British Board of Film Classification

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The British Board of Film Classification, or BBFC, is an organization that applies ratings predominately for films however all video games must be submitted for classification for the UK market. Whereas other game classifications in the UK are more advisory, the BBFC is covered by the law making it illegal to sell a BBFC rated game to anyone below the age specified.

On 16 June 2009, the UK's Department of Culture, Media and Sport ruled in favour of the PEGI system to be the sole classification system for videogames and software in the UK. This decision will also, unlike beforehand, allow PEGI ratings to be legally enforced much like the BBFC ratings. BBFC will no longer rate video games (as of July 2012).


Abbreviation Rating Description
BBFC U Universal

People of all ages are allowed to play video games with this rating. It contains no material likely to offend or 'harm' children.

BBFC PG Parental Guidance

Suitable for general viewing but may contain mild violence, mild language, infrequent use of soft drugs, and may contain frightening scenes that are likely to scare very young children; thus a parental guidence is suggested.

BBFC 12 12

Video games with this rating are suitable only for children 12 years and over (parental guidance is strongly recommended for those under 12). It generally contains very frightening scenes, moderate violence, gambling references and sex themes. It is illegal to sell 12 rated games to anyone under age 12.

BBFC 15 15

Video games with this rating can only be played by those 15 years and over. It contains strong violence, strong bad language and infrequent use of very strong language, sex references, nudity and use of illegal drugs. It is illegal to sell 15 rated games to anyone under age 15.

BBFC 18 18

Only adults are allowed to play video games with this rating. It contains either of the following: intense violence (often with blood and gore), very strong language, use of illegal drugs, criminal behaviour, adult themes, racism and strong sex references. It is illegal to sell 18 rated games to anyone under age 18.

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