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ELSPA, BBFC Welcome Byron Review

After being praised by UK government ministers, both age rating organization the BBFC and industry trade association ELSPA have welcomed the findings of the newly completed Byron Review, which calls for a new movie style age rating system in the UK.
After being praised by UK government ministers, both age rating organization the BBFC and industry trade association ELSPA have welcomed the findings of the newly completed Byron Review, which calls for a new movie style age rating system in the UK. Responding to the review’s findings BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) director David Cooke commented: “I warmly welcome Dr Byron’s report. She has listened very carefully to all the arguments, and exercised her independent and expert judgment.” “It is clear from Dr Byron’s report that games classification is less well understood that that for films and DVDs. We all need to work hard to bring understanding up to the same level, and help parents and children make informed choices. Games like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas are for adults, and should be treated in the same way as ‘18’ rated films and DVDs,” he added. “Dr Byron says that when it comes to content, parents want better information on which to base their decisions. I welcome the film-style classification system and greater role for the BBFC which she recommends in paragraph 7.47 of her report,” concluded Cooke. The Byron Review suggests that the BBFC alone rate all games classified for children aged twelve years old and above, with the pan-European PEGI system being used only for titles suitable for ages below twelve. The review’s findings have also been welcomes by ELSPA (Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association), with director general Paul Jackson commenting: “We fully support Dr Byron's advice to parents on the use of technology in the home and parental awareness of their children's activities, including the need for wider awareness of age ratings on video games.” “We believe in one legally enforceable system for classification of video games and to build increased public awareness of both the age ratings system and the long-standing availability and use of parental controls on all games consoles," he said. ”However, we are concerned that the proposals as they stand may struggle to keep up with the public’s increasing desire to buy and play online.” “The games industry would need to be re-assured that the BBFC would be capable of delivering against any new remit, or whether PEGI may be more appropriate. We welcome the news that the Government wishes to consult with the industry on any changes to the classification system,” added Jackson. “We look forward to working very closely with Government over the next few months to address these concerns as the implications of the review are fully understood.”

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