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This topic contains 5 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Jamie McCormick 9 years, 5 months ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #6595

    krudd
    Participant

    Hi,

    Just been doing a little reading about the PEGI system, IFCO and BBFC and well I’m just wondering who really enforces that games deemed to be of such a maturity rating is not sold to minors??

    From what I’ve been reading only a handful of games have been rated by IFCO! And one banned….Manhunt 2!

  • #40339

    kyotokid
    Keymaster

    10 Look what UK does
    20 copy
    30 goto 10

    ?

  • #40340

    omen
    Participant

    When did you learn to code?? We’re all doomed!

  • #40343

    Pete
    Participant

    (He never typed ‘run’, we’re ok for a while)

  • #40345

    gizmo
    Participant

    While video games fall under the rating jurisdiction of the Video Recording Act of 1989, it does not, however, make it illegal to sell them to minors. The responsibility of this falls to the stores themselves and as we’ve discussed around here several times before, that system is extremely hit and miss.

    It does raise an interesting issue in regards the rating/banning of video games however. If they were treated the same as films, where it was flat out illegal to sell them to minors, would we see such strict ratings and indeed bans in the future? I would argue not, mainly because I am under the impression that despite the fact that some games are clearly aimed at a more mature audience, all are still being classified with children in mind.

    You also have the added problem that the respective bodies are not obliged to play the games they rate in their entirety. In a recent interview, Jim Cliff, an examiner for the BBFC, admitted that at most, they will give each game a day or so worth of time before rating it and during that time their examiners will work their way through the game using cheats and walkthroughs. They also ask that developers to send videos of any strong content to be found within the game so as to help the process.

    Now this system is of course horribly broken. Testing a game in this short a timespan and under those conditions is never going to be able to bring about a correct rating. I’m actually amazed they used the terms "context" when they banned Manhunt 2 given that it would have been pretty difficult to get any context from play in that short a time.

    Also using cheats/walkthroughs and examining the games most violent/controversial moments is also unfair. It would be akin to watching one of the recent "horror" films such as Hostel and basing a rating solely on watching the torture sequences and not the parts in between.

    Thankfully work is underway in the US to force the ESRB to play games in full before giving them a rating, hopefully we’ll see similar improvements over here.

  • #40415

    Jamie McCormick
    Keymaster

    Hi guys,

    I’ve been on to the film censor in researching an article for gd.ie about this very situation.

    It boils down to a few simple things\;

    Firstly, in the UK, the BBFC rating is binding, and it is a criminal offence to supply an 18’s movie to someone under 18, and the retailer can be fined and/or go to prison if they sell or rent a over 18’s movie to a 17 year old. Certain games which are given a BBFC rating (as opposed to a PEGI rating) are therefore under the same rules.

    In Ireland, the case is different. The IFCO ratings on movies are only advisory, and it is not illegal to sell an over 18’s movie to a minor, it’s just that stores don’t.

    IFCO is happy with the PEGI system in place, but they are working more on closing this loophole in the broader system (which applies to movies and cinema). Certain games in the past were submitted to IFCO (ie Resident Evil) and were given an Irish 15’s / 18’s rating but this was before PEGI came into force.

    So to answer your question krudd, there is no legislation banning the sale of games to minors, it boils down to enforcement of company policies (ie HMV/Gamestop) telling their staff not to sell games to minors, not a legal pressure to do so.

    I’ll finish the story as soon as I get a chance as I found out a few interesting things in reserching it.

    Jamie

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