The Interactive Software Federation of Europe has announced that the Austrian city of Vienna will adopt a legally enforceable version of the pan-European PEGI game rating system to regulate video game sales to youth, starting in January 2008.
The amendment prescribes that video games can only be sold to young people of a certain age if the age rating clearly indicates that they are suitable for people of that age. The city of Vienna has been discussing the matter in the Family and Youth State Consultants’ Meeting in the hopes of coordinating the amendment across the entire country of Austria.
The amendment was based on recommendations made by a task force, and ÖVUS, the Australian Entertainment Software Association, was closely involved as a representative of the industry, with support from the ISFE, who developed the PEGI system.
The final resolution will first be made initially in the committee of the Youth, Education, Information and Sport business group, and in January 2008 in the provincial parliament. The PEGI system
is in place in 30 countries across Europe as a voluntary measure, but is legally enforceable in very few of them.
ÖVUS President Dr. Niki Laber said, “From the perspective of the industry, this is a first important step towards actively supporting the issues of youth protection and media competence. The cooperation with the political representatives of all factions was very fruitful and raises hopes of future good cooperation between politics and the industry."