Game Corners will now be rated PEGI 18 (equivalent to ESRB AO)

You may have already seen this all over a bunch of websites, but PEGI decided today that simulated gambling will now receive the same age rating as real gambling: 18.

(Of course, lootboxes don't count and get to keep their 3 rating. The loophole is "because they don't actually depict a casino".)

This goes on top of their ~2008 decision that simulated gambling would have to receive a 12 rating (equivalent to ESRB T), which is of course what caused Game Corners to vanish from Platinum onward.

One thing that seems to have been missed by several sources: PEGI 18 is not the equivalent of ESRB M, but rather the equivalent of ESRB AO. You know, the rating that's associated with beyond-M extreme levels of sex/violence and causes a game to be de facto automatically banned from all five of Sony/Nintendo/Microsoft/retailers/Twitch. Imagine Pokemon Yellow and New Super Mario Bros. right up there.

The 3DS eShop/Virtual Console is already frozen and isn't going to change, and BDSP is already confirmed to have deleted the Game Corner, so what does this actually mean?

It means that even the potential for any Switch rereleases of Gen 1-4 Pokemon (and New Super Mario Bros.) is already dead in the water.
 
It means that even the potential for any Switch rereleases of Gen 1-4 Pokemon (and New Super Mario Bros.) is already dead in the water.
Welll...in the first place we still don't have even GB VC (rumors or not, it's not there until it's there), much less GBA and even lesser DS so I feel we're putting the worry cart before the worry horse a bit.


But also they can just...edit the games.
Which we know they already have before. Wireless trading was likely not an easy implementation, and they also had to alter some flags for things like the Celebi event and Surfing Pikachu minigame and altering stuff like effect flashes from using moves or Jynx's sprite.
Just disable the slots and possibly edit the text to reflect it being an "arcade".

If they ever want to re-release these games, they will do what they can to get them up.
 
You may have already seen this all over a bunch of websites, but PEGI decided today that simulated gambling will now receive the same age rating as real gambling: 18.

(Of course, lootboxes don't count and get to keep their 3 rating. The loophole is "because they don't actually depict a casino".)

This goes on top of their ~2008 decision that simulated gambling would have to receive a 12 rating (equivalent to ESRB T), which is of course what caused Game Corners to vanish from Platinum onward.

One thing that seems to have been missed by several sources: PEGI 18 is not the equivalent of ESRB M, but rather the equivalent of ESRB AO. You know, the rating that's associated with beyond-M extreme levels of sex/violence and causes a game to be de facto automatically banned from all five of Sony/Nintendo/Microsoft/retailers/Twitch. Imagine Pokemon Yellow and New Super Mario Bros. right up there.

The 3DS eShop/Virtual Console is already frozen and isn't going to change, and BDSP is already confirmed to have deleted the Game Corner, so what does this actually mean?

It means that even the potential for any Switch rereleases of Gen 1-4 Pokemon (and New Super Mario Bros.) is already dead in the water.
Hi, European here we use the PEGI system for our games.

PEGI 18 is not the equivalent of ESRB AO. Mortal Kombat is, for example, an 18, and I have that on my Switch, and between my friend group from college we have MK 9 or 10 on every system since PS4.

The equivalent of ESRB AO here is PEGI R. You've probably not seen it because it stands for Restricted and leads to the product being banned from all the places you said, so you wouldn’t see it around, which is the purpose. We just have more categorisations of media and are more liberal with it. E is split between 7+ and 12, T is split into 12 and 15 ratings, M games and some AO in America are usually 18, but can be 15 if they’re not too bad. So wherever you read your info is fake news haha.

Anyway, I support it. Gambling enterprises are ruinous to lives and serve no purpose, and that’s the European mentality in general — casinos are rare here being illegal in many countries, and betting shops are increasingly uncommon and restricted. PEGI is commonly smart with their ratings, and I trust them to understand the difference between something like the casino board in Mario Party 4 if that were ever re-released, and the literal casino in earlier Pokémon games. I always thought they were really out of place, and I don’t really think kids should be playing the slots in their Pokémon games. And they can easily be deleted from VC re-releases.

Some European countries have already taken action on loot boxes independently of PEGI. This is a good step for PEGI to make the leap and peer pressure loot boxes out of gaming.

Due to upholding anti-censorship rhetoric, PEGI is not particularly open with the R rating. See here, however:
https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-02-25-south-park-the-stick-of-truth-censored-in-europe
This was done to allow South Park: The Stick of Truth into EU markets, as an R rating is all-but a ban from it. The censorship allowed the game to get an 18 age rating, thus letting it be sold completely normally. This game is also on Switch now BTW it’s really not a big deal to contemporary Nintendo.
 
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Some European countries have already taken action on loot boxes independently of ESRB. This is a good step for ESRB to make the leap and peer pressure loot boxes out of gaming.
Ooh, that’s good to hear! If the PEGI doesn’t step up against loot boxes, then some European governments will. Not sure which European country did first, but whoever did it first, will have my big thanks.

Not sure if ESRB will move about loot boxes and similar gacha mechanics unless the situation worsens signifciantly on countries that allows them.
 
Ooh, that’s good to hear! If the PEGI doesn’t step up against loot boxes, then some European governments will. Not sure which European country did first, but whoever did it first, will have my big thanks.

Not sure if ESRB will move about loot boxes and similar gacha mechanics unless the situation worsens signifciantly on countries that allows them.
Belgium and The Netherlands are those that have taken direct action that I know of, with Belgium’s being stronger and more direct. That was in 2018, though, and acted as an impetus for many other countries to begin talking about it and publish government reports :)
 
My theory is that if rereleases are somehow unable to remove Game Corners, gens 1-4 can still get rereleased, but they'll be Japan and non-PEGI Western countries (e.g. The US) only. This wouldn't be a problem for Platinum and HGSS anyway because they already censored their Game Corners for countries that use PEGI.
EDIT: I just saw the comment right above this one and my post might not apply to Pokemon.
 
I feel like luck based elements altogether in video games are starting to become more of an issue in multiple genres, but for now, I’d like to talk about the Game Corner. I personally think any move to try and prevent gambling in an environment designed for children is a good move, although at the same time, I don’t think it’s worth changing the rating of an entire game due to one optional feature. Therein lies the key word- optional.

For all intensive purposes of this thread, there are two kinds of Pokémon fans. People who like the Game Corner, and people who don’t. So here’s my idea. Get rid of the Game Corner entirely, and abolish any and all forms of loot boxes in other games while we’re at it. However, replace the Game Corner with something advertised towards adults specifically.

Maybe something along the lines of a Game Corner-esque DLC that requires age verification to purchase would be a good solution.
 
I feel like luck based elements altogether in video games are starting to become more of an issue in multiple genres [...]
Not just stuff like Accuracy and Evasion / chance of missing? I understand gacha-like mechanics on games that do not uses real life money, but simply RNG-based elements at all?

RNG is an important part of turn-based games and party games, as it adds chaos and give lesser player a chance (emphasis on "a chance") of winning, but though too much RNG elements, especially one on top of another, can make it rather excruciatingly frustrating and excessively time-consuming.

Too much RNG is part of why people ended up forgetting Little Town Hero, because the entire battle relies too much RNG to be fun.
 
I can't help but run into a slippery slope issue with the focus on depictions of things that resemble classic casino gambling (as distinct from any other way to risk money relying on luck). After all, I'm a tabletop gaming fan, and as such I need cards, dice, and spinners as physical devices to produce randomness even if that randomness isn't used to exchange any real or fictional currency.

Or maybe I shouldn't be posting this while waiting for a D&D session to start.
 
So will this affect Star Wars games that have Pazaak and Sabaac? Would that answer change if someone started up a competitive Sabaac casino in Ukraine? What about the RC races in Yakuza? Can Pokemon still award you money for winning trainer battles, since that's essentially wagering on dogfights? This seems like the actions of a bureaucracy that has decided "casinos bad" and refuses to think any further than that.

Meanwhile, loot boxes, which are actual gambling with IRL money and designed to be addictive, are still around and targeted at children.
 

DHR-107

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So the real question is here:

Does it count if the player always comes out ahead/has a minimum payout roughly equal to what was bet?

For example - If you put in 3 coins into the coin slot, but always get a minimum of 3 back (with the chance to win more) is that still considered "Gambling" for this ruling? I've played several games where that is the case, and I am unsure if those would be covered. Star Trek Online would move to an 18 due to this (even though the "casinos" are always in favour of the player, and you always win more than you put in) and the same for Final Fantasy 14 (Again, a game with a casino like area, but your "In" bets are always outscored by your payouts so you end up ahead). As Hugin mentioned, Pazaak and Sabaac are minigames within the main games (Knights of the Old Republic) and can for all intents and purposes be ignored. Do those count? Hell, would Voltorb Flip count as it is a pure game of luck? It has no buy in, but you still "win money".

Article linked by Serebii said:
The VSC expanded on how these changes work. "In 2020, the PEGI criteria were changed so that, in future, any games featuring moving images that “teach and/or glamorise the use of games of chance that are played/carried out as a traditional means of gambling” will be rated PEGI 18."

"This refers to types of betting or gambling for money that is normally played or carried out in casinos, gambling halls, or racetracks. It does not cover games where betting or gambling is simply part of the general storyline. The game must actually teach the player how to gamble or bet and/or glamorise gambling. 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."
From here: https://www.askaboutgames.com/news/pegi-rating-for-gambling-is-now-always-18

This is an incredibly open ended descriptor. The article mentions Blackjack which is what a game got an 18 rating for, however, its not mentioned if they even wager money? Would all "real world" card games come under this (Poker obviously, but like Go Fish etc?)? Presumably, Pazaak wouldn't count as it has no real world counterpart?

Whilst they have made it clear that older games will go to a 12+ rating (or retain their prior rating), it is interesting to me to see how many games end up having to change particular sections if they were to be re-released, or just accept the 18 rating. Clearly games like GTA are already 18's, so they don't really care about this change, but some games in the 12-16 bracket more than likely will. Granted, most parents don't really care for the age ratings anyway, and in a previous job I've had to dissuade parents from buying games for their clearly too young children (Saints Row 3 for example)... So YMMV on this one PEGI.
 
I feel like the Pokémon casinos did an amazing job convincing me to never try an actual casinos, and if I really want a prize to just buy the damn thing with cash.

Get fucked Pokémon Red with your $9,999 Porygon.
LITERALLY THIS

Whenever I want anything from the Game Corners I just equip an Amulet Coin, repeatedly beat up Rich Boys or Socialites or whatever the "rich person" trainer class is in that particular title and then just go and slowly buy the coins 50 at a time, much more fun that way
 
LITERALLY THIS

Whenever I want anything from the Game Corners I just equip an Amulet Coin, repeatedly beat up Rich Boys or Socialites or whatever the "rich person" trainer class is in that particular title and then just go and slowly buy the coins 50 at a time, much more fun that way
It's annoying that the non-Japanese version of HGSS removed the ability to purchase coins directly. While voltorb flip is a lot easier to win than the slots from the Japanese version, I still would prefer to just spend a crapton of money to get the prizes instead.
 
Moral guardians never rest.

It is a video game. Establishing a connection between game gambling and real gambling is nearsighted as connecting violent games with violent crime. Especially in a game like Pokemon where they are worried about gambling when the core concept of the game has been compared to dogfighting. If they are worried about Little Johnny suddenly developing a gambling addiction, shouldn't they be concerned that Susie is going to take her little Yorkie to the fights? :psywoke:

And it is especially laughable when loot boxes are still allowed. Not that I am advocating for those to be banned (I am of the belief in hands off) but those pose more of a problem to children.
 

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Moral guardians never rest.

It is a video game. Establishing a connection between game gambling and real gambling is nearsighted as connecting violent games with violent crime. Especially in a game like Pokemon where they are worried about gambling when the core concept of the game has been compared to dogfighting. If they are worried about Little Johnny suddenly developing a gambling addiction, shouldn't they be concerned that Susie is going to take her little Yorkie to the fights? :psywoke:

And it is especially laughable when loot boxes are still allowed. Not that I am advocating for those to be banned (I am of the belief in hands off) but those pose more of a problem to children.
Not just loot boxes. Don't forget about gacha games. Those are rampant in so many different franchises nowadays (Fire Emblem, Fate, Genshin Impact) and a very prime example of games built entirely around actual gambling. Pokemon even has one of its own in the form of Pokemon Masters.

While I don't particularly use the Game Corner often and I'm not big on gambling anyway (I don't like gambling in the first place), it is indeed ironic that PEGI is bringing the hammer down this hard on simulated/fake gambling like this while mechanics and games that involve actual, real gambling like gacha games and loot boxes are still out there and they haven't done anything about that. And that's not even to mention stuff like Pokemon Unite which is effectively a pay2win game in and of itself.

In a sense I do find it quite bizarre and in this particular instance it's also kind of ironic considering Pokemon has both a gacha game and a pay2win game out there and no one has done anything about that, not just for Pokemon but for so many other franchises in general.
 
In a sense I do find it quite bizarre and in this particular instance it's also kind of ironic considering Pokemon has both a gacha game and a pay2win game out there and no one has done anything about that, not just for Pokemon but for so many other franchises in general.
Here's the thing... Gacha games usually dont care for ratings, because they don't have phisical copies so even if they're rated M+ they're just digital downloads and noone cares.

However being hit by "Adult Only" or (in some parts) even just 18+ rating can mean you can't sell phisical copies on store or can't show up in certain online shops, which is an actual tragedy.

That's why noone really cares to "rate" gacha games nor gacha games care of rating, they're mainly mobile content that is just available (for free, of all things) on app stores.
 

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I don’t think it’s worth changing the rating of an entire game due to one optional feature. Therein lies the key word- optional.
So much of this goes against the principles of age rating that I don't know where to begin. This reeks of the "it's just cosmetic" spiel that's been beaten like a baby seal.

The point of gating off gambling-related content in video games is that studies have shown they're gateway drugs in practice with children. It is a poor decision for them to engage with it in the first place: an option that shouldn't be available. As an adult buying a game for your kid, you should rest easy knowing the age rating reflects the up to date one and isn't a poor influence. Gambling is, in every shape and form, not a good influence on a young mind. It promotes addictive personality traits. The guidelines change as the science and social norms shift, as they should, because many older games contain archaic concepts, and that's fine! Child development is still an emerging study in psychology, but we should use that science!

The point of age ratings is to ensure that the options the game provides to a player are appropriate for that stage in their life. To not get a high age rating, don't put those options in your game. Old games are from different periods of regulation, but that doesn't exclude them from it, yeah?

---

Anyway, I'm not sure why there's so much use of the tu quoque and relative privation fallacies here.

The logic here seems to be:
  1. Lootboxes are happening
  2. Lootboxes are worse than direct non-monetised gambling references
  3. Therefore touching the latter is "unnecessary" (????????)
  4. Therefore it's hypocritical that PEGI didn't address lootboxes first

And like...you see how counterproductive that logic is, right?

The video game gambling debacle has been progressing a lot ever since 2015ish and I believe this is among the first times a rating firm has taken direct action. In fact, this is by far the easiest step to take: rating direct, clear-cut gambling references and rating them accordingly. This is the perfect way to test the waters and see if the public truly wants gambling to be properly regulated. Even if lootboxes were touched first, I would wager (haha I'm so funny) that this would be the end result.

I don't see this as *retch* "iRoNiC" but a step in the correct direction. If anything this is a sign that PEGI is open to parley on the topic of regulation, rather than covering for the big companies like the ESRB has so openly done. This is probably because of increasing government and legal pressure in the past year. Like, when Belgium brought down the hammer, Overwatch had to completely revamp its economy. This is progress. If you want it to go further, move forwards, not backwards.

If you're interested in sourced, learned coverage of lootboxes and video game gambling, YongYea and Jim Sterling have done so for years. While I'm not entirely a fan of the somewhat reactionary turn they've taken recently, they're still the only channels that consistently cover the topic.
 
Here's what needs to be true for this to be the correct decision:
1: gambling is bad
2: ultra-fictionalized depictions of gambling are bad
3: ultra-fictionalized depictions of gambling are so bad that they are significantly worse than things like arson, murder, or being a landlord, to the point where those can appear in games for children while gambling now cannot.
4: ultra-fictionalized depictions of gambling are worse than things like lootboxes and gacha games, which are actual gambling with IRL money and explicitly designed to encourage addictive behaviors in children

You are trying to say that letting a kid play the slots in pokemon could lead to them going to a casino 10+ years later, a horrifying possibility that means that any game that includes a Mahjong minigame is dangerous to children. That's not going to be something that's easy for me to agree with. And yet actual gambling with IRL money in games aimed at getting kids to max out their parents' credit cards hasn't been addressed, and that's fine because they'll get to it eventually? You can see why that seems a bit uneven.
 

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