Interactive Software Federation of Europe

PEGI Age Ratings

Responsible Gaming and the Protection of Minors

Helping parents make informed decisions

From the outset, it has been one of ISFE’s main goals to promote responsible gaming towards an ever-increasing number of players. Informing the public, and parents in particular, is one of the main objectives of our membership which represents both national federations across Europe and major video game publishers.

PEGI (Pan-European Game Information) was founded in 2003 by ISFE as a self-regulatory age rating system for video games,. The system is part of the industry’s commitment to protect minors and to build trust with consumers by ensuring that reliable information about video game content is provided in a responsible manner. All the major game platforms use the PEGI ratings as part of their parental control tool systems.

PEGI was designed to ensure maximum robustness for making recommendations to European consumers, especially parents, about the suitability of video game content. Each publisher that joins PEGI has to sign a Code of Conduct by which it is committed to provide parents with objective, intelligible and reliable information regarding the suitability of a game's content. By signing the Code the publisher also aims to secure consistency in the advertising of a product, and to refrain from putting products on the market likely to be in breach of human decency. 

Today, PEGI is used and recognised throughout Europe - PEGI rated products are marketed in more than 30 countries today - and it has the enthusiastic support of the European Commission. It is considered as a model of European harmonisation in the field of minor protection and consumer transparency. Since 2003, PEGI has classified over 30.000 video games, counting more than 1800 video game publishers as signatories, including all the major publishers. In 2007, PEGI created the PEGI Online certification ( to deal with the specific challenges related to playing games online.

In 2013, PEGI co-founded the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC), a global cooperation of age rating boards to provide the fast-moving mobile and digital markets with a scalable solution to implement familiar age rating systems. This way, PEGI ratings are also used in Google Play for all Android devices and in other digital storefronts like the Microsoft Store, Nintendo eShop and the Oculus store.

Always adapting to a evolving market

The video game industry is constantly evolving and PEGI’s objective and mission is to accompany the industry in its evolution. PEGI is continuously evaluating its rating system and the underlying criteria, while also working on new solutions to address the concerns of the general public and parents in particular. Innovations like virtual reality, new monetisation techniques and features like social interaction are constantly monitored and assessed. An international group of independent experts assists PEGI in keeping the rating criteria relevant and up-to-date.

Parental control tools – available on all platforms

Every video game platform (console, PC, tablets, smartphone) has parental control tools that are accessible to all. ISFE recommends that these should be activated and used as part of a dialogue between parents and their children about responsible gaming behavior.  Parents can use these tools to control whether their child can communicate with other players, to limit the amount of time their child can play games, and to set a maximum PEGI age rating. It also allows them to disable purchases or set spending limits for a digital storefront). This means that parents can put a limit or disactivate the possibility to engage in microtransactions or in-game purchases, such as purchasing loot boxes, functional upgrades or other downloadable content. 

How to use and set parental control tools:

Consoles Smartphones & Tablets Handhelds
Microsoft Xbox One Google Play (Android) Nintendo 3DS (XL)
Nintendo Switch iPhone and iPad (iOS) Nintendo DSi (XL)
Sony PlayStation 4   Sony VITA
Microsoft Xbox 360   Sony PSP
Nintendo Wii U    
Sony PlayStation 3    

While parental control tools are important, the industry encourages parents to show an interest in the games their children like to play, to play with them and to talk with them about responsible gaming and their online behavior. Today’s digital environment is an integral part of the modern society and parents need to engage with their children in their digital activities just as they would do in their children’s artistic, musical and physical activities. The video game industry has forums and websites at national levels in place for this specific purpose, such as in the UK,  in France, in Sweden and in Poland.