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Could PEGI combat the inevitable next-gen "the violence is so real!" media outcry?

"Hopefully, we will have done enough education," says UKIE.

Next generation graphics will be even more believable; violence and gore even more real. If Parliament debates Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 today, then what can we expect tomorrow?


That's what UKIE - the UK interactive entertainment trade body of publishers and developers - hopes.

The goal is for the new PEGI age ratings campaign to educate parents enough that they feel secure in their child's entertainment habit.

He waits.

"I would hope this outburst doesn't happen [next-generation], because now the games industry is maturing," UKIE CEO Jo Twist told Eurogamer.

"We're a sophisticated entertainment medium; we're the fastest growing global creative industry. Just like any other sophisticated media like films, TV, whatever, you have content that is made for maturer audiences and you have content that is made for less mature [audiences] and for everyone.

"Hopefully, we will have done enough education and enough showing the positive sides of games so that this furore and this natural cultural bias doesn't happen any more."

The sole PEGI system came into effect yesterday in the UK, which means you'll see only PEGI logos on video game boxes now.

"Hopefully, we will have done enough education and enough showing the positive sides of games so that this furore and this natural cultural bias doesn't happen any more."

Jo Twist, CEO, UKIE

More importantly, the PEGI change makes 12, 16 and 18 age ratings legally enforceable. Previously, when the BBFC was in charge, only the 18 rating was backed by law.

"[Shops] possibly will have to be stricter, just because they will be asked to ask people whether they are 12 or 16 or 18 - they will have to ask for ID, because there could be some consequences for them now," Jo Twist said. The maximum fine is £5000 and six months behind bars.

"They will be more wary," she added.

Five years from now, Jo Twist believes PEGI will have made a difference. "It just offers a clearer, simpler, more understandable system for parents, so naturally it will make an impact," she said.

An even broader goal for the new PEGI campaign is to, gasp, get parents actually playing the games themselves.

"Part of this is not just about the ratings," said Jo Twist. "We've launched AskAboutGames specifically to encourage parents to take responsibility, understand more about the games that their kids are playing, play them themselves.

"Our survey also found that a quarter of the parents never play games with their kids, which is actually surprisingly low as well. We encourage them to play as a family, to explore games, because they are, as we know, a fantastic form of entertainment for everyone."

The ever-so-controversial No Russian level in Modern Warfare 2.

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Robert Purchese

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Bertie is a synonym for Eurogamer. Writes, podcasts, looks after the Supporter Programme. Talks a lot.

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