What are ratings?
Age ratings are systems used to ensure that entertainment content, such as films, videos, DVDs, and computer games, are clearly labelled by age according to the content they contain. Age ratings provide guidance to consumers (particularly parents) to help them decide whether or not to buy a particular product.
Computer and video games are now enjoyed by millions of players throughout Europe. In the UK, 37 % of the population aged between 16 and 49 describe themselves as ‘active gamers’ (defined as currently playing games on a console, handheld or PC). In comparison, in Spain and Finland 28% of the population aged 16 and 49 are defined as ‘active gamers’(Nielsen report 2008). While most games (49%) are suitable for players of all ages there are many that are only suitable for older children and young teenagers. There are also some games (4%) that are made for adults only (over the age of 18).
The rating on a game confirms that it is suitable for players over a certain age. Accordingly, a PEGI 7 game is only suitable for those aged seven and above and an PEGI 18 game is only suitable for adults aged eighteen and above. The PEGI rating considers the age suitability of a game, not the level of difficulty.
PEGI is used and recognised throughout Europe and has the enthusiastic support of the European Commission. It is considered to be a model of European harmonisation in the field of the protection of children.