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Videogame retailers support Byron Review, says Byron

BBFC set for classification expansion?

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Psychologist Dr Tanya Byron has told a meeting of videogame publishers that most retailers support the idea of giving the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) a bigger role over game classification.

Byron, who last week published her infamous review into the effect of videogames and the internet on children, has proposed a legally binding system of age ratings for games.

She said BBFC style U, PG, 12, 15 and 18 cinema labels should be adopted alongside elements of the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) system - a voluntary code followed by many game manufacturers.

But the psychologist has since told the European Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), a body of games developers that monitor industry issues, that “retail felt very strongly on favour of the BBFC as the single consumer-facing on all games”.

She added that introduction of the age banding, as currently seen with film sales, would help cure “parental confusion at the point of sale”.

When Paul Jackson, director general of the ELSPA, hinted that the BBFC might not be up to the job of extended classification duties, the film review body quickly returned fire.

The BBFC said it’s "ready and able to take on the extra work envisaged by Dr Byron" and that it welcomes a "film-style classification system and greater role for the BBFC".

No decision has yet been made whether to implement any of the Byron Review’s recommendations.

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