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PEGI 12 and Violence ratings

Our YGD competition encourages original game ideas that would be awarded a PEGI-12 rating or below, and don't rely on gore or violence.

We love to see how you use games to express yourself, or exploring a subject you're passionate about. For instance, something personal to you or your family, inspired by your real-world experiences.

Games that make the finals are showcased in venues and to communities that may have young families playing the games, which is another reason why we prefer non-violent or gory games.

Let's explore what this means for your application.

What is a PEGI Rating?

The Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) age rating system was set up in 2003 to help advise European parents as to which video games may be suitable for their children. They provide a series  of age labels that give information as to what content is present within a specific video game. 

You can find out more about the different age rating labels here.


1. Try to avoid any unnecessary violence or weapons -

YGD juries are impressed by entries that find alternative ways to portray confrontation. 

     - What might your character do instead of killing enemies?
     - What might your character use instead of a weapon?
     - If a character has to ‘lose a life’ how can you portray this without being gory? 
     - Themes that revolve around murder, overt violence or terrorism are not suitable for entry into the competition. 

It is very important that your entries do not show any form of blood splatter or gore as they will risk being disqualified.

2. Think carefully about your target audience

It is good practice to design your game with a specific target audience in mind. The YGD competition requests that your game is suitable for those aged under 16 (PEGI12) - this can include very young children all the way up to teenagers. Do your research. You want to make sure you are creating something that is appropriate but also fun!

     - What sort of games do your target audience already enjoy playing?
     - What sort of themes might be suitable for that target audience?
     - What games do you enjoy playing and why?

3. Be respectful

We have had some fantastic entries that cover a wide range of difficult topics such as; mental health, physical disabilities, war, bullying, LGBT themes, loss, grief, separation etc. It is important to remain respectful when dealing with themes that may trigger an emotional response in a player. 

     - If you are concerned about including a difficult theme do plenty of research. 
     - Make sure you speak about your idea with a range of different people and collect their feedback – particularly any concerns they have about your content.
     - Be mindful if you are creating an experience about a specific situation that people may have real-life experiences related to it.  
     - Think about themes, interests and experiences that are important to you. How would you want these ideas represented? Can you make a game about something you are passionate about? 

4. Taking care of yourself

Often games can be about a situation or theme you have experienced yourself. Games are a fantastic medium for expressing our culture, community and all sorts of things that we are passionate about. 

Being able to play games that represents us as a person is an important part of our identity and it is fantastic to have such diversity coming forwards in the games industry! However, it is also important that you look after yourself during the creative process. 

     - Take regular breaks - Making games involves bringing together many different skills; Time management, planning and patience. It can often be overwhelming so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to have breaks. 
     - If you find yourself worried, anxious or distressed by any of the themes you are dealing with then it might be good to speak to a teacher, parent or responsible adult about how you are feeling. 
     - We want you to enjoy the application process. Just creating and entering an application is a fantastic achievement as it requires a number of organisational skills! Don’t focus too much on the competition and try to appreciate all the new skills you are learning along the way!