It's Now Legal To Sell Adult Games To Minors In The UK

Illustration for article titled It's Now Legal To Sell Adult Games To Minors In The UK

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...

Error leaves children unprotected under 1984 Video Recordings Act [The Times]

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Illegal? No. Against store policy? Yes. Sure if you can find someone with Manhunt and Postal under his trenchcoat down a back alley, or a slightly odd market stall, great news! You still wont be able to buy any adult games in the UK from any respectable chain without being asked for ID though.

I'm 21 years old and got ID'd for a 15 rated game a few months ago in GAME. I asked him to tell me straight that he was seriously implying I looked 14 years old, but he wouldn't. *shrug* "Store policy" was all I could get out of him. I can get into clubs without being ID'd but I can't buy a video game? Well them's the breaks. Ridiculously confusing breaks.

Then again there's always Tesco or ASDA where if they hire a trained chimp you know they've tightened their recruitment policy.