I'll give my thoughts on E3 another time. There were too many annoyances regarding today's conference. My thoughts on that will be revealed another time. Today, I wanted to tell you about how I got in contact with PEGI, a European ratings board that allows publishers to assign age ratings to their titles. Games that are rated below 12+ don't necessarily get checked right away by PEGI and are put on store shelves. These age ratings are determined by the publisher - not the board. Anything higher, usually would have to get checked by them before it hits shelves or passed onto another board (such as BBFC).
What this means is a video game rated by PEGI can go straight to the retail shelves without necessarily getting checked over other than the developer team. In rare cases, as outlined in my e-mail, the publisher can get the rating wrong. For my comparison, I am using GRID and Need for Speed ProStreet.PEGI rating is 7+ for GRIDPEGI rating is 3+ for Need for Speed ProStreet
Now, the age ratings, in my opinion might as well be combined into one rating. I see very little difference between what sort of game should get a 3+ and 7+ here in Europe. It's not that I am worried about but the fact about how ProStreet is rated at a lower age rating than GRID. Both are racing titles, both contain crashes. Fair enough.
However, if you've ever played ProStreet, you would probably notice the sexual themes that are associated with it. A good example of this is when the camera, at the beginning of an event zooms in to certain areas of the female. I'm sure you know what I mean here. Yet, perfectly acceptable as a 3+. Sure, parents are the ones that should have the control but it doesn't help with titles have faulty ratings like this. Furthermore, the parental controls feel weak on a console because of the rating.
The e-mail reply from PEGI stated that they will be getting someone to test out ProStreet to see if it is suitable for re-rating and they said it was likely because some previous titles in the series have been rated higher due to similar content. Apparently, they'll keep me posted on what happens but it will be interesting to know if this goes any further.