A new website named askaboutgames.com
has been launched in the UK by industry body ELSPA (Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association), in order to help parents understand the age ratings system used in the UK for video games.
The website explains both the voluntary European PEGI system and the mandatory BBFC system (the same used for cinema and DVDs in the UK) for more mature rated games. It has been created following research that highlighted the fact that parents in particular were confused about the system and how it applies to games.
The site has already received considerable media attention, including national television coverage. As well as explaining about ratings it also includes a basic glossary of video games terms, information about prominent genres and other miscellaneous industry information. Advice is also given about piracy and various health issues including epileptic fits brought on by games playing and addiction.
British government Media Minister, James Purnell, said: "It's a criminal offence to sell or rent an 18 rated game to a child. To back this up, our penalties are among the toughest in Europe. But too often parents unwittingly allow their children to play unsuitable games. I am pleased that the industry is taking further steps to educate parents about video game content. It's particularly important at this time of year. I'd like to remind parents to look carefully at the games they are putting in their children's stockings this Christmas."