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Pan European Game Information

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Pan European Game Information, or more commonly PEGI, nicknamed Peggy, is a European video game content rating system. It was developed by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) and came into use in April 2003. The PEGI system is not associated with the European Union.

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. The legislation is expected to take effect from April 1, 2011.

Ratings

These ratings have been used since June 2010.

Abbreviation Rating Description Examples
PEGI 33 ratingThe content of games given this rating is considered suitable for all age groups. Some violence in a comical context (typically Bugs Bunny or Tom & Jerry cartoon-like forms of violence) is acceptable. The child should not be able to associate the character on the screen with real life characters, they should be totally fantasy. The game should not contain any sounds or pictures that are likely to scare or frighten young children. No bad language should be heard and there should be no scenes containing nudity nor any reference to sexual activity.Mario Kart Wii
PEGI 77 ratingAny game that would normally be rated at 3 but contains some possibly frightening scenes or sounds may be considered suitable in this category. Some scenes of partial nudity may be permitted but never in a sexual context.Star Fox 64 3D
PEGI 1212 ratingVideogames that show violence of a slightly more graphic nature towards fantasy character and/or non graphic violence towards human-looking characters or recognisable animals, as well as videogames that show nudity of a slightly more graphic nature would fall in this age category. Any bad language in this category must be mild and fall short of sexual expletives.Super Smash Bros Brawl
PEGI 1616 ratingThis rating is applied once the depiction of violence (or sexual activity) reaches a stage that looks the same as would be expected in real life. More extreme bad language, the concept of the use of tobacco and drugs and the depiction of criminal activities can be content of games that are rated 16.No More Heroes
PEGI 1818 ratingThe adult classification is applied when the level of violence reaches a stage where it becomes a depiction of gross, extreme violence and strong bad language. Only adults are permitted and no one younger than 18 are allowed to play the game.MadWorld

Previous designs

Year 3 rating 7 rating 12 rating 16 rating 18 rating
2003PEGI 3 (2003)PEGI 7 (2003)PEGI 12 (2003)PEGI 16 (2003)PEGI 18 (2003)
2009PEGI 3 (2009)PEGI 7 (2009)PEGI 12 (2009)PEGI 16 (2009)PEGI 18 (2009)

Variants

Content descriptions

Icon Content Description Meaning Examples Which rating are they used on
PEGI Bad LanguageBad LanguageGame contains bad language.Mild to strong use of profanityConker's Bad Fur Day 03PEGI 12 04PEGI 16 05PEGI 18
PEGI DiscriminationDiscriminationGame contains depictions of, or material which may encourage, discrimination.Strong vulgar antics, harassment of one's race, religion, age, gender, sexuality etc. 05PEGI 18
PEGI DrugsDrugsGame refers to or depicts the use of drugs.References, and/or images of alcoholic beverages/illegal drugs/tobacco products. Can also depict the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs.Conker's Bad Fur Day 04PEGI 16 05PEGI 18
PEGI FearFearGame may be frightening or scary for young children.An unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm. This 'threat' may be a danger to younger children who play video games, making some games rated for a more mature age group of children.Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon 02PEGI 7
PEGI GamblingGamblingGames that encourage or teach gambling. Gambling, uncluding betting or wagering cash or currency. 03PEGI 12 04PEGI 16 05PEGI 18
PEGI OnlineOnlineGame can be played online.Play games connected to Internet. All ages.
PEGI SexSexGame depicts nudity and/or sexual behaviour or sexual references. Conker's Bad Fur Day 03PEGI 12 04PEGI 16 05PEGI 18
PEGI ViolenceViolenceGame contains depictions of violence.Violent actions including cartoon-like situations and characters/Violent actions of a fantasy nature, involving human or non-human characters in situations easily distinguishable from real life/Scenes that may involve aggressive conflict e.g bloodless dismemberment/Involves realistic blood/gore/weapons and depictions of human injury or death.Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles02PEGI 7 03PEGI 12 04PEGI 16 05PEGI 18

Where PEGI is used

PEGI is used in 31 European countries, Canada and Israel. The ratings system is partially recognised in other countries such as the United Arab Emirates, South Africa and South Asia since they are considered official PAL regions, although they may import games from regions outside of PEGI's jurisdictions. PAL games officially released in Australia are usually rated by the ACB. Legally enforceable means the ratings are not simply "voluntary" or "advisory" but are enforced by some kind of local regulation or law. ESRB is the primary rating system in Canada, while some French-language products, mainly in Quebec, carry a PEGI label.

Country Noted
Austria PEGI is legally adopted and enforceable in the Vienna region, but until 2013 there is a transitional arrangement which allows USK as well.
Belgium Officially supports PEGI , but there is no specific legislative basis.
Bulgaria
Canada Rates some (but not all) French-language games in the province of Québec, primarily those that are imported from France.
Cyprus Officially supports PEGI and is represented in the PEGI Council, but there is no specific legislative basis.
Czech Republic
Denmark Officially supports PEGI and is represented in the PEGI Council, but there is no specific legislative basis.
Estonia Officially supports PEGI and is represented in the PEGI Council, but there is no specific legislative basis.
Finland Finland adopts PEGI which is exempt from mandatory classification with national age symbols. Both classifications are enforced by the penal code.
France France has adapted legislation to make classification of video games with age labels mandatory.
Greece
Germany USK system is adopted and enforced. PEGI is not formally recognised, although PEGI labelling can be found on games along with the USK rating.
Gibraltar Follows U.K. Customs
Hungary
Iceland PEGI is officially supported and age classifications are mandatory for video games by law.
Ireland PEGI ratings are excluded from mandatory classification by IFCO, which adopts PEGI but is still legally empowered to ban certain video game content from the market.
Israel PEGI has been adopted by law as the mandatory classification system for video games in Israel.
Italy Officially supports PEGI and is represented in the PEGI Council, but there is no specific legislative basis.
Latvia
Lithuania Lithuanian legislation adopts PEGI which is exempt from mandatory classification with national age symbols. Both classifications are enforced by the penal code as of Nov 2010.
Luxembourg Officially supports PEGI and is represented in the PEGI Council, but there is no specific legislative basis.
Malta
Netherlands PEGI is officially adopted and legislation is in place to enforce the age classification in shops where video games are sold.
Norway Officially supports PEGI and is represented in the PEGI Council, but there is no specific legislative basis.
Poland Poland officially announced to support PEGI as a self regulatory system, but without preparing additional specific legislation.
Portugal PEGI has officially been adopted by the Portuguese Classification Board IGAC.
Romania
Russia PEGI just as recommendation (No strict laws about game labelling).
Slovakia Slovak media law obliges distributors to mark games with national age labels.
Slovenia Officially supported. No further need for additional restrictions due to extremely low(none?) game-related incident history.
South Africa No official support or legislative basis. Rates all English games due to games sold are imports from the United Kingdom.
Spain
St. Helena Follows U.K. Customs
Sweden Officially supports PEGI and is represented in the PEGI Council, but there is no specific legislative basis.
Switzerland Officially supports PEGI and is represented in the PEGI Council, but there is no specific legislative basis.
United Kingdom Currently both PEGI and BBFC are used with the latter being legally enforceable. PEGI is adopted by national law and was expected to replace the BBFC to become legally enforceable from September 2011 at the earliest.

See also

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    • It depends on the country. For a full list see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_European_Game_Information#Where_PEGI_is_used
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