Soon to come...PEGI Online!
For more than three years, PEGI has provided European parents with detailed recommendations regarding the age suitability of game content by an independent administrator in the form of age labels and content descriptors on game packages.
Today, many videogames bought on a disc can be played against other players via a PC or games console with an internet connection. Further, there are more websites now offering the chance to play pure online games. These range from simple arcade games to massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) which often involve thousands of players participating in a single game at once.
Many such games foster the emergence of virtual communities, sometimes exposing players to the risks associated with real time interaction between unknown fellow players, such as breaches of privacy, inappropriate behaviour, user-created content or unsafe website links.
PEGI Online is a new EC funded project that aims to address these risks. As a supplement of the PEGI system it will ensure a safe gaming environment for minors. Game providers who meet the standards set out in the PEGI Online Safety Code will be licensed to use a new PEGI Online label.
These standards include, amongst other things, obligations to try to keep websites free of illegal and offensive user-created content and undesirable links, protection of privacy and submission to an independent complaints mechanism.
The PEGI Online label will appear on packaging and websites with a (hyperlinked) URL to a dedicated information site.
Jürgen Bänsch, Interactive Software Federation of Europe