Age ratings ensure that entertainment content, such as films, videos, DVDs, and computer and video games, is clearly labelled for the minimum age group for which it is suitable. Age ratings provide guidance to consumers to help them decide whether or not to buy a particular product.
Previously, in the UK, age ratings for computer and video games came under two complementary systems: the voluntary European PEGI system, which stands for Pan-European Games Information, and the mandatory BBFC system, which stands for British Board of Film Classification.
Now, PEGI is the sole system used for new games. PEGI is used and recognised throughout Europe and is supported by the European Commission. Many thousands of games have been PEGI-rated since the scheme was devised and introduced in early 2003. The only major European country not using the PEGI system is Germany, which has its own mandatory system called USK.
Further information about this can be found on askaboutgames.com, a new site designed to answer the questions parents and players have about video game age ratings and provide advice on how to play games responsibly.
PEGI Online is an addition to the PEGI system. Its purpose is to give young people in Europe better protection against unsuitable gaming content and to help parents understand the risks and potential for harm within this environment. PEGI Online is based on four cornerstones:
Game content suitable for children aged 3 or over
Game content suitable for children aged 7 or over
Game content suitable for children aged 12 or over
Game content suitable for teenagers aged 16 or over
Game content suitable for adults aged 18 or over
Are there parental control and online safety settings on the Xbox One and Xbox 360 video game systems?
With games, movies, live TV, sports, music and more all available on the consoles, Xbox is the perfect entertainment centre in the living room for the entire family. If you have children, there are some simple ways for you as a parent to control what games and entertainment your kids experience, with Microsoft offering a robust set of ‘Family Settings’ on the Xbox One and Xbox 360.
Start with a conversation.
Safer gaming for the family starts with a healthy dialogue. Before turning on your Xbox sit down with your child and have a conversation. Do this as a family and discuss that some games and entertainment are out of reach depending on the age of your child.
Xbox Live Family Settings.
Xbox One and Xbox 360 allows you as a parent to control your child’s access to online interactions. These include tools to allow you to control the content accessed e.g. the kind of downloadable goodies that your kids can gain access to, as well as the type of entertainment they can watch.
Through the controls provided on the consoles, you can configure the video game system to play games that are rated at or below the selected level. For example, if the selected level is 16+, then games rated 3+, 7+ 12+ and 16+ under PEGI will play in the system. Games rated as PEGI 18+ will require entry of a pass code to play. If you choose any level other than ALL, you must select a pass code.
Learn More about privacy and online safety for Xbox One
Learn More about privacy and online safety for Xbox 360
Microsoft also offers information for parents at wholefamilysafety.com, where the entire family can learn about age-specific advice needed to set up your technology safely.
See more information at www.pegi.info.