The Pan-European Game Information age classification rating for videogames becomes law in the UK today. Under the new law is now illegal for shops and online retailer to sell games with PEGI ratings of 12, 16 and 18 to children who are under those ages.
Retailers and their employees who are found guilty of selling games to underage customers could face fines of up to £5,000 and a maximum prison sentence of six years. Videogames trade body UKIE says the new rating system has been introduced to better protect children from exposure to inappropriate videogame content.
Up until today, UK games had two age classification ratings on their packaging, BBFC and PEGI, although now the latter is the only rating system for all games in the UK. The rating process for video games will be carried out by Games Rating Authority (GRA), which is the operating name of The Video Standards Council (VSC).
Laurie Hall, Director-General of the VSC says: “Although the VSC has been rating games using the PEGI system since 2003, our role as the UK statutory video games regulator provides a new and challenging dimension to our work which, as always, places child-protection and parental information at the forefront of what we do.”
“We look forward to our new role with relish using a proven games ratings information system,” she added.