Feeds

World+Dog tosses orb in public on Byron Review

Supporters to the left, protagonists to the right

High performance access to file storage

The Byron Review into the effects of videogames and the internet on children was months in the making. But it’s only taken one day for everyone from government ministers to quangos to voice their opinions on the Review’s recommendations.

Yesterday, psychologist Dr Tanya Byron’s review proposed a legally binding system of age ratings for videogames to be adopted. She also called for fines or imprisonment for retailers selling games illegally, and for games consoles to include parental controls.

The European Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), a body of games developers that monitor industry issues, such as piracy, was one of the first to condemn Byron’s Review.

ELSPA hinted that the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), which would be responsible for assessing and awarding age ratings to games in the UK if Byron’s recommendations are implemented, might not be up to the job.

Paul Jackson, director general of ELSPA, said: “The games industry would need to be reassured that the BBFC would be capable of delivering against any new remit, or whether PEGI may be more appropriate”.

PEGI is the Pan-European Game Information system, a voluntary code followed by many game manufacturers. It uses age recommendations as well as specific warnings for violence, fear, bad language, drug references, sexual content, or gambling.

Jackson must not have read the BBFC’s own response to the Byron Review. If he had, he’d have known that that the BBFC claimed that it’s "ready and able to take on the extra work envisaged by Dr Byron". It also welcomes "film-style classification system and greater role for the BBFC". Well, it would, wouldn't it?

After the Review’s publication, Andy Burnham, MP, a minister at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport stated the bleedin' obvious, that retailers could face criminal prosecution if Byron’s proposed changes to the law are implemented.

Tiga, a trade association representing the interests of games software developers, supports the idea of better information about videogame content. But a spokesman claimed developers could be saddled with the costs.

"The last thing the games industry needs is for the UK Government to impose additional costs on it," said the spokesman. This is despite the fact that the games industry is one of the most profitable businesses in Britain.

Communications regulator Ofcom chipped in with: "At a time of sweeping change in content delivery, and in the type of content that is available, the overall goals of content regulation persist. These are to ensure that people have the information and skills they need to take responsibility for their media choices."

Nice to see a regulator making the case for further regulation in an area it's not currently regulating. Got to stick together, us regulators...

And now for Register Hardware’s own two cents. No decision has yet been made to change the way videogames are sold and it’s likely to be months, even years, before Byron's review affects game sales – if at all.

But, if one thing’s for sure, 29 April is going to provoke even more debate...

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
Dell Wyse Cloud Connect: Pocket Android desktop
Ultrathin client with a lot of baggage. The upside? It's a rogue sysadmin's delight
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.