The Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) ratings system is officially in effect in the United Kingdom today, with the reins of the video game ratings bureaucracy leaving the auspices of the BBFC. The change means that retailers in the region that sell video games rated for 12-, 16- or 18-year-olds to children below those age limits would be subject to prosecution and other legal actions. Packaging for games in the UK will now contain age ratings, and descriptors for language, drug use, discrimination, gambling, sex, violence, online gameplay, and more.
Under this ratings system, games are rated for 12-years and over if they include non-graphic violence to human or animal characters, nudity, or bad language. Games are rated 16-years and over if they depict realistic violence or sexual activity and drug or tobacco references. Games are rated 18-years and over if there is an excessive level of violence.
The Games Rating Authority has also relaunched http://www.askaboutgames.com, a resource for parents in the region to get informed before buying their children games.