If you have watched any video game trailers online, you might see a message with a robotic voice appear before the video plays that says “PEGI 16” or “PEGI 12” (pronounced like ‘Peggy’). Like some of these:
Seeing them in a series like that might make it a little more obvious but at first, you might not know what the PEGI rating is telling you. Perhaps you think it’s just the name of a game developer or publisher until you hear another one with a different number.
PEGI is the European equivalent to North America’s ESRB, or Entertainment Software Rating Board. PEGI, the Pan European Game Information system, like the ESRB rates games depending on their violence, language, or other factors to which age a game would be appropriate. For example, PEGI 12 states that the rating is suitable only for those 12 and above as it may contain mild violence, language, or suggestive themes.
Since PEGI covers many countries (31 European countries, Canada, Israel and is partially recognized in some other countries) with different languages it relies on icons to universally convey its ratings. The icons for the age rating are color-coded going from green through orange to red. They also have 8 content descriptors to give parents an idea of what is in the game to classify violence, bad language, fear, sex, drugs, gambling, discrimination, or has the ability to be played online.
PEGI provides an iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 7 app to enable the mobile ability to look up a game and see its rating. The organization rates game on all modern systems and recently introduced a PEGI Express rating system to cover apps on Windows Phone 7.
You can look up games or learn more about the system at www.PEGI.info.
If you’re in North America, the ESRB website would be more relevant.