How are age limits set?


The audiovisual programme classifiers trained and approved by the National Audiovisual Institute assess the content of a film, television programme or a digital game and set an age limit for it using classification criteria as a basis. As part of the classification, age limit and content symbols are set for the audiovisual programmes and these symbols must be clearly visible when audiovisual programmes are provided. Violence, substance use, sexual content, and content causing anxiety, and their potential harmful effects on the development of children are considered when the age limits are set.

A child’s ability to understand their experiences develops with age. The development of emotional life and thinking also helps children to understand their experiences shaped by films, television programmes and games. The purpose of the age limits is to protect the development of children. Research results indicate that, for example, viewing programmes with strong violence may be harmful to a child. The harmful effects may manifest themselves in sleeplessness, nightmares or fears. Harmful media content may also be reflected in the child’s character as heightened restlessness or aggressive behaviour.

Read more about the age limit criteria and harmful impacts of media content: All criteria (The content is in Finnish).


In the same way as films and television programmes, digital games must also carry labels providing information about their harmful content. For games, the Pan-European PEGI age limit scheme is used in Finland (Pan-European Game Information).

In addition to violence, sex, anxiety and substance use, consideration in the PEGI age ratings is also given to discrimination, gambling and rude language. In PEGI, content symbols are also used to inform players that they can use real money in the game. The purpose of the age limits (3, 7, 12, 16 and 18 years) is not to convey information about the technical difficulty of the game or its suitability for persons of specific age but to warn players about its harmful content. The age limit 3 means that the game is allowed for all ages.