BCS is a registered charity: No 292786
New rules governing the classification of video games have come into effect within the UK.
Up until now, all games sold within the country have been rated by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), which has had the power to issue both 15 and 18 certificates which are legally enforceable.
However, given that the BBFC did not have the power to issue legally enforceable 12 certificates for games deemed to be unsuitable for young children, the government has now switched to the Europe-wide PEGI (Pan-European Game Information Scheme).
Crucially, this move will mean that anyone selling a 12-certificate game to a child under that age could be prosecuted and even sent to jail, though the BBFC will still have the power to issue special R18 certificates for games that are particularly explicit, especially when it comes to sexual content.
Commenting, Dr Jo Twist, chief executive of Ukie (the Association of UK Interactive Entertainment) welcomed the fact that the single rating system will help parents to make informed decisions about which video games to choose for their family.
This comes ahead of the launch of The Last of Us, a game some commentators fear could have an unacceptably high level of violent content for young gamers.