The decision to choose PEGI over the BBFC as the sole video game classifications board in the UK was an "obvious choice", UKIE CEO Dr Jo Twist has told VideoGamer.com.

Talking to VideoGamer.com following the changes made to UK age ratings legislation earlier this week, Twist said: "PEGI is already used and recognised throughout Europe, and it has very, very good support from the European Commission, so it seemed like the obvious choice.

"The Games Rating Authority that is formed now to do the ratings, which is part of VSC [Video Standards Council], these ratings are game-specific, so they are supposed to be clear and consistent."

Twist claims that research from 2010 "found that 62% of parents recognised PEGI, so it seems now that the sensible thing to do is go with PEGI rather than BBFC."

The changes to UK law mean it's now illegal for retailers to sell 12, 16 or 18-rated PEGI games to those underage. All games will carry a PEGI age rating too, dropping BBFC classifications. 

But the decision to go with PEGI rather than the BBFC surprised some when it was first announced.

In 2008, Dr Tanya Byron, who led a government review into the risks that children face from video games, suggested "a hybrid classification system in which BBFC logos appear on the front of all games... while PEGI continue to rate all 3+ and 7+ games".

UKIE is currently running a campaign to raise awareness of games age ratings, and encourages parents to visit advice website AskAboutGames.com.

"It's a joint responsibility," continued Twist, "but ultimately what we want to do is make sure that parents are understanding games more clearly. 

"70% of the population plays games, it's a mainstream activity. Having that conversation with your child and understanding what they're doing, making a decision about what's appropriate for them is really important. There are absolutely thousands of games out there appropriate for all ages. They can be really creative, fun and fulfilling experiences with a family or on your own."

Carry on the conversation on the VideoGamer forums!