Department for Culture Media and Sport

classification of video games and film

Every film, video or DVD to be made available to the public in the UK is given a classification by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).

It is placed in a particular age-related category: “U”, “PG”, “12/12A”, “15”, “18” and “R18”.

The category guidelines are based on what is appropriate for each age group, taking both the law and public opinion into account.

Video games

Some video games that are particularly realistic, or feature sex or violence must be classified by the BBFC.

All other video games are classified under a voluntary industry scheme overseen by the Video Standards Council (VSC).

The law and classification

It is an offence to supply a video, DVD or game classified by the BBFC to someone who does not meet the age requirement. This offence is punishable by a fine of up to £5,000 or up to six months in prison.

The Home Office deals with matters relating to the Obscene Publications Act 1959.