PEGI, BBFC, wha?

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by maca2kx, Mar 17, 2009.

?

What rating system do you want?

  1. PEGI - I dig the funky boxes

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  2. BBFC - why should I remember two systems when one's enough?

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  3. Something else - they both suck

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  4. None - I want to give Jack Thompson more ammo

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  1. maca2kx

    maca2kx Rookie

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    Admittedly this will pertain more to British (and perhaps European) posters than it will to anyone else but I'm posting it anyway.

    Basically the situation so far is that the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) has enjoyed a monopoly on the ratings empire for several years. They rate all films and most games and have the power to stop the release of a game on British shores (like they did with Manhunt 2 for a time). Their certificates are as follows:

    • Uc - Universal children, literally anyone can watch/play this (though you may need to regress a few decades to enjoy it).
    • U - Universal, meant for children at least four years old.
    • PG - Parental Guidance, it's up to the parent.
    • 12.
    • 12a - meant for over 12s but kids under 12 can go if accompanied by a responsible adult (more of a film classification than a game one).
    • 15.
    • 18.

    Pretty simple really.

    Now, the 'rival' classification board is PEGI (Pan European Game Information). This board is (as the title suggests) for games only and provides information as to why the game received the rating it did. These ratings go as follows:

    • 3+
    • 7+
    • 12+
    • 16+
    • 18+

    They also carry information on violence, sex, drugs, language and so on to allow the parent to make an informed choice.

    The difference between the two systems is that, at the moment, BBFC is legally binding and PEGI isn't. This means that a shop cannot sell a BBFC rate game to a person under the required age but CAN do so if the game is only rated PEGI. I work for a store that sells games and our policy (and that of a few other stores) is to treat PEGI the same as BBFC but this dual system has to change and BBFC is currently on the losing end of the battle.

    Personally I think PEGI is too bland to catch the awareness of a parent who doesn't know they should be looking for it (just take a look at the symbols on the website). It's not so much that the system is complicated, it's pretty damn simple, it's just that the public isn't aware of it and the only reason I know so much about it is because I have to.

    With BBFC being present on films, adults are aware of it and instantly know what the circle emblazoned on a X360 case means. For PEGI to have the same impact it needs to undergo a design overhaul to be eye catching, instantly recognisable and immediately clear.

    So those are my thoughts, what are yours?

    Sam
     
    #1
  2. Briggsred

    Briggsred Rookie

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    I'm American, these systems, they are foreign to me, ESRB rating sucks anyways, so ill go with the 'neither' vote since I don't like any of them.
     
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  3. miak757

    miak757 Regular

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    Miak's rating system

    3+ (How do you say, "goo goo?"
    10+ (AH BULLS***)
    14+ (har har)
    17+ (Sex!)
    21+ (This is the only rating that Guns are allowed :S)
    60+ (you sick b******)
    Letium only (What, you were suprised by that?)
     
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  4. MattAY

    MattAY Forum Moderator
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    I think PEGI is a better system since it has the violence, sex, drugs icons etc - it's more specific and gives parents more information on what the game contains. But it wouldn't work since, like you said, it's not well known. But the BBFC system works fine, it's globally known, and there were no real complaints. I dont even know why they introduced the PEGI system, there wasn't really a demand for it was there?
     
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  5. maca2kx

    maca2kx Rookie

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    Miak, I know most of that was a joke but I'm still wondering why you think a 17 year old should be allowed to play with (virtual) guns but it takes a 21 year old to be able to play (virtual) sex.

    MattAY, exactly, personally I think we should combine the two systems by having the BBFC symbols as they are more well known and the PEGI system for explaining why the rating was given. I don't care what name it goes under - BBGI or something - but of course the politics and rivalry between the two companies won't let that happen.

    Sam
     
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  6. Grey

    Grey Rookie

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    Not necessary. Change of colour palette? Yes. The black and white icons often get lost amongst everything else that's going on with the cover art. Change them to Red, or black and yellow, natural warning colours and they'll be fine. The BBFC icons are instantly recognizable because they've been around for years and are plastered all over VHS, DVD and film posters. They're imprinted on the public's mind and the bold red 18 icon stands out like a sore thumb, that's why everyone here knows them, they've seen so many of them. Give PEGI icons a change in the colour palette and a few years and more people will know of them.

    They are starting to work though. When I was at Zavvi I did have quite a few parents ask me for details about the violence/sex/language in some games after seeing the icons on the cover art. Personally, I think BBFC and PEGI icons should be used together, as is happening now with some games (not all yet) and maybe in a few years slowly face out the BBFC rating in favour of PEGI, which gives more detail than the BBFC icons.

    ESRB needs to go. Its been around for years and nobody takes any notice of it. Partially because its had a crap design job, but mostly because its not legally enforced like the BBFC. PEGI needs the same recognition of the law that the BBFC gets.
     
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  7. maca2kx

    maca2kx Rookie

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    It must be either just you or just me then because the only time I've explained the rating to a parent is when I drew attention to it first. Worse, I've had hardly any parents actually say "yeah, I'm not letting my kid play that", most prefer the line "s/he is fine with that".

    Sam
     
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  8. Grey

    Grey Rookie

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    Bit of both I think. Quite a few isn't everyone, and perhaps I should have said just a handful, but the fact that some people actually stopped, looked at the icons and asked me about them really stuck in my mind because its practically unheard of. GTAIV and Saint's Row 2 still found their way into little hands. :/

    I think giving the PEGI icons a change of colour palette and placing them on the front of the case, rather than the back as is the situation with most games (although occaisionally they show up on the front) would help the cause, but as I said, give it time and it'll get more recognition.
     
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  9. miak757

    miak757 Regular

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    Typo, sorry.
     
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  10. madster111

    madster111 Rookie

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    Why don't you guys just steal our system and add an R18 for games?

    It goes;
    G - general. (all ages) - Green
    PG - Parental Guidance (recommended) - Yellow
    M15 - Recommended for over 15's (not restricted) - Blue
    MA15 - Restricted to over 15's (or with Parental) - Red
    AV15 - Restricted to over 15's (restricted fully) - Dark Red
    R18 - Restricted to over 18's. (restricted fully) - Black

    Ratings are like such;
    GT:WT (Mild themes & Violence, Sexual References and Mild course language)
    GTA4 (Strong Violence, Strong Course language, Drug and sexual references)
    Mass Effect (Strong themes, Sex Scenes, Drug references)

    How much more sense does that make than PEDI or the BBFC?
    Even with your icons, you cannot beat simple Colours and text.
    The logo's have to be a certain size (very large, actually) meaning parents can EASILY see if the game is suitable for children.

    Also, it's legally binding as well. Any store that sells a MA game/movie to an under 15 and is caught, are fined $600.
     
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  11. maca2kx

    maca2kx Rookie

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    It's PEGI, and

    Not much, to be honest. The only BBFC ratings I've seen on games are U, PG, 12, 15 and 18, each with its own distinctive symbol The number ratings are as simple as breathing and U and PG don't take much explanation. The only thing your system has over the BBFC is the text description and it's got that whole clusterfuck thing around being 15 years old that detracts from any advantage anyway.

    Sam
     
    #11
  12. Grey

    Grey Rookie

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    Because we already have 18 ratings and colour coding for the BBFC which is legally binding. As mentioned already, read the topic. :p
     
    #12

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