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PEGI ratings: What do the symbols mean?

THE PEGI symbol age ratings on games have been around for two decades.

PEGI, the Pan European Game Information organisation, came up with the symbols in 2003.


The black and white symbols that some parents may be used to were phased out in 2009, in favour of the traffic-light colour coded signsCredit: THE SUN

The organisation plucked out five age ratings, signalling what age range a game is best suited for.

This is based on what types of content children will be exposed to, instead of difficulty.

The black and white symbols that some parents may be used to were phased out in 2009, in favour of the traffic-light colour coded signs.

PEGI 18 – suitable for 18+

This age ratings signals that the game is suitable for adults only.

It’s typically applied when a game contains motiveless violence or violence towards defenceless and otherwise innocent characters.

The glamorisation of drugs, gambling and explicit sexual activity will also mean a game falls under this age rating.

PEGI 6 – suitable for 16+

This rating is applied when violence or sexual activity looks the same as it would be in real life.

Swearing is usually much more frequent in these games than in lower age ratings.

The use of tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs may also be present.

PEGI 12 – suitable for 12+

Videogames under this rating are expected to show slightly graphic violence towards fantasy characters.

Or alternatively, display unrealistic violence towards human-like characters.

Sexual innuendos can also be present, as well as mild swearing.

PEGI 7 – recommended for 7+

This rating is applied to games with very mild forms of violence, such as implied, non-detailed and unrealistic violence.

Games under this rating may also include content with scenes and sounds that might frighten younger children.

PEGI 3 – recommended for 3+

Game content under this age rating is considered to be suitable for all age groups.

The game should not have any sounds or imagery that is likely to spook young children.

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There may also be very mild forms of violence, which are presented in a comical context.

No bad language will be featured.

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