The journey from advisory status to legal requirement for PEGI has been a long and torturous one. A quick look back over the headlines of the last three years reveals a litany of delays, relaunches, confusion and disappointment as the industry strove to self-regulate in the face of ill-informed negative coverage from mainstream press.
Hopefully, by the end of this month, on July 30, 2012, the wait will be over and PEGI's age ratings will have become UK law, meaning that UK retailers will face heavy fines and other sanctions for selling to under-age customers.
But responsibility shouldn't sit only on the shoulders of retailers and their staff. Existing ratings systems have for many years been largely ignored by some parents, deeming them irrelevant when applied to games. If we're to change the public perception of our industry, and protect children from inappropriate content, it's the parents who will perhaps need the most education.
To that end, UKIE is launching a campaign to raise awareness of the ratings, what they mean and how to create safe gaming environments for children, both off and online. Control.Collaborate.Create will educate and inform children and parents alike on the PEGI categories: how they're decided, why they're important and how much of your child's play you should be monitoring.
In this month's podcast, host Dan Pearson is joined by UKIE CEO Dr Jo Twist and Andy Robertson, writer of Wired's Geek Dad column, curator of the Family Gamer TV Youtube channel and the man behind the relaunch of Control.Collaborate.Create's main online resource, AskAboutGames.
Alongside the technicalities of the new laws, we discuss what they mean for retailers, parents and children, as well as the best ways to keep children safe when playing online.
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The GamesIndustry International podcast is recorded at London's Side Studios.