It’s always an eye opener to talk to real families about video games. This is particularly true when it comes to video game ratings and labeling. This first episode from Family Gamer TV looks at how PEGI ratings are understood and perceived by families.
At askaboutgames.com we’re keen to collaborate on this to get fresh input and feedback on how we could improve the website ready for its recent re-launch. It’s part of a process that started a few months ago when we sent out questionnaires to ask families what information and advice they needed about video games.
In this first episode it was interesting to hear the questions Vanessa had about the current ratings and her positive response to the simpler system going forward. She reflected wider feedback where BBFC badges are seen to have more legal weight than the PEGI ratings.
This isn’t a huge surprise as it is a longer standing system and has looked after the older end of the videogame ratings for some time. However, in moving to a single system PEGI was much more suited as it was tailored to videogame content specifically. Not only what the player may see in a game, but how they would interact with it and the overarching experience that creates.
The conversation made it clear we need to clarify that the 3 and 7 PEGI ratings will be advisory while the 12, 16 and 18 PEGI ratings will be legally binding. We talk more about this in our Frequently Ask Question about the penalties for selling a game to someone underage.
Vanessa also made a very good point about finding games that would be playable (as well as suitable) for her family. The PEGI ratings are a guide to the suitability of the content in a game, and not a measure of who will be able to play and enjoy it. There will be many PEGI 3 games that would expect players to by much older before they would be able to enjoy them — the Formula One 2012 3DS title used in the episode is a good example here.
Finding ways of identify good games for particular ages is something we will be looking at in the coming months on askaboutgames.com.