Shop Staff Face Jail for Selling Grand Theft Auto to Kids, as Game Rating Laws Get Tougher

By Gary Cutlack on at

A new video game censorship system for the UK will be controlling all the age ratings on our favourite interactive driving and murder simulations from now on, replacing the awkward old combination of PEGI and BBFC age ratings.

This should mean there's one single, clearer rating for all games, with PEGI soon to cover all products, rather than the old system which saw PEGI guidelines displayed on boxes plus the occasional BBFC rating when something came along that pushed the boundaries of taste.

The updated game rating system also introduces a toughening of the 12+ restriction, which will come with legal penalties for retailers caught selling products to under age kids, so there's the possible threat of a £5,000 fine and even prison sentences for shop staff caught letting 11-year-olds trade in 26 rubbish old Nintendo DS games for a copy of GTA IV.

Ed Vaizey MP, who's the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, said: "It will give parents greater confidence that their children can only get suitable games while we are creating a simpler system for industry having their games age-rated."

Although, for some rather odd reason, the new rating won't be enforceable when purchasing games online. The new rules and box logos will start hitting games released from July onwards. [BBC]