U.K. PEGI Ratings Delayed Once Again

U.K. PEGI Ratings Delayed Once Again

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The plan to switch from BBFC to PEGI videogame ratings in the U.K. has been pushed back to September as the country's game industry says it's "unhappy" with the government's current plan for the changeover.

In 2009, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport decided to switch the U.K.'s videogame rating scheme from the British Board of Film Classification to the Pan European Game Information system, which was established in 2003 specifically to classify videogames. The game industry has supported the change since the 2008 release of Dr. Tanya Byron's "Safer Children in a Digital World" report, saying the system is better suited to videogames and more appropriate for the global market because it's already being used by other countries across Europe.

Actually getting the job done has proven to be a bit of a slog, however, and now the matter has been pushed back once again as the U.K. government and U.K. Interactive Entertainment trade body continue to hash out the details. A new update on the UKIE website says the implementation of PEGI is "not likely until at least September of this year" because the government's proposal still allows for dual labeling (BBFC and PEGI) on games that contain "linear content" like trailers.

"Any dual labeling is contrary to the principles that were established in having PEGI introduced into the Digital Economy Act and if this proposal were implemented we believe it would only cause unnecessary and potentially harmful consumer confusion," the trade body said.

"UKIE is unhappy with this proposal and the subsequent delay in implementation and is working with DCMS officials to resolve these outstanding issues as quickly as possible," it continued. "UKIE has recently held a meeting with officials where we strongly advocated the need to have just one rating label on all video games packaging and we are confident that these issues will be resolved favorably for the interactive entertainment industry."

The change had already been pushed back from its original completion date of April 1 earlier this month when Minister of Culture Ed Vaizey said there were still "a few kinks" to iron out.

via: Edge

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Hang on a sec, I'm pretty certain we have games rated PEGI anyway, right?

4 years to change labels.

/headdesk.

We really suck at times.

How about "For Kids", "For Adults" and "For Anyone"?

Megacherv:
Hang on a sec, I'm pretty certain we have games rated PEGI anyway, right?

The implementation is meant to be a full switch over, as of now, there's more PEGI ratings, but it's a mixed bag.

OT: PEGI is the worst of the two rating systems, as they don't (unless this has changed) look at things in context, unlike the BBFC.

They gave the GI Joe Wii game a 16+, for example.

If PEGI were able to rate it, they'd have probably branded the Thriller music video an 18.

I prefer the film classification. They explain what exactly it has. PEGI just has pictures. Is PEGI aware of just HOW MANY different things a violence label can mean?

Is PEGI an actual legally binding age restriction. I'm sure I bought loads of 16+ games when I was 13 or so. Maybe I just always chose the guy who didn't care...

Woodsey:

Megacherv:
Hang on a sec, I'm pretty certain we have games rated PEGI anyway, right?

The implementation is meant to be a full switch over, as of now, there's more PEGI ratings, but it's a mixed bag.

OT: PEGI is the worst of the two rating systems, as they don't (unless this has changed) look at things in context, unlike the BBFC.

They gave the GI Joe Wii game a 16+, for example.

I've never experienced any problems with the PEGI ratings on the 8-or-so years we've had them here. Looking at the G.I. Joe gameplay, though, the only reason I can see for it to be rated 16+ is to keep the kids who don't know better from buying a crappy game. :P

It's nice to have standardized ratings too. I think the Aussies would appreciate if Australia could somehow switch to PEGI.

I actually prefer BBFC for it's ease of use and I think it's also more expressive.

JediMB:

Woodsey:

Megacherv:
Hang on a sec, I'm pretty certain we have games rated PEGI anyway, right?

The implementation is meant to be a full switch over, as of now, there's more PEGI ratings, but it's a mixed bag.

OT: PEGI is the worst of the two rating systems, as they don't (unless this has changed) look at things in context, unlike the BBFC.

They gave the GI Joe Wii game a 16+, for example.

I've never experienced any problems with the PEGI ratings on the 8-or-so years we've had them here. Looking at the G.I. Joe gameplay, though, the only reason I can see for it to be rated 16+ is to keep the kids who don't know better from buying a crappy game. :P

It's nice to have standardized ratings too. I think the Aussies would appreciate if Australia could somehow switch to PEGI.

Well until the last few years most games above a 7+ were being rated by the BBFC, I believe.

And use the BBFC ratings as standard then; that way you also circumvent any excuses total dipshits have for claiming they didn't know what the big number on the front of the box meant.

My attitude on the whole PEGI thing (looking at it from the outside) is that the EU is a mess. If it was one nation divided into states, as opposed to a bunch of seperate nations with substantial cultural differances, then a universal rating system could work. As it is now the ratings are basically something that is going to be decided by cultural commitee, which means that as it becomes entrenched and more political disagreements on what a rating should be are probably going to hold up games, and lead to some absolute ridiculousness. I more or less applaud the UK for sticking to their guns.

I get the reason why the EU exists, but really I think it's not workable in the current form for anything that isn't going to become a giant joke. The basic idea was to set it up for easier trade accross europe and international boundaries by having standardized currency and so on. The idea being that as a whole Europe could then compete with nations like the US and China more effectively, and perhaps again become the center of global economic power. Likewise a portion of the idea seemed to be a desire to pool military forces so they could be more easily used to defend Europe as a whole if the need arises.

In reality every nation pretty much only cares about the EU in terms of it benefitting from the arrangement. If it comes to say people from other European nations being able to more easily settle in France or whatever, people freak out. Likewise with various nations on cultural perservation kicks, other than money and trade (which is pretty much assumed to be trade that benefits them) it seems like every attempt to do something like PEGI, or even discuss it turns into a giant joke.

On top of this, the EU has proven itself to be almost entirely ineffective internationally during that whole "Georgia" thing where it literally had the Russians invading a nation right on the EU borders. This coming right on the heels of the Russians both threatening Poland for hosting a defensive (interception based) military outpost which they are upset about because it would make it harder to shoot missles into/accross the EU, and then for good measure they shut off the fuel to the EU to show the dependancy and there is nothing the EU was going to do about it. The european nations with militaries availible like France and Spain pretty much sat there going "thank you comrade, can we have another?". The UK at least had an excuse with it's military involved in "The War On Terror".


While I doubt it will happen, I'm pretty much of the opinion that the European union might as well dissolve, and the various countries making it up now should probably just pass internal laws to share the same currency or something.

A bit more involved than I intended to say, but really it surprises me that with everything else going on that anyone thinks something like PEGI is liable to work. Everyone acts like indpendant nations and ignores the whole "union" thing whenever they don't like something as it is, so why bother?

If you really want to keep kids safe, you need to regulate the games their PARENTS play.
Just switch the games ratings system already so the kids can get back to ignoring them.

Didnt we already use PEGI?
Also, dont change anything if it means banning games.

Distorted Stu:
Didnt we already use PEGI?
Also, dont change anything if it means banning games.

That would involve change. UK government reserves the right to ban games (and films, and any other media), and has done so since pretty much day dot.

SirBryghtside:
Why should we have a separate system for films and games?

Different content needs different ratings, I suppose. In a movie, there's a definite chain of events that will happen over the course of the narrative; in games, there are far more variables that can (or might) affect a potential rating. They're distinct media and they should have distinct rating systems.

Although I don't mind PEGI I'd rather the BBFC rate everything, we used to have a system on PS1 games before PEGI that was stupid categories. 11+ 15+ and 17+.
The age ratings on games should be the same as films, it's stupid to have a game with excessive gory violence to be rated 17+ when a film with the same content would require you to be a year older to buy it.

Also as already mentioned many games rated by PEGI seem to be rated wrongly. I'm pretty sure XIII was an example of that, got a 12+ first and was given a 16+ later when they "discovered" it had swearing in.

Therumancer:
On top of this, the EU has proven itself to be almost entirely ineffective internationally during that whole "Georgia" thing where it literally had the Russians invading a nation right on the EU borders. This coming right on the heels of the Russians both threatening Poland for hosting a defensive (interception based) military outpost which they are upset about because it would make it harder to shoot missles into/accross the EU, and then for good measure they shut off the fuel to the EU to show the dependancy and there is nothing the EU was going to do about it. The european nations with militaries availible like France and Spain pretty much sat there going "thank you comrade, can we have another?". The UK at least had an excuse with it's military involved in "The War On Terror".

None of this has anything whatsoever to do with the matter at hand but I do feel compelled to ask, what would you have done? Declared war on Russia to protect a non-EU, non-NATO nation?

Seriously, I'm curious.

Personally I think they should have the BBFC do all of them, they are way more accurate at determining appropriate age ratings for a game than the PEGI from my experience

I use PEGI alot because I get most of my games from European distributors(It's cheaper!) and I have seen a few games rated low in the states and games rated extremely high over in Europe. Which makes no sense in a few parts and heck I can't even read the reason why it is 16+ The fist either means Despotism or Violence.

Therumancer:

You know, I'd probably have to agree with you here really.

Historically, the EU seems to derive from the Benelux region, which did not have a common currency, but did have open borders.

Luxembourg hardly registers as a country, being little more than a city state, but the thing is, in that case it made a lot more sense because the Netherlands and Belgium have a lot of cultural common ground.
(Well, the Flemish part of Belgium anyway).

I mean, with the trouble in Belgium at the moment, Flanders is on the verge of becoming it's own country, or perhaps trying to align itself more closely with the Netherlands.

But in a wider context, the EU is becoming a bit crazy. Open borders are great, but there's a lot of comments and weird rules that nobody seems to like.

Germany is complaining about having to financially support weaker countries by virtue of the common currency...
Every day the EU seems to propose ridiculous new laws that nobody likes...

And as for PEGI, while I understand why dual rated games might cause confusion, I personally find the BBFC ratings far more useful than the PEGI ones.

I just don't know if the EU is workable when Europe is such a divided place, historically.

I mean, the first world war was basically caused by national pride and weird alliances amongst various European countries...

Just because we all seem to get along now doesn't mean the tensions that led to that have vanished completely.

This is a shame, the BBFC has really shown the world how censors should do their job: look at context, give detailed easily accessible reports, and with clear ratings that are already understood through use in the film industry.

Haven't dealt with PEGI an awful lot, but they never seem to be as high quality with either judgments or ratings.

DangNabbit:
This is a shame, the BBFC has really shown the world how censors should do their job: look at context, give detailed easily accessible reports, and with clear ratings that are already understood through use in the film industry.

Haven't dealt with PEGI an awful lot, but they never seem to be as high quality with either judgments or ratings.

I would agree with you, but it is complete bullshit that there is no unrated 18 rating. BBFC still censors things even at the highest age bracket, because adult apparently can't handle fake legally filmed things that happen to have objective content.

I do not want PEGI ratings on my games
Mass Effect for example when rated by PEGI acquired an 18+ rating, yet the BBFC version a 12 which is pretty reasonable.
PEGI i assume is run by right wing tools, the kind of group who do think gaming is harmful and corrupting children.

Random Name 4:

DangNabbit:
This is a shame, the BBFC has really shown the world how censors should do their job: look at context, give detailed easily accessible reports, and with clear ratings that are already understood through use in the film industry.

Haven't dealt with PEGI an awful lot, but they never seem to be as high quality with either judgments or ratings.

I would agree with you, but it is complete bullshit that there is no unrated 18 rating. BBFC still censors things even at the highest age bracket, because adult apparently can't handle fake legally filmed things that happen to have objective content.

Do you mean that once the content gets to a certain stage, they just remove it rather than keep it in at 18? I didn't know that if so, that sucks.

I agree with the consensus that PEGI seems to do a much worse job than the BBFC at rating games. At least the BBFC seems to rate closer to my mindset. Motorstorm Pacific Rift gets a 16+ rating! Because you can throw a punch? Disney films are more violent than that.

However, I suspect that it really won't affect me at all. I'm an adult so ratings are meaningless to me, I get all my info on games from places like the Escapist anyway. If I were to have children in the future (and by god they'll love games!) then I will be able to judge content myself, and the ratings will still be meaningless.

Maybe this is to cut down on the BBFC workload? Does anyone know what the legality will be regarding the PEGI ratings? (Again, not that it matters all that much to me, just interested)

The ESRB has the best rating system, because every rating is justified on the box with any of seven or so descriptors attached to each level, and multiple rating levels breaking down into key age groups. You know who it's appropriate for, and you know why in plain English. The flexible yet simple to understand ESRB rating is more powerful than the overly simplified PEGI or abstractly related BBFC. Rating games like films seems to me a little silly, and if it were to come down to PEGI or BBFC, the clear choice would be PEGI.

MiketheBassMan:
The ESRB has the best rating system, because every rating is justified on the box with any of seven or so descriptors attached to each level, and multiple rating levels breaking down into key age groups. You know who it's appropriate for, and you know why in plain English. The flexible yet simple to understand ESRB rating is more powerful than the overly simplified PEGI or abstractly related BBFC. Rating games like films seems to me a little silly, and if it were to come down to PEGI or BBFC, the clear choice would be PEGI.

I get that the BBFC was originally setup for film classification, but they've done a good job of rating games really, their reports are usually spot-on compared to PEGI. Admittedly they might want to take some cues from the ESRB system from over in the Americas, but obviously we shouldn't actually use the ESRB, we have different cultural values.

I never understand with the ESRB why violence is fine but sex isn't, sex is more normal than violence, no?

Pilkingtube:

MiketheBassMan:
The ESRB has the best rating system, because every rating is justified on the box with any of seven or so descriptors attached to each level, and multiple rating levels breaking down into key age groups. You know who it's appropriate for, and you know why in plain English. The flexible yet simple to understand ESRB rating is more powerful than the overly simplified PEGI or abstractly related BBFC. Rating games like films seems to me a little silly, and if it were to come down to PEGI or BBFC, the clear choice would be PEGI.

I get that the BBFC was originally setup for film classification, but they've done a good job of rating games really, their reports are usually spot-on compared to PEGI. Admittedly they might want to take some cues from the ESRB system from over in the Americas, but obviously we shouldn't actually use the ESRB, we have different cultural values.

I never understand with the ESRB why violence is fine but sex isn't, sex is more normal than violence, no?

That's really what I was trying to get at, the best way to rate games is to really look at their content and press it against cultural values. The BBFC seems to do that well for the UK, and I was suggesting that a rating system that looks more like PEGI or ESRB would be better, not necessarily that PEGI is more qualified than BBFC to rate the games. (This certainly does not seem to be the case)

Your point about sex vs. violence really illustrates the difference in mentality between the US and the UK, and I guess that's evidence enough why ESRB ratings wouldn't catch on.

Andy Chalk:

Therumancer:
On top of this, the EU has proven itself to be almost entirely ineffective internationally during that whole "Georgia" thing where it literally had the Russians invading a nation right on the EU borders. This coming right on the heels of the Russians both threatening Poland for hosting a defensive (interception based) military outpost which they are upset about because it would make it harder to shoot missles into/accross the EU, and then for good measure they shut off the fuel to the EU to show the dependancy and there is nothing the EU was going to do about it. The european nations with militaries availible like France and Spain pretty much sat there going "thank you comrade, can we have another?". The UK at least had an excuse with it's military involved in "The War On Terror".

None of this has anything whatsoever to do with the matter at hand but I do feel compelled to ask, what would you have done? Declared war on Russia to protect a non-EU, non-NATO nation?

Seriously, I'm curious.

I would have taken action at least to the point of putting forces on the border because when someone moves an army into a "buffer" nation at the edge of my country I'm going to be concerned. After all if the Russians don't leave, then I've got a problem with them sitting there right outside my territory. It's very similar on some levels to the Cuban missle crisis (though by no means identical).

The problem here is that the EU pretty much did nothing. What's more the situation with Georgia included a lot of belligerance towards the EU, which was the point. Remember they also threatened Poland around this time (the base they were concerned about is one of the things that would have made their life difficult if they had decided to pretty much annex Georgia), and they cut off the fuel supply to the EU. The EU did nothing about any of this.

If someone moves an army into a nation on my border, threatens part of my union, and then decides to cut off our fuel supply to prove that they can, your damn straight I'm going to do something, even if that means potentially going to war. Right now the EU pretty much demonstrated it can't defend itself, and that it's going to let Russia kick it's can every time it decides to.

Now admittedly I think a lot of the problem is that the "Union" exists in name only. The nations which represent the military might of the EU were either occupied overseas (The UK) or pretty much felt there was nothing threatening them directly. After all Spain and France are pretty well off, can deal with a fuel shortage, and figure if some of those lesser eastern european members like Poland run into trouble that's their issue. If the fuel cut off actually negatively impacts the big countries to a major degree, then they'll act. They probably don't really see things as a union and nations like Poland as the buffer, rather than actual members of the union. I could be wrong, but that's how it looks to me.

The point here is that the EU proved itself to be entirely ineffective. Either too scared to start a war to defend it's own interest, or more likely the big nations just didn't care about the smaller members who were most going to be affected by this and figured they weren't going to act until they had a much larger stake. Either way it's an epic fail.

 

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