According to EGMNow.com, the PEGI software ratings system found on video game titles in Europe is now officially a legally binding law in the UK. In the United States, video games and other software is rated by the ESRB (the Entertainment Software Ratings Board), the Pan European Game Information system is similar; however, the ratings are a bit more explanatory regarding the reasoning for such a rating.
The PEGI ratings system law going into effect strictly enforces retailers in an effort to prevent the sale of violent or questionable games from falling into the hands of minors. While the ESRB system in the United States has attempted to do the same, more often than not, it is up to a parent's discretion as to what their child plays. The PEGI system's law makes it so anyone caught selling a game to an individual not allowed to purchase the game would be fined £5,000 or serve up to six years in prison.
The United Kingdom "has one of the most dynamic and innovative video games industries in the world, and the games they produce not only entertain millions, but can also educate and foster creativity," said U.K. culture minister Ed Vaizey, adding "Today's simplification of the ratings system benefits both industry and consumers and will help ensure that the millions of games sold in the UK each year are being played by the audiences they were intended for."
This new system will hopefully do some good in preventing the unlawful sales of mature-rated titles to youngsters in the UK.