ELSPA to parents: check PEGI age ratings for Christmas purchases

Kids playing with a PSP - Image 1Just like nagging parents, we never seem to run short on getting reminders to check on game ratings before we purchase titles. With the holidays in sight, the ELSPA (Entertainment Leisure & Software Publishers Association) urges parents to check PEGI (Pan European Game Information) ratings to protect their kids from harmful content. More in the full article.

ELSPA - Image 1 

As with the ESRB, the ELSPA is just as vigilant in making an effort to keep kids away from unsuitable content. The trade body is calling out to all parents to check PEGI ratings on games before they take them out of the shelves this Christmas.

From the ELSPA, these are the PEGI ratings that parents must look out for, according to the press release they sent out:

  • PEGI 3+ – The game content is considered suitable for all age groups. 
  • PEGI 7+ – The game may contain some violence of a non-realistic nature in relation to fantasy characters, which might be frightening to very children but is considered suitable for those aged 7 and over.
  • PEGI 12+ – The game may include instances of violence of a non-realistic nature, but only towards fantasy characters. There is no violence towards human-looking characters or recognizable animals. Suitable for players aged 12 and over.
  • PEGI 16+ – Adult behavior and violence can start to look life-like. Suitable for players 16 and over.
  • PEGI 18+ – The adult classification is applied to games that are suitable only for an adult audience. Subject matter and graphical details can mirror levels of detail in the storytelling found in adult television programs and movies. Suitable for those 18 years old and over.

For these ratings, PEGI checks on the usual indicators: Bad Language, Discrimination, Drugs, Fear, Sexual Content, Violence. For “Fear,” the ELSPA is mindful of the elements of a game that may possibly cause great fear to young gamers, like spiders to arachnophobes.

Michael Rawlinson, Managing Director of ELSPA, has this to say:

With a little over three weeks until Christmas, parents are under increased pressure from children looking to play their favourite games. But not all games are suitable for younger children so the games industry, which always has child safety at the forefront of its mind, knows that it is of paramount importance that parents carefully check the PEGI ratings and descriptors to ensure the gameÂ’s suitability for the intended player.

As far as ratings go, these are mainly for concerned parents who simply want to know what their kids are playing. Consenting adult gamers who buy games for themselves need not pay so much attention to them, unless they themselves prefer not to indulge in sex and violence. Well at least they’re not flagging gay content like certain Christian investment firms do.

More on censorship and game ratings:

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