What is the POSC?
The PEGI Online Safety Code (POSC) has been developed to promote a minimum level of protection that should be provided to young people in the online gaming environment. All those who sign up to this set of rules commit themselves to banning inappropriate material from their site and to ensuring appropriate behaviour among users. As a result, they will be authorized to display the PEGI Online Logo once they have registered their games with the PEGI system.
The full text of the Code can be downloaded in pdf format but the main provisions are:
Age-rated game content
Only game content that has been appropriately rated under the regular PEGI system or another recognized European system such as that operated by the BBFC in the UK or the USK in Germany will be included on a site.
Appropriate reporting mechanisms
Appropriate mechanisms will be in place to allow game players to report the existence of undesirable content on any related websites.
Removal of inappropriate content
License holders will use their best endeavours to ensure that online services under their control are kept free of content which is illegal, offensive, racist, degrading, corrupting, threatening, obscene or which might permanently impair the development of young people.
Community standards for online subscribers
PEGI Online licence holders will prohibit subscribers from introducing content or indulging in online behaviour which is illegal, offensive, racist, degrading, corrupting, threatening, obscene or which might permanently impair the development of young people.
A responsible advertisement policy
The following principles will be applied:
all advertisements will accurately reflect the nature and content of the product represented and wherever reasonably practicable the rating issued
all advertisements shall be created with a sense of responsibility towards the public
no advertisement shall contain any content that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence
advertising for products rated 16+ or 18+ shall not be specifically targeted towards those who are younger
ancillary or separate products that are being sold or promoted in association with a core product must be appropriate for the audience for which the core product is intended
licence holders should inform the public by means of a general statement of the existence of sponsorships and/or the existence of ‘product placements’ associated with any online service