Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) has announced extensions to its games rating system to include online and mobile games.
The PEGI rating system is the EU equivalent of the ESRB, evaluating and rating all games released in Europe and the U.K. The new PEGI Online initiative was unveiled today at the Expert Conference 2007 in Brussels. The new system has been in development for the past 18 months.
"The protection of children as users of online technologies is of great importance for the Commission," said Viviane Reding, European commissioner for education and culture. "The internet has added a whole new dimension to the various forms of media consumption. This includes videogames which increasingly constitute one of the favorite leisure activities of Europeans of all ages and social categories."
"The system is aimed at ensuring input not only by industry but also by all other stakeholders - including regulators, child welfare NGOs and child psychology experts who were consulted in the design of the system and are represented in the structure set up to run PEGI and PEGI Online," she continued. "This is a good example of an industry initiative developed in co-operation with other stakeholders which allows a rapid and flexible solution to the problems of new technologies and greater safety for our children."
Paul Jackson, director-general of the U.K. trade association ELSPA, said, "We are fully behind the new PEGI Online system, which we hope will reassure parents that games which are playable online are being marketed responsibly by our members."