What is PEGI?
The Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) age rating system was established to help European parents make informed decisions on buying computer games. It was launched in spring 2003 and replaced a number of national age rating systems with a single system now used throughout most of Europe, in 30 countries (Austria Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Norway, Slovenia, Belgium, Estonia, Iceland, Lithuania, Poland, Spain, Bulgaria, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Sweden, Cyprus, France, Israel, Malta, Romania, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovak Republic and the United Kingdom)
What are age ratings?
Age ratings are systems used to ensure that entertainment content, such as films, videos, DVDs, and computer games, are clearly labelled by age according to the content they contain. Age ratings provide guidance to consumers (particularly parents) to help them decide whether or not to buy a particular product.
Computer and video games are now enjoyed by millions of players throughout Europe. In the UK, 37 % of the population aged between 16 and 49 describe themselves as ‘active gamers’ (defined as currently playing games on a console, handheld or PC). In comparison, in Spain and Finland 28% of the population aged 16 and 49 are defined as ‘active gamers’(Nielsen report 2008). While most games (49%) are suitable for players of all ages there are many that are only suitable for older children and young teenagers. There are also some games (4%) that are made for adults only (over the age of 18).
The rating on a game confirms that it is suitable for players over a certain age. Accordingly, a PEGI 7 game is only suitable for those aged seven and above and an PEGI 18 game is only suitable for adults aged eighteen and above. The PEGI rating considers the age suitability of a game, not the level of difficulty.
PEGI is used and recognised throughout Europe and has the enthusiastic support of the European Commission. It is considered to be a model of European harmonisation in the field of the protection of children.
PEGI OK Label
Many websites and online services contain small games and in order to cover this rapidly growing segment, the PEGI OK label was devised. When a small online game on a website has been labelled ‘PEGI OK’, it means that the game can comfortably be played by players of all age groups because it does not contain any potentially unsuitable game content.
The PEGI OK label looks like this:
A PEGI OK label indicates that the strict PEGI rating criteria have been applied and it has been ascertained that there is nothing in the game that would lead to a higher rating than the standard 3+ category.
The operator of a website or games portal is permitted to use the PEGI OK label based upon a declaration made to PEGI that the game does not contain any material that requires a formal rating.
To qualify for the PEGI OK label a game can NOT contain any of the following elements:
- sexual activity or sexual innuendo
- bad language
- promotion or use of drugs
- promotion of alcohol or tobacco
- scary scenes
Should the game contain any of these elements, the game must be age rated using the standard PEGI rating system. The game will then receive a regular PEGI rating (3, 7, 12, 16 or 18) consisting of an age rating label and content descriptor(s). The same applies in case the casual game can be downloaded onto a consumer’s computer.
Do you have a question about the PEGI OK label, or have you spotted the PEGI OK label being used incorrectly on a website? Contact the PEGI Administration with use of the contact form on this website: