What are the implications of the USK age rating?

For retailers

The state uses the age rating symbol to regulate whether a computer game may be publicly supplied to children and young persons. Retailers are obliged to comply with the restrictions indicated by the rating. A game approved for children aged 12 and above may not be sold to a 10-year old. Any breach of these regulations is an offence pursuant to Art.28 of the German Children and Young Persons Protection Act (JuSchG) and is punishable by a ne of up to €50,000. Regulations are enforced by the relevant local authorities, which may be contacted directly in the event of any infringement.

For parents

The state does not use the age rating symbols to govern how parents make media content available to their children at home. Parents should, however, only allow their children to play games which have a relevant age classification. This is the only way of ensuring that the game does not expose their child to risk.

The age rating symbols do not provide any indication as to the educational suitability of a game for a particular age group or as to the quality of the game. They merely guarantee that the computer game in question is harmless in child protection terms. Information on the educational suitability of games is available online on sites such as:

spieleratgeber-nrw.de, spielbar.de oder internet-abc.de.