Posted on May 12, 2012, Ross Lincoln Video Game Ratings To Be Enforced With Jail Time In The UK
It’s… interesting to see the creeping fascism imposed on the rest of by parents who believe the world should be babyproofed for all time, lest their precious snowflakes be exposed to even the most remotely controversial idea. The latest example of such nonsense concerns Britain’s video games rating system, which has now been taken over by the ominously-named Video Standards Council, in order to bring them in line with the standards used across the European union.
Previously, British game ratings were handled by the British Board of Film Classification; the VSC will apply the Pan European Game Information system (PEGI), and enforce compliance with the full power of British law enforcement. Naturally, The Independent Games Developers Association (TIGA), the UK’s equivalent of the ESRB, thinks this is just peachy. TIGA rep Richard Wilson told the BBC that this is an “evolutionary” step. “It simplifies the system,” he said. “The Pegi system is reasonably easy to understand. The fact there are criminal sanctions in place will mean that retailers will want to train and support their staff.”
Wait, did he just say criminal sanctions? Yes, yes he did. The coppers will actually be empowered to arrest people suspected of selling a Pegi-12 rated game to an 11 year old, and if convicted, these people will face jail time. “It will give parents greater confidence that their children can only get suitable games,” said Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey, “while we are creating a simpler system for industry having their games age-rated.” I, for one, definitely feel safe knowing that lowly clerks who make the British equivalent of minimum wage can face actual jail time for failing to card a 10 year old, don’t you? It’s laws like this that justify the British requirement that everyone above the age of 5 carry proper ID on them at all times. Oh, wait.
The new system is expected to come into force by July this year. Soon after, we’ll probably see minimum wage flunkies getting jail time. And UK parents can rest easy knowing that their kids will never, ever, ever be exposed to violent entertainment again.