PEGI to introduce new warning icon
The Pan European Game Information (or PEGI, as it’s known more commonly as) are introducing a new icon to their warning system for in-game purchases to combat the issue of children using their parent’s credit card to purchase add-ons. This move will allow parents to recognize if a video game has microtransactions. Managing Director of PEGI Simon Little issued a statement via the official PEGI blog:
“Making parents aware of the existence of optional in-game purchases upfront is an important first step. PEGI will now make this information available at the point of purchase, so that a parent can decide whether and how they want to monitor and/or limit a child’s spending”
PEGI was founded in 2003 to serve as a guideline for Europeans when purchasing video games. Ratings include warning icons for violence, drugs, fear, sex, gambling, bad language, and discrimination. PEGI have also used an age system (3,7,12,16 and 18) to categorize these icons. The system has been adopted in 39 European countries and Israel although some countries prefer to use USK or other rating systems as a primary guideline. The countries that choose to fully embrace the PEGI system have a seat on what is known as the ‘PEGI Council’. Members include the UK, Greece, Norway and the EU.
According to an Ipsos survey, 2 in 5 parents admit their children spend additional money on video games. 98% of participators in the survey said they had a way a system to control the spending with making their child ask before they purchase being the most popular (60%). Despite this, 2% said they do not monitor their child’s spending. Unfortunately, there are cracks in the system; as stated above, not all countries have adopted the content descriptor’s system meaning in countries like Germany, PEGI is not the law. Even in countries that do lay down the law using PEGI, the microtransaction warning is looking to be featured in all 5 of the age ratings. Ultimately, it’s down to parents to monitor their children’s purchases. The new rating has not been dated but is expected to arrive before Christmas.
What do you think? Will this new icon halt hefty lumps of cash leaving banks? Let me know in the comments below.
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