Brits Back Pan-European Rating System

Written by Harry Butler

June 23, 2008 | 10:38

Companies: #elspa

Wednesday 18th June/...Key findings of a new YouGov Survey, carried out on behalf of the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers’ Association (ELSPA), have found that a majority of British adults (67 per cent) believe it is important to have a single age-ratings system which would be consistent across Europe.

ELSPA has been lobbying for a pan-European system, PEGI, as the consistent age-rating system across the continent.

The PEGI system is adopted across more than 25 European countries - and in the UK it acts as part of a duel system that also involves the BBFC at the older end of the scale. PEGI Online also operates across Europe, extending the protection the system offers to children playing games across the continent.

Following the Byron Review, ELSPA believe it is of vital importance that both PEGI and PEGI Online are backed and supported by the British Government. The latest research shows that the majority of those surveyed wish to see a pan-European system age ratings system, such as PEGI and PEGI Online.

MEP Michael Cashman welcomed the latest YouGov findings. A senior member of the European Parliament’s Justice, Home Affairs and Civil Liberties Committee, he said: “I am not surprised that most Brits believe it is vital that we are signed-up to a pan-European rating system. Many buy their games when they are away, and others download content from European games companies. These are trends which will inevitably continue. PEGI and PEGI Online offer security when UK residents buy games from the continent – and when visiting Europeans buy games from us during their visits."

“PEGI rates the suitability of games for all ages, which is very important. The PEGI system was even partly devised by representatives of the British video games industry, and today it offers comprehensive protection for children both at home and overseas. I welcome the latest YouGov findings.”

Paul Jackson, Director General of ELSPA, added: “The Byron Review conclusions put much emphasis on the need for a clear age ratings system in the UK. This YouGov research shows us that, like all of ELSPA’s members, the majority of British adults and parents wish to see as the system that is standardised across Europe.

“We believe this demonstrates that in order to protect children it is essential that whichever classification body is chosen following the Government’s promised public consultation of the Byron Review, the decision is based on its ability as a games classifier both on and off line. It is also important that it is recognised across Europe.”

The results from the YouGov findings follow research recently published by ISFE, The Interactive Software Federation of Europe that were conducted by Nielsen Games. This found that a staggering 81% of European parents actively monitor the games their children are buying, bringing home and playing.

Total sample size of YouGov research was 6004 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 5th and 9th June. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
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