The Video Standards Council are administrators of the PEGI rating system in the UK. We work with them to promote high industry standards for ensuring games are provided in a responsible manner.
The Video Standards Council is an Administrator of the PEGI age rating system which is used in over 30 countries throughout Europe and was incorporated into UK law in 2012 as the statutory body responsible for the age rating system.
The Games Rating Authority (GRA) is a sub-arm of the Video Standards Council (VSC), and exists to specifically license the release of 12, 16 and 18 PEGI rated video games in the UK .
PEGI 3+: Majority of games in this category are considered suitable for all age groups and does not contain anything that requires rating or warrants a content warning.
No violence descriptors but may contain slapstick violence as long as it is in a comical sense or not considered to be disturbing in any way, nudity allowed in a natural and non-sexual manner such as breast-feeding.
PEGI 7+: Would normally be considered a 3 but contains potentially frightening scenes, “implied violence” or include “non-realistic violence towards fantasy characters”. Very mild non-realistic violence to humans may feature.
Any game that would normally be rated at 3 but contains some possibly frightening scenes or sounds may be considered suitable in this category.
PEGI 12+: Graphic and realistic looking violence is allowed towards fantasy characters and can feature horror content such as a strong threat or graphic injury. Violence to human characters must appear unrealistic unless it consists of minor trivial injury. Sexual posturing as the type seen in music videos is allowed as a sexual innuendo. Some bad language is allowed but no more than mild swearing.
12 is the minimum rating for games which teach or encourage gambling, although the descriptor can also feature on higher rated games.
PEGI 16+: The game may feature realistic violence to human characters including death and injury and can often include blood and bodies that remain after they are dead. The worst forms of bad language can be heard including sexual expletives.
Sexual activity can be shown but it must not include visible genitals. Depictions of erotic nudity may feature. The use of tobacco and alcohol may be encouraged, and the game can feature the use of illegal drugs. The game could glamorise crime.
PEGI 18+: The level of violence can become gross and can include horrific methods of bringing severe injury or death including torture, decapitation or dismemberment. Violence against vulnerable characters such as children and the elderly may feature, along with motiveless violence against multiple innocents.
Sexual violence and threat are also classified at PEGI 18 and sexual activity with visible genital organs can be shown. The game may include detailed descriptions of criminal techniques, or it may glamorise the use of illegal drugs.