Parents must take ultimate responsibility for game-playing children, says TIGA (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Parents must take ultimate responsibility for game-playing children, says TIGA
11:12am Wednesday 1st August 2012 in Reviews
The PEGI system will only work if people are fully aware of it - and parents take responsibility for the games their children play, according to a prominent videogame organisation.
Dr Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, said PEGI (Pan-European Game Information) which became legally enforceable in the UK, will need the co-operation of parents in order to work.
Retailers that sell titles with ratings of 12, 16 or 18 years to children below the age limits will be subject to prosecution.
Under the new system the Games Ratings Authority (GRA) - a division of the Hertfordshire-based Video Standards Council - will be responsible for rating titles using Pegi's criteria.
Dr Wilson said: "It is important that people are made aware of the PEGI system and understand what the ratings and advisory comments mean. Parents and consumers generally need to know when they purchase a boxed video game from a shop what the PEGI ratings mean so that they can make informed decisions.However, while PEGI provides more information for consumers, the purchaser must ultimately take responsibility for ensuring that the game which he/she has bought is age-appropriate.
"Only bricks and mortar stores are affected by the new law which puts PEGI on a statutory basis. Online and digital downloads remaining exempt. As both of these methods typically require a credit or debit card, parents can ensure that their children play age appropriate games.”
TIGA's advice for parents
- Always look for the age classification on the game package.
- Try to look for a summary or review of the game content or ideally play the game yourself first.
- Play video games with your children, watch over them when they play and talk with them about the games they play.
- Explain why certain games are not suitable.
- Be aware that online games sometimes enable the download of extra software that can alter the game content and eventually the age classification of the game.
- Online games are usually played in virtual communities requiring players to interact with unknown fellow players. Tell your children not to give out personal details and report inappropriate behaviour.
- Set the limits by using the parental control tools of the game console or PC
The Age ratings
3 - suitable for those aged three and above
7 - suitable for those aged seven and above
12 - suitable for those aged 12 and above
16 - suitable for those aged 16 and above
18 - suitable for those aged 18 and above
Violence – Game contains depictions of violence
Bad language – Game contains bad language
Fear – Game may be frightening or scary for young children
Sex – Game depicts nudity and/or sexual behaviour or sexual references
Gambling – Games that encourage or teach gambling
Drugs – Game refers to or depicts the use of drugs
Discrimination – Game contains depictions of, or materials which may encourage, discrimination
Online – Online game