File under: Oh Dear. A series of administrative blunders in the UK has resulted in the discovery today that the country's video game ratings laws are not actually in effect.
In 1984, the Video Recordings Act was passed in British parliament, resulting in the supposed implementation of a law that would see retailers and individuals punished for providing under-age customers with age-restricted content (including video games).
Only, there was a problem: Britain, as a member of the European Union, never forwarded the paperwork onto the EU. Something every law needs to do in order to be formally passed.
This means that the Act was never actually implemented. And hasn't been for the past 25 years.
Those who have already been convicted of an offence under the act will remain convicted, and can't have their penalties/fines/sentences reduced. But those about to be prosecuted will be spared, at least until the government can enact "emergency legislation" to close the loophole (which we'd imagine won't be long).
And in the meantime? Until said loophole is closed, it's 100% legal for anyone, of any age, to buy anything. Movies, games, porn, doesn't matter. Even if it's media content that was previously banned in the UK, until that emergency legislation is passed, it's all good.
Oh, to be a 13 year-old British boy right now...