PEGI takes control of game classifications

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With all of the hullabaloo (yeah I said hullabaloo, big whoop, wanna fight about it?) that surrounded yesterday’s Digital Britain report, you may have missed the announcement that PEGI is going to be the sole gaming classification body in the UK, leaving the BBFC out in the cold.

The BBFC have, in the past, accused PEGI of being “just a couple of blokes” and have pulled a bit of a strop over the announcement. “The BBFC has always supported PEGI and wished it well,” they said. “But it continues to believe that it satisfies these requirements better than PEGI.”

What this means for consumers is that games will now display the PEGI logos that indicate a game’s specific content – such as that of a spider for fear, a fist for violence and a hypodermic needle for diabetic friendly titles. Not really – the needle represents a drugs theme, silly.

The symbols will accompanied by an age-classification of 3,7,12,16 and 18, which are legally enforceable – if you ain’t old enough you ain’t getting in, simple.

The PEGI system is Europe-wide and is self regulated by the publishers themselves.

(via The Telegraph)

Manhunt 2 finally sees UK release

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Banned videogame Manhunt 2 looks like it’s finally going to see a UK release, more than a year after it was released in the USA, on October 31st. A successful appeal to the BBFC, and many modifications to the game, have finally gained it an 18 rating, meaning that it can be released…

BBFC says PEGI is just "a couple of blokes"

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In the wake of the Byron Review, tension is beginning to simmer beneath the surface of the normally peaceable games ratings industry. Dr Tanya Byron’s recommendations put the UK ratings board, the BBFC, in a strong position to take on more responsibility (and work, and pay cheques presumably) but its rival, PEGI, is not out of the running yet. Big names in the industry like EA and Microsoft have come down in favour of the European-wide PEGI service.

Tabloids paying cash for anti-video games stories

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Last week’s Byron Report looked like it might have a calming influence on the ever increasing levels of sensationalism surrounding video games and help bring the public’s perception of games into a more accepting future. I know, I know – it’s appalling really. Thank god for British tabloid rags. They’re ready to step up and dredge every seedy gutter for a story or twenty that will make you lock your doors in terrified realisation that the outside world really is populated by roving bands of video game obsessed PSYCHOPATHS…

Opinion: Manhunt 2's release will kill the current video games classifications

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Jonathan Weinberg writes…

It’s a row that’s been rolling on for far too long. It’s a row that does nothing to help the perception of gaming among wider society. And it’s a row that is going to run and run for quite some time yet.

Rockstar has now finally overturned a ban that meant it was unable to release Manhunt 2 in the UK. But while that’s good news for the firm, for gaming itself, this whole bloody saga is just another nail in the coffin of gaming.

The media is already far too focused on the negatives – the violence, the calls to ban so-called “killer games” and the conflicts over having a voluntary code to provide an age rating for the majority of titles.

Occasionally a positive story will slip through, like the OAPs playing Wii to keep in shape, but on the whole, games are treated with far more disdain than rap music and horror movies, both of which have had their fare share of criticism in the past….