Content Warning

User Protection

A study published in Pediatrics indicates that elementary school children who play video games more than two hours a day are 67% more likely to develop attention problems. The American Academy of Pediatrics, a leading pediatric organization and the publisher of Pediatrics, recommends that parents limit "screen time," including the time children spend playing video and computer games, to less than two hours per day.The study also suggests that adults may also have their attention disrupted by video games.

Translated with (free version)Symptoms

Among the symptoms of video game addiction are the following.

1. Social isolation

Addiction to video games increases social isolation, which results in the loss of contact with friends and family. In turn, social isolation can be one of the causes that lead to addiction to video games, as these can be both solitary entertainment with which to spend time getting pleasure in return, as a means with which to interact indirectly with other people (in the case of online games).

2. Worsening of academic performance

The time spent playing games means that time and effort is not invested in studying, which has an impact on academic performance and delays the learning of skills and abilities that are promoted through education.

3. One of video game playing as compensatory behavior.

The use of games can be a resource to channel stress and anxiety derived from other day-to-day problems, such as living in a broken family or suffering from abuse at home or bullying at school.

In order to have more control over video games, PEGI provides age ratings for video games in European countries. The age ratings confirm that the game is suitable for players of a certain age. PEGI considers the age appropriateness of a game, not the level of difficulty. There are two levels of information as a guide: PEGI age labels or content descriptors.

What do the PEGI age labels mean?


The content of PEGI 3 games is considered suitable for all age groups. The game should not contain any sounds or images that may frighten children. A very mild form of violence (in a comical context or in a children's environment) is acceptable. Obscene language should not be heard.


Game content with scenes or sounds that may frighten young children should be included in this category. Very mild forms of violence (implied, non-detailed or unrealistic) are acceptable for games with a PEGI 7 rating.


Video games that show slightly more graphic violence against fictional characters or unrealistic violence against human characters would fall into this age category. There may be sexual allusions or attitudes, while any vulgar language in this category should be tasteless. There may also be gambling, as it usually takes place in real life in casinos or arcades (e.g. card games that in real life would be played for money).


This rating is applied once the depiction of violence (or sexual activity) reaches a level similar to what would be expected in real life. The use of bad language in games rated PEGI 16 may be more extreme, while gambling and the use of tobacco, alcohol or illegal drugs may also be present.


The adult rating applies when the violence reaches such a level that it becomes a depiction of brutal violence, murder for no apparent reason or violence against defenceless characters. The glamorization of illegal drug use and explicit sexual activity should also be included in this age category.


Content Descriptors

The game contains depictions of violence. In games rated PEGI 7, this may only be non-realistic or non-detailed violence. Games rated PEGI 12 may include violence in a fantasy setting or unrealistic violence against human-like characters, while games rated PEGI 16 or 18 have increasingly realistic violence.

The game contains obscene language. This descriptor can be found in games with PEGI 12 (swearing), PEGI 16 (e.g. sexual swearing or swearing) or PEGI 18 (e.g. sexual swearing or swearing).

This descriptor may appear in PEGI 7 rated games if they contain images or sounds that may frighten or scare young children, or in PEGI 12 games with scary sounds or horror effects (but no violent content).

The game contains elements that encourage or teach gambling. These simulated gambling games refer to games normally played in casinos or gambling halls. Games with this type of content are PEGI 12, PEGI 16 or PEGI 18.

This content descriptor may be combined with a PEGI 12 rating if the game includes sexual poses or allusions, a PEGI 16 rating if there is erotic nudity or sex without visible genitalia, or a PEGI 18 rating if there is explicit sexual activity in the game. Depictions of nudity in non-sexual content do not require an age-specific rating and this descriptor would not be necessary.

The game refers to or depicts the use of illegal drugs, alcohol or tobacco. Games with this content descriptor are always PEGI 16 or PEGI 18.

The game contains depictions of ethnic, religious, nationalistic or other stereotypes that may encourage hatred. This content is always limited to a PEGI 18 rating (and may violate national criminal laws).