New Pegi videogame ratings designed
Out with the BBFC?
Redesigned age rating and content classification symbols for videogames released in the UK have been revealed.
Pegi's age ratings will join the BBFC age symbols
The new Pan-European Game Information (Pegi) symbols following a recent decision reached by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to make Pegi the sole age ratings system for games in the UK.
Pegi ratings consist of two parts: an age-suitability rating of 3, 7, 12, 16 or 18, each of which has a colour-coded background. Age 3 titles, for example, have a green background. Red is the background of choice for 18-rated games.
But to help buyers understand what sorts of content a game contains, Pegi's existing logos - which already feature on the covers of many games – will also be displayed.
For example, a spider, hypodermic needle and fist indicate that a game contains scary content, drug references and violence, respectively.
The Pegi system is backed by several high-profile organisations from the videogames industry, including the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (Elspa), which believes games should be rated by publishers and developers rather than an indepenendent body. Games are currently certified by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).
Following the DCMS’ approval of Pegi, Mike Rawlinson, Director General of Elspa, proudly proclaimed that the government has “made absolutely the right decision for child safety”.
The decision “will ensure that games ratings stay relevant and adapt to the changing nature of videogames for many years to come”, he claimed.
The BBFC maintained a stiff upper lip and promised to cooperate fully in the detailed work needed to give effect to the government’s decision.
But Pegi supporters may be jumping the gun. The BBFC's game certification is mandated by British law – a situation that can't change unless the las does too.
A BBFC spokeswoman confirmed to Register Hardware that a Pegi-only system “will require legislation”. That seems unlikely before the next election, which is, at most, a year away. ®
Sod the "safety of the children" icons
I want one that says "This games too bloody hard for you, old man." It says "3" on the label of all my Spyro games, I should be able to do them...
Bah. Modern technology. You knew where you were in the old days, playing in the yeard with a, a, a breezeblock and a bit of stick.
So injecting drugs is normal ?
> hypodermic needle ... indicate that a game contains ... drug references
And thus do our youth become inured to the idea that injecting drugs is the normal way to take them ... well done Our Jacqui (oh she's gone, hasn't she !)
The symbols are pretty standard and already used quite a bit.
I think GTA4 looks like the top right icons on this page:
(with a 16 classification. 18 is in the Netherlands reserved for pr0n)
Re: We need those icons!
The ESRB gives the following advisories for GTA4 (rated M): Partial Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs and Alcohol, Blood, and Intense Violence.
Correct me if I miss the marks, but the likely scenario for GTA4 east of the Atlantic would be an 18 rating with the following icons:
-a black bar across the top half of a female caricature
-a cartoon balloon filled with symbols commonly seen at the top of a keyboard
-the hypo (as mentioned in the article)
-a bottle of liquor
-a caricature of a limb with a drop coming out of it
-a knife (to signal that the violence is more intense than that shown by the fist icon).
The only one I can't put a discrete icon to is the one for strong sexual content. That one's hard to describe in anything other than words without going over the line.
We need those icons!
"For example, a spider, hypodermic needle and fist indicate that a game contains scary content, drug references and violence, respectively."
El Reg must copy these icons ASAP. Most comments could contain large doses of each and be classified as such by the commentard him (or her) self. I've seen plenty of comments where the people were either on drugs, or trolling, or downright scary.
Back on topic, how would GTA 4 rate by this new scheme? There is no nudity by itself (a pair of panties icon?)(or there IS nudity I don't know since I don't own it?) but you have plenty of everything else. Because of that, GTA would not deserve a 18 rate, a 16 rate would be more adequate.