Pokemon and Super Mario would be rated 18+ under current video game age rating guidelines

Games which ‘encourage or teach gambling’ are restricted to adults only under recently tightened guidelines

Louis Chilton
Wednesday 01 September 2021 13:40
Super Mario 3D All-Stars trailer

Games including Pokémon Red and Super Mario 64 DS would be categorised for “adults only” under new video game age rating rules.

The European video game content rating body Pegi (Pan European Game Information) recently announced it is changing its rules around depictions of gambling.

Under the current rules, any game that contains elements that “encourage or teach gambling” is automatically placed in the “18” age bracket.

Pokémon Red , Blue and Yellow (1996)all featured Game Corners, in which players could play slot machine minigames to earn in-game currency.

The gambling aspect was phased out of later Pokémon releases to keep maturity ratings as low as possible.

Super Mario 64 DS (2004), meanwhile, featured a set of casino-themed minigames, which comprises a number of simplified card games, including poker and blackjack.

While the 18+ age rating will not be applied retroactively to either of these games, it is believed that the rule would come into effect in the event of any re-release, unless the offending elements were removed from the game.

Links between gambling and video games is a contentious issue within the world of gaming.

Some controversial practices employed in popular games available for children – such as the use of “loot boxes” – have been accused of encouraging addictive behaviours, even if there is no overt mention of gambling in the game.

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