If you’ve ever bought a video game whilst younger than the age shown in that little box on the cover, you weren’t technically doing anything wrong as PEGI’s age ratings, in the past, have been simply advisory.
However, from today, PEGI is now the sole official video game age rating board, and as such, it is now a legal requirement for every single retail release in the UK to have a rating from the board; just as it is now illegal for retailers to sell those games to the underage.
The announcement comes as Ukie (The Association of UK Interactive Entertainment) reveals results of a poll of over 1,000 parents of children under 18, highlighting that:
- Nearly all parents (92%) recognise the benefits that playing video games can have on their children, including educational benefits (58%), that they all 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.
How does this affect you, kids? No more Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty for you?