Just after the U.K. government said Pan-European Game Information's video game age ratings system would be the industry standard, PEGI has unveiled
new, more prominent rating labels.
The new labels are virtually identical to the previous ones, expect instead of a black and white scheme, they have traffic signal-inspired green, yellow, and red backgrounds to more clearly indicate age appropriateness.
This week, the U.K.'s Department of Culture, Media and Sport decided that PEGI, which had been supplying game ratings for European countries since 2003, decided
that PEGI would be the sole standard for age ratings. The British Board of Film Classification had been vying for the right to the ratings, intending to unify film and game ratings under a single system.
PEGI age ratings include "3", "7", "12", "16", and "18". The lowest age score means content is suitable for "all age groups" ("The game should not contain any sounds or pictures that are likely to scare or frighten young children"), while the most restrictive "18" rating is put to games with "depictions of gross violence" ("...in general terms ["gross violence"] can be classed as the depictions of violence that would make the viewer feel a sense of revulsion").
PEGI is keeping its content descriptor labels, which indicate specific content such as bad language, discrimination, drugs, fear, sex, violence, and gambling. Symbols also indicate if a game can be played online.
Other extended advice on the packaging may include something to the effect of: "Contains: extreme violence, criminal techniques, glamorization of crime, strong language."
Europe's Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association general director Mike Rawlinson applauded the government's decision this week, saying, "The Government has made absolutely the right decision for child safety. By choosing PEGI as the single classification system in the U.K., British children will now get the best possible protection when playing video games either on a console or on the internet."