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A universal age ratings system will launch worldwide next year

gta kid

PEGI has given details of a new rating system set to launch worldwide next year.

At the London Games Conference, PEGI MD Simon Little said that this new approach will consist of an online form on which developers and publishers will fill out a list of set criteria. The rating will be generated based on the information the given publisher provides.

Little said that this universal approach to ratings will simplify the means through which developers publish their games. “It’s a win for everyone involved in the creation of a game,” he said.

But is it a win for us gamers? This new system could certainly be positive for Australia, where, over the past decade, several games have either been banned or had their content censored. Surely this widespread ratings system will mean that there will be no distinction between which country gets which game – at least for those countries participating.

So far, the participating territories include the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil, among others. Moreover, Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony have shown interest in PEGI’s endeavor.

What do you think? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

[via mcvuk]

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  • Nintenjoe82

    Will this be the age rating system that will stop kids being able to ask adults to buy them 18 rated games???

    Will it fu………

  • Rugmouse

    So are they going to be putting an age on the titles, rather than E for Everyone, M for Mature, etc., like the splash image indicates?

    I’m all for a uniform rating system, as there are a lot of gray areas from country to country, which often times does have a negative impact on availability. But an age scale seems like the wrong direction to me. It’s like my Lego set that I just picked up – ages 9 – 14. First off – NINE years old? Secondly – I’m 27 and I love me some Legos!

    • CharmanderRulz

      If this happens it will be like the splash image but you will not have say “9 – 14″ as they all end with a plus. Example:

      Lego batman is 7+ and you are 27. The Super Computer from NASA tells us that 27 is indeed bigger then 7 so you can play the game.

      • http://ejercitogeek.net/ Mercurio2054

        thanks.

    • thecoolmana777

      Wait, how do you know who is ‘mature’ enough to play the game isn’t it all a bit vague without a given age?
      (pardon any ignorance, here in the UK we have ages on our games for example 16+)

      • http://ejercitogeek.net/ Mercurio2054

        it’s an “average”

      • Rugmouse

        It is absolutely vague, and it will obviously fall to a parent’s discretion at the end of the day – this will be the case for any rating practice.

        The current system has different criteria that varies from country to country, which is the primary issue they are trying to address here (I think). I don’t necessarily mind having it be age x+, for example, but age and maturity don’t necessarily go hand in hand. There are plenty of 13 year olds that can handle mature content…provided their parents have been pro-active with teaching their children. But then you also have the other side of that coin- where someone of a certain age simply shouldn’t be exposed to the content.

        There is no real catch-all way to deal with this sort of stuff…but creating a unified system is definitely a step in the right direction for solving one of the problems.

      • Vakua Dorn

        its kind of funny, because if you look above the ‘M’ it has the recommendation of 17+

  • CharmanderRulz

    Be it the rating of a game has little to no affect on if I buy a game I find the PAL system of punting the recommended age easier then a more vague group like M for mature or T for teen and so on. In terms of non gamers like the common not up to date parent buying games for there kids this should be big plus.

  • Nintendoplaystation

    This article rated E for everyone

  • therealruben1

    the problem isnt the rating system,its the parents.Somehow kids convince their parents to buy them games with strip clubs and murder even though there are many great games that are E and E+10

    • Brett Butler
      • Alienfish

        I agree, more parents should die in circus accidents and have their remaining son slapped by Batman.

      • cement

    • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

      This is absolutely the worst part of the issue. I recently got into an argument with my Aunt-in-Law which is the guardian of her 10 year old grandson and she bought him GTA V. When I told her that the game is not intended for him she argued that he just drives the car around and it’s only a video game.

      Keep in mind this child is a huge brat and has a very foul mouth and has been suspended from school for being violent.

      • Sonic the Hedgehog

        Someone didn’t buy him a Nintendo at the first place, or he would not be a douche otherwise…

        • Mario

          Yep.

        • lonewolf88

          nintendo making mature kids since 1889.

      • Majora’s Mask

        sure,strip clubs with men who get a bonner is just video game

      • Nintendoplaystation

        Some people just don’t have a clue, know what you are buying ignorance is not an excuse. To be honest if any of my children got suspended for such behaviour, I wouldn’t let them play video games or watch tv until I’m happy with their behaviour. When you can behave then you can do more of what you want. You have to stick by your word and ignore the tantrums, they soon learn. Once my son said he hates me so I took away his games and ds and many other things when asked why I said we’ll if you hate me then you wouldn’t like the things I buy you.

        • The Clockwork Being

          Parenting done right!

        • Suraj Alexander

          If I had got suspended for bad behavior, I had have been beaten with a stick or a belt. I thank my parents they did otherwise I would have been a big brat. I didn’t have a console to be banned from nor an internet on the computer to have fun.

          • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

            The whole problem is the way they discipline him or should I say lack thereof. If he does something wrong all they do is yell and scream at him and never stick to punishments or set rules. He basically runs the house. I am sure it all stems from guilt about his mother passing away when he was 5 but children need structure and rules and parents need to stick to them.

            He is not allowed to touch my game systems because one time when he was over playing Need For Speed he got mad for losing a race and threw my controller on the floor.

          • Nintendoplaystation

            Yeah I hear ya. Must be hard for you. Just streaming or shouting to tell them of does nothing. In fact once you get to a stage of shouting then the child is winning. I bet you would love to play with him more but lack of boundaries makes it difficult. Guilt can be strong though for your aunt in law so it’s easy to judge and not be in that situation.

          • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

            Exactly… I tried to be a role model for him and take him to do things like play games but without the support of his grandparents (the guardians) it is a futile effort.

          • Nintendoplaystation

            I would have got my ass a well deserved beating too. I don’t really believe in beats but I did give the odd smacked bottom when they younger. Smacking is an instant punishment but other ways work it just takes allot of energy but they don’t ask to be born so its up to us parents to use our energy to bring them up. A friend of mine who was over once and when they don’t get their own way I ignore the tantrums ( it gets less over time I have four) and I spend time explaining things to them. My friend say I should beat them cus the younger two don’t listen we’ll. you know what I know parents that smack their kids for being rude sure they do it less to their parents but some of these parents don’t teach them much about life except don’t be rude to people that can kick your ass sure they polite to their parents but can be thugs outside I’m bringing up people I want them to learn. I’m sure your parents thought you things cus you don’t seem rude I’m just saying you can’t just smack and expect good kids.

          • Suraj Alexander

            Totally right, my parents don’t beat just beat me and expect me to do right next time. They had also sat with me and explained what I done is wrong and how so. I have been brought up with strong religious faith so I have that going for me to. What annoys me the most is that some parents don’t really care for their children or teach them respect or manners in public. I mean, my friend had a BBQ party with loads of friends and family over and one of mother brought two kids. The mother just sat in the garden talking to her friends while the kids literally ruin the house. They had food stains in the carpet, the bed etc.The older kid, 8, came and snatched the controllers when we were playing ps3 and stood in front of the TV and started throwing tantrum when he didn’t get what he wanted. The younger kid had to pee and all sorts of other problems and the mother occasionally helped the kid. The other mothers got fed up and started taking care of her the kid. Why do these people have kids if they can’t take care of the kid’s basic needs and teach them manners?

          • Nintendoplaystation

            I know, it’s so infuriating. We don’t all claim to be perfect but if your kid is disrespectful just at least say something some mums and dads too it’s like they don’t care just shrug or say they are just kids. That annoys me “they just kids” that’s when they learn the most. I teach mine from toddler to say thank you ect cus it’s the best time to do so not when they are to old which=to late. My mother was very religious too. That said you can have morals without it. Cool been good talkin to ya it’s nice to be on the same level of thought.

          • Suraj Alexander

            Its great to talk to you to.

      • audi lover

        I never had a problem watching Alien, Preedator, Lost boys, goodfellas ETC when i was eight nor have i ever spent time in the clink i have a good job and earn well over 40k(uk pound), yet i have friends who have spent half there lives in prison and have seen non of these films or played any violent games, surely its your upbringing that makes you who you are and as long as you are loved and looked after by careing parents, a few great films and games rated 18 doesnt hurt anyone, its just mass hysteria created by journos and idiots trying to get easyer scentences blaming film and game culture for there crimes

        • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

          Yep.. That was pretty much my point… I am not blaming the games so I hope you didn’t take it as I was. Just saying that parents should not blindly buy a game rated for an older/more mature gamer. Especially when there are obvious signs the child cannot handle them and has other discipline issues that should be worked out.

          • audi lover

            bang on, it all depends on the maturity of the child as all children develop at different rates, great to hear sumone talking sense

    • WiiUFanboy

      Need only two ratings for Nintendo. Up to 8 years and from 65 and above. That would cover it all :)

      • Relick

        And obviously 8-16 years covers all MS and Sony customers! All the rest are PC master race.

    • The Clockwork Being

      Yeah the same parents that buy GTA for their children then when something happens the media blames the game. But no one wonders how the child got a hold of a 18+ game. And just to add to this fact a new study has been published that video games do not affect a child’s behavior. Wonder why I haven’t seen this study in the media lately here in North America huh?

      • Nintendoplaystation

        Yep it’s not strictly the game that’s the problem. Parents buying 18+ games for their young ones shows lack of parenting which means there will be a lack of parenting in other areas

      • Derk

        The 10yr study was vague and it was conducted with children between the ages of 5 and 7. The children were not allowed to play M rated games and today that is an unrealistic study because so many people’s kids get their hands on these games anyway.

        Games like GTA absolutely, 100%, without a doubt, cause children, young adults, and perhaps all people to adopt more violent behaviors.

        • Link

          ok so if someone killed someone with a spiked bat (like dead island i think) and you blamed the video game for making him kill him id say he was crazy in the first place and that the game inspired the crime but not the reason

        • Andreas Sunde

          “Games like GTA absolutely, 100%, without a doubt, cause children, young adults, and perhaps all people to adopt more violent behaviors.”

          Prove it.

    • Ducked

      Agreed! They should press charges on parents who let their kids play M/18+ games.

    • Derk

      That is an enormous responsibility to place on the parents… What parent is capable of monitoring their child 24-7?

      Video games are meant to spread imagination and possibility. I believe the problem lyes in the psychotic mind that created these games in the first place.

      • Andreas Sunde

        The parent isn’t supposed to monitor their child 24/7, but they are supposed to know what they buy for their children.

        • Dimitri Theodosakis

          Parents should buy their 10 years Child games such as Mario not GTA Not Cod

  • Luciano

    Ok,but there’s just one thing that I still didn’t get it.
    How Nintendo/Mario Games receive Everyone +10? Why I can’t be just Everyone??!?!?!

    • majora :D

      Because they have slight cartoon-like violence. Not that I agree, but that’s ESRB’s argument….

      • Luciano

        I see,for ESRB jumping on Koopa Troopas is something terrible for Kids.
        But no problem a 10yrs Kid playing a GTA demo in the picture of this article.
        Fuck logic ESRB.

  • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

    I have come to the conclusion that no matter how clear the rating systems is there will still be too many children playing games not intended for their age group and too many parents ignorant to the what their children are doing in their gaming time and online. Basically we will still have 10 year old kids playing Rated M/17+ rated games being ignorant dbags online.

    • CharmanderRulz

      This problem will not be fixed with any system but the these parents will more likely understand there “10 year old kids” shouldn’t play something labeled “18+” then “M”.

  • http://www.youtube.com/azhood321 AZHood

    As good as this sounds, I have a hard time thinking this new initiative will be implemented this easily and so early next year.

  • jreed3842

    Okay…. I’m kinda confused about what’s going on. How is this new rating system different from what we have now? I realize it’s more helpful to game developers… but… like… what’s different? Anyone wanna help me understand?

    • Andreas Sunde

      Right now there are different systems for different regions, like ESRB, PEGI etc. This means games have to be rated several times, which costs more money and time. This new system wants to make it universal, so games only have to be rated once.

      • jreed3842

        Ahhhhh. Okay! Thank you. It makes more sense now that I know that PEGI is a rating system, all I’ve ever heard of was the ESRB. Thanks makes more sense. Thanks!

  • Random12multi

    If parents see its ment for people of that age ONLY then please.. put it into effect

  • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

    So, is this replacing ESRB? if so, good. a lot less confusing for parents who “dont have time” to decode the letter system. Just see the age: “18? Not for my kid” I mean, seriously, which sounds worse? M, or 18+?

    • The Clockwork Being

      But still right beside the M there are stuff like

      M
      Sexual Reference
      Blood depiction
      Great amount of Violence
      Sexual Scene
      Harsh Language
      And more

      I dont get how parents dont see this

      • Relick

        They do, but it shuts the kids up and ‘it’s just a video game’ so they are justified in their purchase.

        To be honest I think kids these days are treated like idiots (when they are not), and adults are treated like intelligent people (when they are not). No wonder there is an intelligence stagnation.

        • Joey Perkins

          Sadly that will not change with this new rating system

          • Relick

            Even more sad is that it is impossible to enforce a ratings system because once it is at home the parents can do whatever they want.

            Wish parents would take a little more responsibility.

            Also wish 18+ games stopped being the latest fashion so that kids aren’t getting it just cause their friends have it.

      • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

        on the back though. parents just look at the front, really

        • The Clockwork Being

          yeah you are right.

  • Linskarmo

    Sounds Good. I don’t really care all that much, as long as they’re accurate

  • Ducked

    They should make it illegal for parents to let their kids play M games

    • Gust

      A nice thought but I don’t see that happening. Besides I can see some people blaming games as a whole and then others saying m games are harmless. We really don’t need the whole violence in video games cause violence in the real world

      • Ducked

        They could just ban M video games, I’d be down with that..

        • Adam

          If you did that then PS4 and Xbox one would only have like 3 games

          • Relick

            I don’t see a problem :D

          • Ducked

            lol I know :)

          • Gust

            The only M rated game I have is mass effect 3 (not to impressed, either) so if they banned M rated games I would not be affected. A lot of developers would go broke seeing as very few know how to make decent E-T games anymore.

        • Andreas Sunde

          Sure, when they ban M rated films. And violent books. And cartoons.

          • Dimitri Theodosakis

            Ban Sports such as Hockey Football

        • DarkLegacy

          Only because it has violence which is not suitable for kids

        • Dimitri Theodosakis

          No that takes Adult Rights away where Parents should get blame

    • CyanideInsanity

      When you say kids do you mean a certain age range, or just anyone under 17?

      • Ducked

        I mean like 13 and under.

        • CyanideInsanity

          Even at that point, I don’t see why. I’ve been playing violent games for the last 9 years since I was 10. Playing GTA I never thought “hey running over people and shooting them is so fun that I should do it in real life”.

          Really it falls down the the individual parents and children. There’s also been a study that I think finished recently on testing the effects of violent games on like 11k children and found these games don’t have a negative impact, though I don’t know how proper it is since I’ve only heard it mentioned and haven’t read about it.

          • Michael DeVore

            The study you’re looking for is in the British Medical Journal.
            http://adc.bmj.com/content/early/2013/02/21/archdischild-2011-301508.full.pdf+html

            One thing to keep in mind is that this study did not specify Genre, or rating. They didn’t give 5 year olds GTA. The purpose was to see if games or TV in general cause issues.

            Here is a quick summary from the study.

            ▸ Watching TV for 3 h or more daily at 5 years predicted increasing conduct problems between the ages of 5 years and 7 years.

            ▸ No effects of TV at 5 years were found on hyperactivity/inattention, emotional symptoms, peer relationship problems or prosocial behaviour.

            ▸ Playing electronic games at 5 years was not associated with increased risk of problems.

    • Michael DeVore

      If that’s how you feel then you’re really advocating the M rating to be the AO rating. M is equivalent to R and R just means that if your Parent’s OK with you watching it then you can watch it. X and NC-17 are the equivalent of AO. Porn, on the other hand, is Triple X, and isn’t even apart of the official rating system.

      AO and NC-17 are the kiss of death because parents WONT buy them for their kids because they are clearly, and explicitly labeled as not for kids.

    • Dimitri Theodosakis

      Added make if Parent buy their 10 years M Rated Game get Fine 3,000.00 Everytime also get Jailtime for 1 month

  • Emanuele Gioffi

    Mr. Ferri, PEGI has been adopted by 30 countries, including the whole Western Europe and nearly all Central Europe, and Canada. We’re talking about nearly 450 million people and you don’t even mention it.. Nice journalism indeed

  • Takarashi282

    You know, this can affect the problems “caused by video games”, but if it does, it won’t be by much. Like, a sliver of a difference. Everybody knows the power of a child is strong on a parent (because that’s how advertising works; seek the lowest demographic), so there will still be parents buying games with the 18+ rating.

  • Gammalad

    Hold on hold on….what about the ESRB? I actually like the ESRB rating system…

    • Relick

      What do you like about it? It is ambiguous and has too few rating brackets.

  • shadus

    If naming a game after a class 1 felony isn’t enough of a clue for parents, I don’t know what it is. I don’t believe playing a “M” will make a kid violent but it certainly isn’t going to help his/her development either.

  • Sol Ridgeway

    The kids say, “I want a Wii U,” but the parents say, “It is too kiddish, were getting a PS4.”

    You need to remember that Jerry Spinger was watched, by stay at home moms, over Sesame Street.

  • Simon Stevens

    I think it’s really just a taboo for kids to play these games, knowing that they shouldn’t, I remember being a kid and doing a secret swap at school for mortal kombat, naturally I played it in secret, did the same for the first 3 resident evil games ha! but now I’m older I have 0 interest in these kind of games

  • Daniel Schwarz

    I think this is sorely needed. Make the ratings clear and universal, giving parents the information they need so they can decide what games they feel comfortable letting their children play.

  • Aleks

    Censorship is absolutely crap. My children have a governing body already to decide what they can play. It is their parents! I will limit their intake on violence, but am much more liberal with sex. Disgusted at conservative ratings systems for EVERYTHING dictating what is acceptable for what age. F**K OFF! If your too busy to actually raise your children and youd prefer to rely on little ratings stickers on everything then you dont deserve the priveledged responsibility of raising anyone. By all means put what scenes the game contains on the box but leave off the arbitrary age. I will decide that part.

  • Gameonfool

    Well Nintendo don’t need to worry to much about games for adults

  • CEObrainz

    Well this is a start to a unified gaming community around the word, now if we could get rid of the region locking Nintendo, it’d be perfect. On a side note….need to update that box art now….

  • Kev

    Growing up I was exposed to r-rated movies. Looking back on it though, my parents were always around. They’d tell me to close my eyes or cover my ears at the scary parts, all the while reminding me that it’s just a movie. As a result I never really had behaviours or nightmares associated with those films. One problem with video games today is that a lot of parents let their kids play unsupervised. And let’s face it, that is the kind of environment Sony/MIcrosoft like to promote, while Nintendo is more about playing together as a family. (hence the major reason Nintendo communities are much friendlier by comparison.) Also I think there wouldn’t be so much backlash against the video game industry if companies like Activision and Rockstar didn’t feed into the violent male stereotype.

    • Pikachief

      You can buy a kid a ticket for a rated R movie for that same purpose. You should still be able to have your kids experience those things with parental consent and supervision.

      A parent buying a kid Halo and making sure he knows cursing is bad is okay. A parent buying GTA V and ignorantly letting their 8 year old son do whatever they please in the game is NOT okay.

  • Shota

    who looks at games age rating? in japan there was a cero c game but children where playing it in the commercial. Parents don’t give crap in other country’s. Xbox 360 version of call of duty there is always a kid online.

  • Jelle Knibbe

    Mwahaha! You will all switch to the European ways! Soon, nobody will even remember what ‘fabrenheit’ and ‘inches’ are. Celsius+metrical FTW.

    • gamerinexile

      What’s “fabrenheit”?

      • Jelle Knibbe

        typo, I meant ‘fahrenheit’ the unit used to measure temperature in the US of A.

        • Vakua Dorn

          fahrenheit? Bah! Kelvin is the way to go.

  • Dimitri Theodosakis

    US should make Federal Law based on Video Games if Parents&Guardian buy minor M Rated Game&R Rated Movie should get 5k Fine, Jailtime for 2 Years.

  • Madmagican

    So do we know what the rating system’s scale will be (I.e. different age ranges than what we have currently or is this just for balancing out ratings since the devs are gonna be directly involved with the rating?)

  • Federico Madden

    This makes me remember one time when I was at Gamestop. An 8-10 year-old child was with his mom buying a copy of GTA V, when the employee gave the obligatory “Do you want your child playing an M rated game” speech. She asked him what was in the game, and as he was reading off the list of factors from the ESRB stamp, she started giving her kid an increasingly intense death stare.

  • starwars360

    YEAAAAAAAAAAAH!!! Please because than we have less stupid asshole kids who ruined and being cheats during online multiplayer. Kids is shitty those days during modern gaming times!!!!!!

    It is time we need kick shitty kids that under 16 or 18 years old out of mature gaming lol

    Really want online multiplayer to have peaceful and good balance matches.

  • Coffee

    Ratings are pointless, the best games are almost always rated M these days. People need to deal with that and know the difference between fiction and reality

  • lukas

    everyone that is saying this is a good idea FUCK OFF !!!!!!

  • Laquandra Washpon

    in other news, region encoding is still a thing.

  • 00EpicGamer00

    Question, why is a GTA game setup in the Nintendo section?

  • JeanPaul

    We have parents buying their 12 year old kids GTA… what difference will this make?