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The Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (Elspa) has wrested the classification of videogames away from the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).

The switch follows the passing of the Digital Economy Bill into law, a move that will see the Elspa-backed Pan-European Game Information (Pegi) system become the sole system for informing gamers and parents about the ages for which a given title is suitable.

In the UK, Pegi ratings will be awarded by the Video Standards Council. The BBFC will formally lose its games classification role in the next, post-election Parliament.

Elspa admitted that the shift away from the BBFC had been rejected by psychologist Dr Tanya Byron - asked by the government to review the impact of the internet on children - and the Department for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) Select Committee, both of whom decided the BBFC, which certifies films and videos, should be the sole games classification body.

However, Elspa lauded its lobbying skills and "highly skilled political strategy" for getting the BBFC's familiar logos off the back of games. Most titles already include Pegi ratings alongside the BBFC classification.

Elspa said it is now able to focus on seeking tax breaks for UK games developers to match or exceed those offered by other nations keen to build up their participation in the multi-billion dollar games business, such as Canada. ®

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