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EU Commission looks to harmonize game age restrictions

Ross Miller
Ross Miller|January 11, 2007 7:33 PM
Are you thinking about selling little Francois Quatorze (that's "fourteen" in French) that copy of Dead Rising he keeps eyeballing? Think again. European Union Justice and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini is seeking to harmonize the rules concerning the sale of video games to minors.

The Reuters article specifically cites 16 as the age in question, as Europe ratings board PEGI uses a 16+ rating for games typically rated "T" for Teen by the ESRB. Frattini opines that under current EU-wide rules, retailers still do not consistently check the consumer's age when selling 16-rated video games.

Said Frattini, "I do want to harmonise rules ... punishing people illegally selling products, people not controlling and checking identity."

The key element here is that Frattini does not want to universal agreement as to which games receive what age restrictions, as the tolerance of certain content factors differ amongst the EU's 27 nations. Germany, for example, recently banned (by means of ratings refusal) a handful of high-profile titles such as Gears of War, Dead Rising, and Crackdown.