IN AN interesting turn of events, a number of kid-friendly Nintendo games could find themselves slapped with a mature note.
The European PEGI rating system received an update last year that will affect remakes of classic franchise entries.
In the wake of the loot box controversy, rating boards have been keen to crack down on in-game purchases and the mechanics that make up the game.
Regulators in different countries have come to varying conclusions on this, but the games’ PEGI ratings have been adjusted in the meantime.
This makes it easy for parents to see if the title they’re buying includes some form of gaming, but it also means you can see Pokemon and Mario games with an 18+ mature rating unless Nintendo revises some of it. content.
The new criteria, described in the VSC (Video Standards Council) Annual Report, state that all games that “teach and/or value the use of games of chance that are played/performed as a traditional means of gambling” are about to be rated. It continues:
“It refers to the types of betting or gambling that are normally
played/performed in casinos, gaming halls, racetracks.
“It does not cover games where betting or gambling is simply part of the general storyline. The game should actually teach the player how to gamble or bet and/or make the game glamorous.
“For example, this will include games that teach the player how to play card games that are usually played for money or how to play the odds in horse racing.”
Pokemon Series Game Corners feature a selection of mini-games, but slots and other forms of in-game ‘gambling’ mean any re-releases have had to replace these mechanics in order to meet new regulations.
Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow, for example, would all qualify for the 18+ game rating. Scrapping Game Corners, which offers slot machine mini-games, would avoid this problem altogether.
Even the casino-themed minigames in Super Mario 64 deserve a mature rating.
PEGI has clarified that older titles with gameplay mechanics will retain their original rating as long as they are not impacted, effectively, as a games reporter Joe Merrick reports on Twitter.
But if it’s a re-release that’s been upgraded, modernized, or changed significantly enough to be considered a “new game,” it’s headed for an 18+ sticker.
Naturally, Nintendo will want to avoid this for its franchises, so expect to see beloved games from your childhood revamped to avoid this fate.
Other titles have already fallen under the new system; Find out about the games spotlights the murder mystery game Overboard on the Nintendo eShop.
Previously rated PEGI 12 for “Mild Violence, Suggestive Themes and Alcohol Consumption”, it now bears the PEGI 18 mark.
The descriptor has also changed to reflect this, reading “Simulated Gambling”. A spokesperson for the VSC Game Rating Board explains:
“The purpose of descriptors is to explain the issues that led to the rating in question, rather than highlighting all of the content present in a game.
“It is inevitable that a rating increase will result in the loss of any hardware-related descriptor that would have been acceptable at a lower rating.”
As developers and publishers adjust to the new normal in an effort to get their games rated appropriately internationally, keep an eye out for revised ratings.
You may not have a problem with in-game gambling, or you may decide it’s inappropriate for younger Nintendo Switch users.
Either way, updated PEGI ratings should be inspected carefully to ensure your children are playing parent-approved games.
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