Retailers selling titles to underage children could face a six month prison sentence

PEGI video game ratings become law in the UK

PEGI (Pan-European Game Information) has become the sole video games rating system in the UK.

One single rating system replaces the previous model featuring a mixture of BBFC and PEGI classifications. The change is intended to help families make informed decisions and provide greater clarity for consumers.

Retailers that sell titles to children below the age limit stated on the box will be subject to prosecution, which could result in a £5,000 fine and a prison sentence of up to six months. Those selling games without the necessary age-rating certificates could receive a two-year prison sentence.

As well as age ratings, video game packaging will also feature graphics describing potential issues of concern, including bad language, drugs, gambling, sex, violence, discrimination, fear, and online gameplay with other people.

“The UK has one of the most dynamic and innovative video games industries in the world, and the games they produce not only entertain millions, but can also educate and foster creativity,” commented culture minister Ed Vaizey.

“Today’s simplification of the ratings system benefits both industry and consumers and will help ensure that the millions of games sold in the UK each year are being played by the audiences they were intended for.”

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