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PEGI's logo

Pan European Game Information (PEGI) is a European video game content rating system established to help European parents make informed decisions on buying computer games with logos on games boxes. It was developed by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) and came into use in April 2003; it replaced many national age rating systems with a single European system. The PEGI system is now used in more than thirty countries and is based on a code of conduct, a set of rules to which every publisher using the PEGI system is contractually committed. PEGI self-regulation is composed by 5 age categories and 8 content descriptors that advise the suitability and content of a game for a certain age range based on the games content.[1] The age rating does not indicate the difficulty of the game or the skill required to play it.[2]

As of 2009, PEGI has rated more than 11,000 games.[3] 50% of the games were rated 3, 10% were rated 7, 24% were rated 12, 12% were rated 16 and only 4% were 18.[4] On June 16, 2009, it was declared by the UK's Department of Culture, Media and Sport that PEGI would be the sole classification system for videogames and software in the UK (previously, some videogames were rated by the BBFC)[5], however in some cases games are still re-classified by the BBFC (such as Mass Effect 2 and Aliens vs. Predator).


PEGI and the European Union

The study “Video gamers in Europe – 2008” made by Nielsen Games, demonstrates that PEGI age ratings labels are recognized by 93%. 62% are aware of a European game rating system, 50% recognize the content descriptors and 49% of parents find the age rating label system useful when buying a videogame.[6]

PEGI is an example of a European harmonization. The European Commission supports the PEGI self-regulation: “PEGI appears to have achieved good results and PEGI On-line is also a promising initiative, making of PEGI a good example of self regulation in line with the better regulation agenda.[7] Moreover, the European Parliament in its last report on protection of consumers “takes the view that the PEGI system for rating games is an important tool which has improved transparency for consumers, especially parents, when buying games by enabling them to make a considered choice as to whether a game is suitable for children.[8]

Rating Process and Boards

To obtain the ratings for any piece of software, the applicant submits the game with other supporting materials and completes a content declaration, all of which is evaluated by an independent administrator called the Netherlands Institute for the Classification of Audiovisual Media (NICAM). It is based on the Dutch Kijkwijzer system as well.[9] Following the evaluation the applicant will receive a license to use the rating logos. If the applicant disagrees with the rating, they can ask for an explanation or make a complaint to the complaints board. Consumers may also make complaints to this board.

Although PEGI was established by an industry body (ISFE) the ratings are given by a body independent of the industry and the whole system is overseen by a number of different Boards and Committees. There is the Pegi Advisory Board composed mainly by national representatives for PEGI, who recommends adjustments to the code in light of social, legal and technological developments. Members of the Advisory Board are recruited for their skill and experience from among parent/consumer body representatives, child psychologists, media specialists, civil servants, academics and legal advisers versed in the protection of minors in Europe.[10]

There is also a Complaints Board with eighteen experts from various European countries. They are dealing with complaints related to breaches of requirements of the code of conduct or to age rating recommendations. Should a complaint be received from a consumer or publisher regarding a rating given to a game and no satisfactory settlement can be reached by the PEGI administrator through discussion, explanation or negotiation the complainant may formally request the Complaints Board to mediate. Three board members will then convene, hear the complaint and decide on a ruling. Publishers using the PEGI system are bound by the decision of the Complaints Board. Consequently, they are obliged to carry out any corrective actions required and, in cases of non-compliance, are subject to sanctions as laid out by the code.

PEGI Committees

There are three committees; a criteria committee, a legal committee and an enforcement committee.

Criteria Committee: The Criteria Committee is made up of representatives from ISFE, NICAM, VSC and the industry. It works on adapting and modifying the PEGI questionnaire and the underlying criteria to take account of technological and content developments and recommendations made by the Advisory Board or circumstances brought to light by the complaints procedure.

Legal Committee: Since PEGI is a voluntary system it runs in conjunction with, and is subordinate to, existing national laws, whether they prohibit certain content or establish mandatory rating systems. The Legal Committee’s role is to advise ISFE of any changes to national legislation within participating countries that could have an impact on the voluntary age rating system.

Enforcement Committee: The Enforcement Committee is charged with implementing the recommendations of the Advisory Board and, more generally, of ensuring the enforcement of the provisions of the PEGI Code of Conduct, including conclusion of the Complaints Board. The Enforcement Committee is made up of ten members, five of which are publishers, and five of which are chosen from the Advisory Board.[11]

PEGI On-line

This division of PEGI was formed in 2007. It’s an addition to the PEGI system for online games and aims to give young people in Europe improved protection against unsuitable online gaming content and to educate parents on how to ensure safe online play.[12] This project is supported directly by the European Commission. “PEGI On-line, which was launched in June 2007 and co-funded by the Safer Internet Programme, is the logical development of the PEGI system, designed to better protect young people against unsuitable gaming content and to help parents to understand the risks and potential for harm within this environment[13]

PEGI Online is based on four principles[14] :

  • the PEGI Online Safety Code and Framework Contract which is signed by all participants
  • the PEGI Online Logo which will be displayed by holders of a licence
  • the website for applicants and for the general public
  • an independent administration, advice and dispute settlement process.

The licence to display the PEGI Online Logo is granted by the PEGI Online Administrator to any online gameplay service provider that meets the requirements set out in the PEGI Online Safety Code (POSC).

Age ratings

PEGI has five age categories. In Portugal, because the film classification system has some age ratings that conflict with the PEGI system, two of the PEGI categories were changed to avoid confusion; 3 was changed to 4 and 7 was changed to 6. Finland also used to use a modified scale, where 12 became 11 and 16 became 15. Finland fully adopted PEGI on 1 January 2007, and the standard ratings were adopted as well.

Country 3 7 12 16 18
Standard Newpegi 3.svg Newpegi 7.svg Newpegi 12.svg Newpegi 16.svg Newpegi 18.svg
Portugal PEGI4+.gif PEGI6+.gif Newpegi 12.svg Newpegi 16.svg Newpegi 18.svg

PEGI is a voluntary system. The colour coded PEGI icons were announced in June 2009, with green for 3 and 7, yellow for 12 and 16 and red for 18.[15]

Here are the ratings for the games:

  • 3 rating: Suitable for ages 3 and over. Contains very mild violence or suggestive themes. These include edutainment games. Similar to the ESRB's Early Childhood and the Everyone (low end) ratings and BBFC's Uc and U ratings.
  • 7 rating: These games are the same as Early Childhood ratings but may include content descriptors like mild violence and in a rare case, very mild action violence. Suitable only for persons of 7 years of age and older and similar to the Everyone (high end) and the Everyone 10+ rating (low end) ratings in the ESRB and BBFC's PG (low end) rating.
  • 12 rating: Suitable only for persons of over ages 12 and older. This rating contains mild action violence or suggestive themes and mildly suggestive song lyrics. Similar to the ESRB's Teen (low end) and Everyone 10+ (high end) ratings and BBFC's PG (high end) and 12 (low end) ratings.
  • 16 rating: This rating is suitable only for persons of 16 years of age or older. Some situations include moderate to strong action violence, mild references to gambling, and rude humor, which makes this rating similar to the Teen (high end) and the Mature (low end) ratings from the ESRB and the 12 (high end) and 15 (low end) ratings from BBFC.
  • 18 rating: This rating is suitable only for persons 18 years of age and older, and is similar to the ESRB's Adults Only and Mature (high end) ratings and BBFC's 15 or 18 rating. Graphic violence, strong sexual content, explicit references to gambling, and vulgar language (spoken and used in song lyrics) are permitted.

Content descriptions

The eight content descriptors are:

Icon Content descriptor Explanation Examples
Newpegi violence.gif Violence May contain scenes of people getting injured or dying, often by use of weapons. Also may contain gore and blood-letting and blood particles. Half-Life series, Grand Theft Auto series, Hitman series, Fallout 2, Doom, Resistance: Fall of Man, Disney's PK: Out of the Shadows, Super Smash Bros., The Legend of Spyro, Max Payne 2, Mortal Kombat, God of War, Counter-Strike: Source, Devil May Cry 4, Driver series, Left 4 Dead, Chili Con Carnage, Assassin's Creed, Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, Dead Space, Scarface: The World is Yours
Newpegi profanity.gif Profanity May contain profanity, sexual innuendo, threats, and all manner of slurs and epithets. Grand Theft Auto series, Fallout 3, Twelve Year Old, Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven, Midnight Club: Los Angeles, Driver series, Shadow the Hedgehog, Scarface
Newpegi fear.gif Fear May contain scenes that are considered too disturbing or frightening to younger or more emotionally vulnerable players. Coraline, Ice Age: The Meltdown, NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, Silent Debuggers, Ico, Bionicle Heroes, Garfield's Nightmare, Luigi's Mansion, Dead Space
Newpegi sex.gif Sex May contain references to sexual attraction or sexual intercourse. Also may contain nudity and female characters dressed in suggestive clothing. Singles: Flirt Up Your Life, Leisure Suit Larry, Fallout 2, Playboy: The Mansion, BMX XXX, God of War, The Sopranos: Road to Respect, The Sims series, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Scarface
Newpegi drugs.gif Drugs May contain references to illegal drugs or a fictional substance that has parallels to real-life illegal drugs (in use, possession, or sale). Driver series, Grand Theft Auto series, Fallout 2, Deus Ex: Invisible War, The Warriors, NARC, Scarface
Newpegi discrimination.gif Discrimination May contain cruelty or harassment based on race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual preferences. Original War, Postal 2: Apocalypse Weekend, Postal 2: Share the Pain, SWAT: Target Liberty, Scarface
Newpegi gambling.gif Gambling May contain games that are played for money (real or simulated). 42 All-Time Classics, Fallout 2, Driver: Vegas, God Hand, Street Hoops, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Rayman Raving Rabbids 2, Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights, BioShock, Scarface
Newpegi online.gif Online Contains an online game mode. EVE Online, Metal Gear Online, Knight Online, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, Left 4 Dead, Mortal Kombat

The 'Gambling' content descriptor was first used on September 29, 2006 with the title 42 All-Time Classics. The 'Online' descriptor was introduced in September 2009.

Where PEGI is used

PEGI is used in 31 European countries and Israel. The ratings system is partially recognised in other countries such as the United Arab Emirates[16] and South Africa[17] since they are considered official PAL regions, although they may import games from regions outside of PEGI's jurisdictions. PAL games officially released in Australia are usually rated by the OFLC. Legally enforceable means the ratings are not simply "voluntary" or "advisory" but are enforced by some kind of local regulation or law.

Country Legally
Additional rating
 Austria Partial Legally in Vienna. Austria has been using the PEGI system since April 2003.[18]
 Belgium No
 Bulgaria No
 Cyprus No
 Czech Republic No
 Denmark No
 Estonia No
 Finland Yes VET/SFB VET/SFB is used if PEGI rating is missing.
 France No
 Greece No
 Germany No USK Not formally recognised. PEGI labelling can be found on some games along with the USK rating, which is legally enforceable.[19]
 Hungary No
 Iceland No
 Ireland No IFCO Uses PEGI as a guideline and adds an IFCO rating if legal enforcement is desired.
 Israel No
 Italy No
 Latvia No
 Lithuania No
 Luxembourg No
 Malta No
 Netherlands Yes
 Norway Yes Depending on the cashier, some retailers choose not to sell games to persons younger than the recommended age.
 Poland Yes
 Portugal No IGAC
 Romania No
 Russia No Used only if the game published by a foreign publisher.[citation needed]
 Slovakia No
 Slovenia No
 Spain Yes
 Sweden No
 Switzerland No
 United Kingdom Yes Fully adopted PEGI in September 2009; previously used PEGI as a guideline only and used a BBFC rating if legal enforcement was desired.

See also


  1. ^ PEGI Website
  2. ^
  3. ^ NICAM activity report march 2009
  4. ^ PEGI Website
  5. ^ Kotaku: PEGI triumphs over the BBFC
  6. ^ ;
  7. ^ Communication from the commission o the european parliament, the council, the european economic and social committee and the committee of the regions, on the protection of consumers, in particular minors, in respect of the use of video games, Brussels, 2008,p.9
  8. ^ Toine Manders, Report of the European Parliament on the protection of the consumers, in particular minors, in respect of the use of video games, 2009, p.6. article 24
  9. ^ NICAM website
  10. ^ Website PEGI
  11. ^ Website PEGI
  12. ^ PEGI Online Website
  13. ^ Communication from the commission o the european parliament, the council, the european economic and social committee and the committee of the regions, on the protection of consumers, in particular minors, in respect of the use of video games, Brussels, 2008, p.3.
  14. ^ PEGI Online Website
  15. ^ PEGI Unveils New Ratings Symbols
  16. ^ U.A.E.'s Xbox site describing PEGI ratings
  17. ^ South Africa's Xbox site describing PEGI ratings
  18. ^ Wien: Games nur noch mit Altersnachweis -
  19. ^ "Halo 2: Best of Classics". EB 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-25. 

External links

Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Pan European Game Information, or more commonly PEGI, is a European system for rating the content of computer and video games, and other entertainment software. It was developed by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) and came into use in April 2003. The PEGI system is used in 26 countries.

Participation is voluntary, at the discretion of the game developer. To obtain the ratings for any piece of software, the developer completes a questionnaire, which is then evaluated by the Netherlands Institute for the Classification of Audiovisual Media (NICAM) and ratings are given. It's based on the Dutch Kijkwijzer system too.

There are two parts to the classification for any piece of software — a suggested minimum age and also up to seven descriptions of content, such as the use of strong language, violence, etc. Most recently added was the Gambling icon.


Age ratings

PEGI has five age categories. In Finland and Portugal, local legislation conflicts with some of the ratings and they are changed accordingly.

Region 3+ 7+ 12+ 16+ 18+
Standard For ages 3 and over. For ages 7 and over. For ages 12 and over. For ages 16 and over. For ages 18 and over (Adults ONLY).
Finland For ages 3 and over. For ages 7 and over. For ages 11 and over. For ages 15 and over. For ages 18 and over (Adults ONLY).
Portugal For ages 4 and over. For ages 6 and over. For ages 12 and over. For ages 16 and over. For ages 18 and over (Adults ONLY.

Content descriptions

The seven content descriptors are:

Profanity Discrimination Drugs Fear Sexual Content Violence Gambling
Image:PEGI Language.gif Image:PEGI Discrimination.gif Image:PEGI_Drugs.gif Image:PEGI_Fear.gif Image:PEGI_Sex.gif Image:PEGI_Violence.gif Image:PEGI_Gambling.gif


Where PEGI is used

PEGI is used in 26 European nations (albeit with zero legal effect). They are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland (also has a local rating system which is given by VET/SFB instead if PEGI rating is missing)
  • France
  • Greece
  • Germany (Only used on some games with the USK rating too. An example of a game that used both the PEGI and USK rating is Halo 2
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Italy
  • Isreal
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom (if a game contains certain material, British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) rating is used instead)

External links


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

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

The Pan European Game Information system (PEGI for short) is the European equivalent of the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

The PEGI system was introduced in 2003, it's aim was to create a standard age rating system for all European countries, excluding Germany and sometimes the UK. In the UK the PEGI system is used, but in certain circumstances the BBFC system is used instead. In Germany they use the USK system.

PEGI applies to products distributed in the following countries:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • UK


Mission statement

Copied from PEGI's site[1].

The PEGI system was developed and based on existing systems in Europe. In the drafting of the PEGI assessment form and the shaping of the system organisation, society representatives such as consumers, parents and religious groups have been largely involved.
PEGI has been designed to meet varying cultural standards and attitudes across the participating countries. Member States and is supported by the majority of relevant Member State Government Agencies and all interactive leisure software trade organisations in Europe.
The PEGI system is a voluntary system in which the ratings are carried out by members of the game industry itself. This takes place by means of a self assessment form. After examining a game, the in-house coder uses an intranet to answer a number of questions, after which the rating of the game will be given automatically. For each content category an age is established, based on the answers on the assessment form.
Ratings proposed by publishers are then checked by NICAM. All 16+ or 18+ ratings are checked before a rating is granted. All 12+ and samples of 3+ and 7+ ratings are checked after a rating has been granted. At the end of the process, products concerned are granted by NICAM, on behalf of ISFE, a license to use a specific logo and possibly descriptors as well.

Game Ratings

Within the scope of Pegi there are 2 types of pictograms that are relevant:

  • Age categories
  • Content types

So in addition to the game ratings by appropriate age, the PEGI system also includes symbols depicting the type of content in the game.

Age Ratings

Certain ratings are different for Portugal and Finland because they think they're to good for the standard ratings (or local legislation conflicts with the standard ratings or something).


This title is rated PEGI: 3+ and is suitable for people ages 3 and older. Instead of using 3+, Portugal uses PEGI: 4+. PEGI: 4+ is suitable for people ages 4 and older.


Titles rated PEGI: 7+ are suitable for ages 7 and older. Instead of using 7+, Portugal uses PEGI: 6+. PEGI: 6+ is suitable for people ages 6 and older.


Titles rated PEGI: 12+ have content that may be suitable for ages 12 and older. Up to January 2007, Finland used PEGI: 11+. PEGI: 11+ is suitable for people ages 11 and older.


Titles rated PEGI: 16+ have content that may be suitable for ages 16 and older. Up to Janurary 2007, Finland used PEGI: 15+. PEGI: 15+ is suitable for people ages 15 and older.


Titles rated PEGI: 18+ have content that may be suitable for ages 18 and older.

Content Descriptors

Bad Language

Game contains bad language.


Game contains depictions of, or material which may encourage, discrimination.


Game refers to or depicts the use of drugs.


Game may be frightening or scary for young children.


Game depicts nudity and/or sexual behaviour or sexual references.


Game contains depictions of violence.

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)

External links

  • PEGI
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Simple English

Pan European Game Information (PEGI) is an European organization that rates video games. The PEGI system is used in more than thirty countries. PEGI has rated more than 15,000 video games from 2003 to 2010.[1]


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