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PEGI becomes UK standard for game ratings

By Matt Martin

Tue 16 Jun 2009 2:43pm GMT / 10:43am EDT / 7:43am PDT

Video Standards Council to help "build on" PEGI system; new age ratings to be drawn up in collaboration with Govt

The PEGI ratings system is to become the sole standard form of classification for videogames in the UK, the government has announced.

The Video Standards Council will oversee the system independent of the games industry, and will implement the PEGI system for all titles released in the region.

"Protecting children and giving parents a clear and robust new system has always been our starting point. The new system of classification follows the essential criteria set out by Professor Tanya Byron, who recommended a trustworthy, uniform and clear set of symbols that is flexible and future proof," commented Creative Industries Minister Sin Simon.

"We will now work with PEGI and the VSC to agree exactly what the new symbols will look like and how they will work in the UK market, to ensure they provide the clarity and safeguards that are needed."

PEGI and the VSC will now develop a single set of age-rating systems, consisting of five categories depicting content "such as bad language or violence".

The BBFC will no longer be involved in the classification of games, but will remain in place for linear content such as DVD and Blu-ray releases.

"The UK already has a robust system of classification for films and DVDs run by the BBFC. The new system of games classification will match those high standards as this important market continues to evolve," added Simon.

Ben Bradshaw, Culture, Media and Sport secretary, earlier addressed the House of Commons revealing that - as part of the Digital Britain review - the videogames industry in the UK was set to receive a new age ratings system, "building on" the PEGI system.

"We will implement a new, more robust system of content classification for the videogames industry, building on PEGI system with a strong UK-based statutory layer of regulation, ensuring the protection of children now, and in the future," he said in his introductory statement.

More to follow.

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