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Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association logo

The Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) was an organisation established in 1989 by videogame software publishers in the United Kingdom. Until 2002 it was known as the European Leisure Software Publishers Association since it was one of the first and strongest such trade bodies across Europe.

ELSPA was formed to establish a specific and collective identity for the country’s videogames industry and its membership includes virtually all of the major publishers of games in the UK. ELSPA's membership currently runs to around 40 companies including some developer/publishers.

ELSPA works to protect, promote and provide for its members’ interests via a number of activities including sales charts and reports (via GfK Chart-Track), detailed market research, Intellectual Property legalities and protection, collective industry-wide PR and political lobbying. A key area in which the Association lobbies include economic support for the industry is vital workforce skills development. It also promotes the use of videogames and gaming hardware for both education and health reasons (particularly physiotherapy). ELSPA helps to organise a number of key gaming events in the UK each year including the annual London Games Festival (staged each October) and Edinburgh Interactive (in August).

ELSPA ensures that all its members published games are responsibly age-rated with the pan-European PEGI ratings system to ensure parents, guardians and carers can make informed choices when purchasing games for children. (see below)

ELSPA is represented on UKCCIS (the UK Council for Child Internet Safety) and works with the Advertising Standards Authority, helping to draw up the Codes of Conduct that maintain the responsible advertising of videogames. ELSPA's Corporate Social Responsibility programme includes supporting and working with a number of major children's charities in the UK including the Children's Society and the NSPCC.

The PEGI age-rating system is set to be adopted in the UK as the country's definitive system for videogames. Set up in 2003, PEGI sets standards for the age rating of interactive games both online and offline. It gives clear advice on content to provide certainty for parents - and PEGI is the only pan-European standard for online gameplay as it is accepted in more than 28 countries.

In June 2009 the British Government, via its Digital Britain report, recommended the widespread acceptance of PEGI for the UK. The decision will give PEGI legal force in the UK for all games that are rated 12 and above. This was a key recommendation of the Byron Review in 2007, in which child psychologist Prof Tanya Byron examined child safety in the digital age. In her report Byron recognised that games are increasingly being played online and across international boundaries, so a system that worked both within and beyond the UK was essential.

All videogames in the UK are now set to include the PEGI age rating roundels which follow the easily understandable 'traffic light' system introduced recently for food products. The red, amber and green coding is instantly recognised by children and adults alike. The game descriptor icons give detail on content beyond age suitability and, in the UK, games will also have supplementary written descriptors.

In June 2009 Prof Byron said: "Video games were the big issue in my review, specifically their classification system. I didn't have time to outline a new classification system entirely, but I did outline principles for how it should look. My suggestions then went to consultation and the Government have this week made their decision, which is an enhanced PEGI system. My recommendations have been upheld and it's a really great decision which I thoroughly support."

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Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

The Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) is an organisation set up in 1989 by British software publishers. It was known as The European Leisure Software Publishers Association until 2002.

Between 1994 and Spring 2003 ELSPA voluntarily rated computer games released in Britain that were exempt from legal classification by the BBFC. The ratings given were originally 3-10, 11-14, 15-17 and 18+. "X"s would highlight which age group a title was not suitable for, while a tick in the categories above that would indicate the suitable ages. For example: A title suitable for all ages would have all the categories checked. A title suitable only for adults would have "X"s in all categories except for 18+. A title suitable for ages 11 and older would have an "X" in 3-10 and ticks in the rest. The ratings were later simplified to a 3+, 11+, 15+ or 18+ as appropriate. This has now been replaced by a European ratings system, called PEGI.

ELSPA are responsible for providing sales charts for computer games sold in the United Kingdom, and promoting anti-piracy initiatives.

External link


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

ELSPA logo

The Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association system (ELSPA for short) was the official (voluntary) video game rating system used in the United Kingdom between 1994 and 2003 (and was adopted unofficially by some countries without their own system). In May 2003 the ELSPA system was replaced by the pan-European system PEGI.

There were 4 different ratings in the ELSPA system:

ELSPA: 11+
ELSPA: 15+(Rare; games like Tomb Raider were given this)
ELSPA: 18+(Extremely rare; games like BMX XXX were given this)

External links


Game Rating
ESRB (United States/Canada)
PEGI (most of Europe) • BBFC (UK) • ELSPA (UK, retired) • USK (Germany) • VET (Finland)
CERO (Japan, console) • EOCS (Japan, PC)
Australia/New Zealand
OFLC (Australia)OFLC (New Zealand)
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