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ELSPA Announce New Age Rating System 'PEGI'

by Thomas on April 23, 2003 @ 7:27 a.m. PDT

ELSPA, the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association, today announced its wholesale endorsement of the new Pan European Game Information system ('PEGI') for new interactive entertainment titles released from April 2003. The system, which recognises the need for a uniformed age ratings across Europe, has been designed to rate the age suitability and content of computer and video games so that consumers - particularly parents - can make informed buying decisions at point of purchase.
The PEGI system supersedes ELSPA's own voluntary age ratings system - which has been running successfully in the UK since 1994 - and will harmonise packaging throughout Europe. The PEGI system is being introduced simultaneously throughout 16 European countries.

"ELSPA identified the need for a clear ratings system for the UK nine years ago and it's great now to see a consistent system for the whole of Europe," said Roger Bennett, director general, ELSPA. "We are delighted to support the PEGI Initiative and look forward to enforcing it as rigorously as we have done our own ratings system."

The PEGI system is being introduced on 24th April by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE), a body to which all major format holders, publishers and developers belong. The system has two parts; an age rating and an indication of game content. The system reflects the industry's concern to provide simple and clear guidance to adult purchasers of games.

The system remains voluntary and will run in tandem with the UK's existing BBFC-rating, which legally prohibits retailers from selling 18- or 15-rated titles to minors. Video games featuring mature content in graphic form must be submitted to the BBFC prior to release.

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