What is the USK and what are its responsibilities?

The German Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (USK) is a body set up by the associations of the computer games industry. Its Registered Office is in Berlin. It is a non-profit making, limited company owned by the company “Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Unterhaltungssoftware GmbH.”

The shareholder of this company is the German association of the games development, manufacture and distribution industry (game – Verband der deutschen Games-Branche e.V.). Although this shareholder bears the economic risk of the limited company, they are not responsible for the procedures leading to age rating symbols.

The USK ensures that games can be tested both technically and in terms of their content for the wide range of game platforms. Tasks carried out by the USK also include the organisation of the Classification Committees, classification deadlines and the necessary continuing training for all those involved in the classi cation procedure. The USK is advised by an Advisory Council. The Advisory Council stipulates the principles and classification regulations by which the USK operates and approves games testers and child protection experts appointed to their posts.

Members of the Advisory Council include representatives from the churches, the media education community, the Federal Ministry for the Family, the Supreme Youth Protection Authorities of the Federal States, the Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons (BPjM), youth organisations, the Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media (KJM) and the computer games industry.