Pan European Game Information

Pan European Game Information
PEGI logo.svg
PEGI logo
Formation9 April 2003; 16 years ago (2003-04-09)
PurposeVideo game classification
Region served
Europe, Israel
Parent organization

Pan European Game Information (PEGI) is a European video game content rating system established to help European consumers make informed decisions when buying video games or apps through the use of age recommendations and content descriptors. It was developed by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) and came into use in April 2003; it replaced many national age rating systems with a single European system. The PEGI system is now used in 39 countries and is based on a code of conduct, a set of rules to which every publisher using the PEGI system is contractually committed. PEGI self-regulation is composed by five age categories and eight content descriptors that advise the suitability and content of a game for a certain age range based on the games content.[1] The age rating is not intended to indicate the difficulty of the game or the skill required to play it.[2]

Age ratings

PEGI has five age categories.

Rating Description
PEGI 3.svg The content of games with a PEGI 3 rating is considered suitable for all age groups. The game should not contain any sounds or pictures that are likely to frighten young children. A very mild form of violence (in a comical context or a childlike setting) is acceptable. No bad language should be heard.[3]
PEGI 7.svg Game content with scenes or sounds that can possibly frightening to younger children should fall in this category. Very mild forms of violence (implied, non-detailed, or non-realistic violence) are acceptable for a game with a PEGI 7 rating.[3]
PEGI 12.svg Video games that show violence of a slightly more graphic nature towards fantasy characters or non-realistic violence towards human-like characters would fall in this age category. Sexual innuendo or sexual posturing can be present, while any bad language in this category must be mild. Gambling as it is normally carried out in real life in casinos or gambling halls can also be present (e.g. card games that in real life would be played for money).[3]
PEGI 16.svg This rating is applied once the depiction of violence (or sexual activity) reaches a stage that looks the same as would be expected in real life. The use of bad language in games with a PEGI 16 rating can be more extreme, while games of chance, and the use of tobacco, alcohol or illegal drugs can also be present.[3]
PEGI 18.svg The adult classification is applied when the level of violence reaches a stage where it becomes a depiction of gross violence, apparently motiveless killing, or violence towards defenseless characters. The glamorization of the use of illegal drugs and explicit sexual activity should also fall into this age category.[3]

The current design was introduced at the end of 2009. Black and white icons were used until June 2009, when the colour-coded PEGI icons were announced, with green for 3 and 7, orange for 12 and 16, and red for 18. Plus signs were removed from the icons, and the background text changed from 'ISFE' from the old, black-and-white icons to 'PEGI' from the new, colour-coded PEGI icons.[4] That design was slightly altered at the end of 2009, by removing the watermark and locking the URL bar underneath the age rating icon. Reprinted games from 2009 or before often still display the old designs.

2003 2009 2010
PEGI 3 annotated (2003-2009).svg PEGI 3 annotated (2009-2010).svg PEGI 3.svg
PEGI 7 annotated (2003-2009).svg PEGI 7 annotated (2009-2010).svg PEGI 7.svg
PEGI 12 annotated (2003-2009).svg PEGI 12 annotated (2009-2010).svg PEGI 12.svg
PEGI 16 annotated (2003-2009).svg PEGI 16 annotated (2009-2010).svg PEGI 16.svg
PEGI 18 annotated (2003-2009).svg PEGI 18 annotated (2009-2010).svg PEGI 18.svg

In Portugal, two of the PEGI categories were aligned with the age ratings of the film classification system to avoid confusion; 3 was changed to 4 and 7 was changed to 6.[citation needed] Finland also used a modified scale, where 12 became 11 and 16 became 15.[citation needed] Finland fully adopted PEGI on 1 January 2007, and the standard ratings were fully enforced as well.

Standard PEGI 3 PEGI 7
Portugal PEGI 4.svg PEGI 6.svg

Content descriptions

The nine content descriptors are:

Icon Content descriptor Explanation Corresponding age ratings
PEGI Violence.svg Violence The game contains depictions of violence. In games rated PEGI 7 this can only be non-realistic or non-detailed violence. Games rated PEGI 12 can include violence in a fantasy environment or non-realistic violence towards human-like characters, whereas games rated PEGI 16 or 18 have increasingly more realistic-looking violence. PEGI 7.svg PEGI 12.svg PEGI 16.svg PEGI 18.svg
PEGI Bad language.svg Bad Language The game contains bad language. This descriptor can be found on games with a PEGI 12 (mild swearing), PEGI 16 (e.g. sexual expletives or blasphemy) or PEGI 18 rating (e.g. sexual expletives or blasphemy). PEGI 12.svg PEGI 16.svg PEGI 18.svg
PEGI Fear.svg Fear This descriptor may appear on games with a PEGI 7 if it contains pictures or sounds that may be frightening or scary to young children, or on PEGI 12 games with horrific sounds or horror effects (but without any violent content). PEGI 7.svg PEGI 12.svg
PEGI Gambling.svg Gambling The game contains elements that encourage or teach gambling. These simulations of gambling refer to games of chance that are normally carried out in casinos or gambling halls. Games with this sort of content are PEGI 12, PEGI 16 or PEGI 18. PEGI 12.svg PEGI 16.svg PEGI 18.svg
PEGI Sex.svg Sex This content descriptor can accompany a PEGI 12 rating if the game includes sexual posturing or innuendo, a PEGI 16 rating if there is erotic nudity or sexual intercourse without visible genitals or a PEGI 18 rating if there is explicit sexual activity in the game. Depictions of nudity in a non-sexual content do not require a specific age rating, and this descriptor would not be necessary. PEGI 12.svg PEGI 16.svg PEGI 18.svg
PEGI Drugs.svg Drugs The game refers to or depicts the use of illegal drugs, alcohol or tobacco. Games with this content descriptor are always PEGI 16 or PEGI 18. PEGI 16.svg PEGI 18.svg
PEGI Discrimination.svg Discrimination The game contains depictions of ethnic, religious, nationalistic or other stereotypes likely to encourage hatred. This content is always restricted to a PEGI 18 rating (and likely to infringe national criminal laws). PEGI 18.svg
PEGI Online.svg Online May contain online interactions. This descriptor was discontinued by PEGI in 2015, with the majority of present-day games and all consoles allowing for online interactions. Still appears for games classified before July 2015. PEGI 3.svg PEGI 7.svg PEGI 12.svg PEGI 16.svg PEGI 18.svg
PEGI In-Game-Purchases.jpg In-Game Purchases Introduced in 2018[5]. May contain additional paid content, such as microtransactions or downloadable content, that can be purchased with real money inside the game.[6] PEGI 3.svg PEGI 7.svg PEGI 12.svg PEGI 16.svg PEGI 18.svg
Other Languages
ქართული: Pan European Game Information
українська: Pan European Game Information