As a part of the United Kingdom government’s attempts to protect children from exposure to inappropriate video game content, they have signed legislation making the PEGI rating system (the European equivalent of our ESRB system) the only video game ratings system recognized in the UK. Now the official rating system for our blokes across the pond, PEGI ratings will now be legally enforceable, in that it is now illegal for a retailer to sell a video game with a PEGI age rating of 12, 16 or 18 to someone below that age.
The announcement comes as the association of UK Interactive Entertainment released a poll of one thousand parents with children under eighteen, revealing that:
- Nearly all parents (92%) recognize the benefits that playing video games can have on their children, including educational benefits (58%), that they allow children to be creative (53%) and that they provide entertainment (77%).
- Other benefits cited include increased co-ordination, strategic thinking and team-work.
- Parents would benefit from guidance on which video games are suitable for their families. Over 1 in 3 parents (34%) admit to having given in and bought a video game that was unsuitable for their child, with 86% saying that the new PEGI system is required and almost a third already believing the PEGI ratings will help them choose which games are suitable for their children.
- The survey also found that over a quarter of parents (26%) never play video games with their children, with mums and dads both equally unlikely to join in with the potential for family fun.
To go along the legislation, Ukie has also launched a campaign and website that informs parents on how video games can provide a creative group medium for the family.