PEGI now legally enforced in the UK, what does this mean for Windows Phone users?

The PEGI (Pan European Game Information) ratings system has become legally enforceable in the UK, which means retailers and publishers that sell video games to children are now liable for fines and possible imprisonment. This is due to a new age classification system being forcefully implemented to crack down on unsuitable content for certain age groups.

All video games will be regulated under the PEGI system this coming Monday, which also makes it illegal to sell 12-rated games to underage children (among the usual certifications). Until this time, the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) has only provided 15 and 18 age certificates that are legally enforceable, making it legal for children to purchase 12-rated media. But what does this mean for Windows Phone users?

Not an awful lot for now as the majority of Xbox LIVE titles available on Windows Phone have certification present in the app overview page, but beyond that there's little control on what content younglings can access on the growing Marketplace. A PEGI Windows Phone app is also available, which helps users keep up-to-date with the latest ratings, to see what the rating certificates / content reports mean, and to search titles.

According to UKIE president Jo Twist, Microsoft has already signed up to PEGI Express for Windows Phone 8 where apps submitted to the Marketplace will be included under the ratings system.

"Windows 8 Mobile has already signed up to use PEGI Express, to include their apps under the ratings system. So I think that's a big move, and once one platform holder like that goes down that line, hopefully others will follow."

This will hopefully mean more apps and games will have the ratings visible. Apple currently uses its own ratings system, but Twist believes Apple will include apps submitted to the iOS App Store under the PEGI ratings system in the future. Being the sole classification system in the UK, PEGI is set to make the gaming world a safer place for the younger generation, or attempt to do so anyway. We'll be sure to report on more details as Apollo draws closer.

Source: DigitalSpy

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

18 Comments
  • Good.
  • I always thought it the parents' responsibility to restrict content, not the state. This will probably accomplish absolutely nothing and cost European states and citizens more money.
  • Actually it can inform a parent of the potential issues with the game without them having to play it themselves first.  Granted the lazy parent won't care what the rating is and will buy it anyway but the uninformed parent can make a decision on whether the game is a good or bad one for their child(ren).
  • Voluntary ratings are fine IMO, but state-mandated systems are unnecessary and potentially costly for both the state and citizens. Again, it will most likely not reduce the number of children exposed to "inappropriate" content. Even the definition of inappropriate wrt to media is entirely subjective and dependent upon personal morals and worldview.
  • About time. 8 year old don't need to play GTA. And 12 year old don't need to play MW3 either. Parents have no sense these days.
  • Won't stop parents buying the game for them. Simply because there either oblivious to its content or just don't care
  • But it can help the responsible parent make a decision.
  • Very true and I agree with the entire enforcement of it, but lets face it some parents use video games to baby sit their children. Case in point, the amount of 10 year olds you find on 18+ games. MW3, battlefield etc. What im saying is I don't think it will be that effective imo.
  • The one way I can see it helping is by not selling an m rated game to them period regardless if the parent OKs it.
  • Ok, I see Language (speech bubble), Violence (fist), Online (obvious), Gambling (dice), Sex (obvious), Drugs (syringe), and Discrimination (people).... But what is the spider???
  • I'd assume horror.
  • Correct, according to Bing Translator "SKRÄCK" is Swedish for horror.
  • Or could cause child to believe their spider man
  • Skraeck is Swedish for fear, so I'd guess horror or scary images.
  • Funny. Arachnophobia is universal I guess.
  • Here in Brazil there is a indicative classification itself. This was preventing many of the games released in other countries are not released here.
      We have just 63 games from Xbox Live to Windows Phone and virtually no game "not live" released here. I would like to ask help of you blog so if you know any developer (or when they are doing an interview with them, as the recently published) that ask them to at least try to launch your games here, because there are many users in Brazil that would like to be able to play those games.   The classification process is pretty simple and I could help anyone who needed it. You can find me on twitter ( @GuilhermeManso ). Please help us. Thank you.
  • 3..7..16..12..18 so unless I've missed the memo, something isn't quite right here >,>. Also Im with the thought that it isn't the governments responsibility to parent, its the parent. The PEGI (ESRB here) are great for giving a glimps at what the content on the game is but they don't need to be legally inforced. It won't stop mommy or daddy from buying screaming little Timmy his much "needed" Call of Duty or GTA game.
  • Totally agree. Ratings should be informative, not a means to punish stupidity. Ranks right up there with the "distracted walking" legislation. If people fail to use the common sense they were born with, let the trains run down those who can't bare to tear themselves away from their mobile entertainment to avoid easily avoidable dangers present in everyday life.