EXPOSED: Google Play Store allows children as young as 3 to download guns-toting games – in spite of parents’ safety precautions

  • Google Play Store allows children to download and play violent video games starting at three years of age 
  • Grampa Vs. The Zombies can be enjoyed by all ages, and even includes guns
  •  It comes after teen was jailed last week for blasting someone in the face 

Children as young as three can download violent games on Google’s Play Store – even if parents have turned on safety controls.

Many games that feature gun-toting characters can be found even for pre-schoolers because of a loophole which allows them to give their own suitability scores.

Grampa Vs The Zombies is one of them. It has been rated as Pegi 3 by the Pan European Games Information System. This means that it can be enjoyed by all ages, and contains no images or sounds likely to scare young children. It features a grandfather who targets monsters using a range of weapons until they explode into a horrifying mess.

According to the Apple Store’s strict rules, the game must be played by children over 12 years of age.

The Mail On Sunday sent Google & Pegi 25 questionsable games to update their ratings. Ten of the games have been updated.

Due to a loophole that allows creators to provide their own suitability ratings, scores of games featuring gun-toting characters are available even to pre-school youngsters (stock image)

Many games featuring guns-toting characters can be found even for pre-schoolers thanks to an exemption that lets creators provide their own suitability scores (stock photo).

Grampa Vs The Zombies was flagged. The game has since been upgraded to Pegi 7. Pegi 16 was also given the upgrade to The Last Stand Of Survival. It has blood splatter as well as’strong violence’.

Mail on Sunday may also have several simulators for guns that children can download. It says “you can move your phone like a gun”

Apple’s iOS games are similar and rated 12+.

Pegi rates video games purchased in stores, while digital games have ratings based on the answers to a questionnaire that was completed by the developers.

The questionnaire is filled out by creators in good faith. It’s administered by International Age Rating Coalition (IARC). Once they tick all the boxes, the game will be assigned an age rating. Play Store displays an age rating for Pegi, even though Google has not checked it.

The court heard that video games were 'a factor' in the 'violent fantasies' of teenager Jacob Talbot-Lummis (pictured)

Court heard video games played a role in Jacob Talbot-Lummis’ violent fantasies (pictured).

The findings were made after a 16-year old boy, who had smashed into another teenage girl the day before playing Blood Trail, was sent to jail for 24 years. According to the court, video games had a role in Jacob Talbot Lummis’ violent fantasies.

Tanya Carter of Safe Schools Alliance stated last night that it was worrying to see how much control is given over the ratings for games.

Google claims that official ratings should be attributed to app developers as well as third-party rating agencies. Pegi claims it cannot monitor all releases. According to a spokesperson, “We strive to fully examine the ratings for as many games on Google Play as possible. However, because the store is so large we have to rely upon consumer reports to rectify inaccuracies with more obscure titles.”

Since we flagged Grampa Vs The Zombies (pictured), the game has been re-rated as Pegi 7. And The Last Stand Of Survival, which has 'strong violence' and blood splatter and was originally rated appropriate for seven-year-olds, has been upgraded to Pegi 16

Grampa Vs. The Zombies has been flagged (pictured). This game was re-rated to Pegi 7. Pegi 16 has been given to The Last Stand Of Survival. This game has strong violence and bloodsplatter, and was initially rated suitable for 7-year-olds.