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Publishers call for UK government to adopt PEGI

Nintendo, Codemasters and Mastertronic respond to calls from the culture minister to propose age ratings solution

Publishers have responded to calls from UK's culture minister, Margaret Hodge, for the games industry to work with the government in finding the best solution to videogames age ratings.

Speaking to In Stock Magazine, Hodge commented that the games industry has to understand the principles behind the suggestions made in the Byron Report concerning age ratings. She called for the games industry to offer viable alternatives to age ratings that solve the issues raised in the report. In response, a number of publishers have called for the minister to adopt the PEGI ratings system.

"The PEGI age ratings system is favoured by Nintendo. It has the ability to assess and rate all game content and does not rely on a sample of gameplay to form its decisions," said David Yarnton, UK general manager of Nintendo. "The fact that there is also an EC proposal for member states to adopt PEGI only adds further weight to the solid arguments and facts for its UK adoption as the sole system of choice for games ratings."

David Solari, vice president and general manager of Codemasters online, added: "Online and persistent gaming is the future and we need a ratings system which can keep up and flex with this rapidly growing and evolving entertainment medium. I believe PEGI is the system to do this."

Andy Payne, chairman of Mastertonic, said: "Mastertronic feels that the games industry needs a pan-European rating system which understands the intrinsic nuances of our entertainment medium with specific reference to child protection. But such a system must be legally enforceable. To that end, PEGI fits the bill in terms of its approach and delivery, it just needs some legal teeth in the UK to make it the obvious choice over and above all other options."

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James Lee