Game rating system needs legal backing, claims supporter
ELSPA calls govt videogame report into question
Exclusive The Pan European Game Information videogame classification system needs a legal framework, but it's still best placed to protect children from disturbing games, according to the code’s primary backer.
The code was recently criticised by a government report into UK videogame classification, which said that the British Board of Film Classification’s (BBFC) existing and legally backed system “should continue to rate games with adult content”.
However, Tim Wapshott, director of public affairs at the European Leisure Software Publishers Association, backers of the Pan European Game Information (Pegi) system, has bitten back at the report and told Register Hardware that the government’s preliminary decision isn’t the beginning of the end for Pegi.
“Pegi is a voluntary code and we’d like to see that changed to give it legal backing,” said Wapshott.
The report – Harmful Content on the Internet and in Video Games - is part an ongoing government analysis into the way videogames are classified for sale in the UK. It also said that the BBFC is better known than Pegi, and so best placed to provide ratings that parents will understand.
“If this issue comes down to the protection of children [from videogames], then it shouldn’t be about which organisation is better known, it should be about which is better at regulation,” said Wapshott. “Pegi is by far the better system,” he added.
The BBFC has also admitted to Register Hardware that the videogame classification war is far from over, despite the report’s findings. But, a spokeswoman for the film body said that “the government has conceded that our systems are better than Pegi”.
The report’s pro-BBFC stance isn’t a final decision though. A final decision on the future of UK videogame classification and which body – Pegi, the BBFC or both – will control it, isn’t expect until 2009.
It's a fair cop. Some 16/17 yo's might have 'em.
Shame that the management in charge couldn't have just given me that simple fact when I asked 'em. What's the betting that _they_ didn't know and were 'just passing on orders?'
Re: Difference between Credit Cards/Debit Cards (or lack thereof) and using 'em . Noted. Although not so long ago it _was_ alot more clear cut.
Re: Andy Worth's "prevent folk buying for someone else, off-licence alcohol style" suggestion. Fair point. Although it's not the easiest thing to enforce when you've got an irate parent at the front of a queue of 15 or so folk, all wanting to get their Christmas shopping over with, and you're preventing them doing it on the basis of a _suspicion_ that they _might_ let an underage kid play it.
GTA is bad
Is this why GTA has been getting so much coverage this week?
What of the parents who allow their children to play the games or the kids who fileshare without parental consent?
I'll be trying for top speed in the car on the way home, if I get stopped I expect to get off scott free by claiming Super M*rio Cart made me do it.
Paris, because Leisure Suit Larry made her do it.
@credit cards in general
don't forget debit cards, you can have those from 16, and you'd only know the difference if the till told you.
Also remember the fun of chip and pin. It might not be the child's card. in the old days you had to be able to make a decent effort at forging a parents signiture to pass it off as your card, now you just need to put it in a reader and know the pin, the staff never even go near the card in most places anymore.
To be useful as a form of age verification, the card would have to store your age on it and tell the shop somehow, it would also need some way of verifying that you are the genuine card holder, maybe fingerprints. in fact you should really put a photo on it so that you can quickly tell if the card belongs to the user. :)
Do-gooders should mind their own business!
The mere fact that some people cannot make decisions and think for themselves should never be the excuse for limiting the choice for those who can!
Children forced to always stick to the age rating by weak parents are either known wierdos (if they obey) or liars (if they don't) - on top of lying they will seek out the home with *No Standards At ALL* to see what's inside the 16 rating (16 being the highest in the DK) or what a beheading really looks like on the internet but with no-one to stop them. Children *do* want to be stopped occasionally because it is easier to agree with their mates that their parents are strict arseholes than to say 'No' themselves!
So, my children @self will continue to watch and play what I think is suitable for them; This is absolutely not decided on some age rating label or government advice.
Just ban the kids from playing games
keep them off the net as well, and frankly let's all of us have a good time.
Let them read books.