of content classification for the videogames industry, building on PEGI system with a strong UK-based statutory layer of regulation, ensuring the protection of children now, and in the future," he said in his introductory statement.

More to follow.

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