Games with PEGI 18 only for adults
The Ombudsman wants to introduce regulations thanks to which only adults will be able to buy games marked with the 18+ sign.
Irena Lipowicz – Ombudsman wrote a letter to the Ministry of Economy in which she draws attention to the problem of accessibility for children and adolescents of computer games with content saturated with brutality and violence. Of course, each of you probably already guesses that it is mainly about GTA V. The player controlling the main character is forced to brutally kill and even torture people. These scenes cannot be avoided as they are required to continue the plot. According to Ms Lipowicz, when playing this type of games, young people are exposed to negative psychological effects.
It’s hard to disagree with it, of course, it depends on the psyche of the player when he starts to lose touch with reality and the events of the game can be transferred to the real world.
However, the most important role in all this should be played by parents who will systematically provide their children with content appropriate to their age. Unfortunately, nowadays legal guardians are little responsible or simply uninformed about what a particular product offers. On YouTube you can find many family videos where children enjoy the Call of Duty or GTA games received from their parents. This shows just how irresponsible parents are today
In the further part of her letter, Ms Lipowicz points out that the role of the state is to provide children with adequate protection against cruelty, exploitation and demoralization. It is not about eliminating violent games from the market, as this would be a far-reaching interference with the freedom of economic activity
The Ombudsman proposes introducing legally regulated control of computer games in terms of titles which, due to certain themes, should not be available to children or teenagers.
One of such systems is the well-known PEGI. It is a Pan-European Game Rating System designed to help parents make informed decisions when purchasing computer games. The PEGI system has been in force in Poland since 2009, but unfortunately, it is only a suggestion for the consumer about the content of a given product and the age group for which it is intended.
Ms Lipowicz wants the PEGI system to become a legally binding system for marking computer games, as was done last year in Great Britain. This would mean that each product would bear the corresponding PEGI symbol. Moreover, it would be the responsibility of every seller to check the age of the buyer. UK game retailers who break the law and sell PEGI 18 rated games to minors face a £ 5,000 fine or 6 years’ imprisonment.
This is not a stupid idea and I support Ms. Lipowicz with both hands, nowadays, when game producers have achieved photorealistic graphics, everything can be seen in detail at a glance. Back in the day when I was a child and the graphics were pixelated, you had to imagine a lot. Today you only have to watch to see all the violence in games. Many of them are filled with brutal scenes and vulgar dialogues, which can have a negative effect on the teenager’s psyche. I believe that everything is for people, but you have to be able to dose it properly. We should provide children with content appropriate to their age, because instead of giving them joy, we can unconsciously cause them and ourselves great distress.
What do you think about Mrs. Lipowicz’s idea? Would you like the PEGI system to be a legally binding system for marking computer games in Poland? Write your opinions in the comments below!
The full text of the Ombudsman’s letter is available at this link