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UK Government Plans Legally Enforced Age Ratings

According to newspaper reports over the weekend, the British government is set to introduce a new legally enforced, cinema style classification system for video games in the country – making it illegal to sell games to children below the recommended age.
According to the Saturday edition of UK newspaper The Guardian, the British Government is set to introduce a new legally enforced, cinema style classification system for video games in the country – making it illegal to sell games to children below the recommended age. Currently all games in Britain use the voluntary pan-European PEGI ratings, with only games showing sex or “gross” violence to humans or animals being subject to mandatory classification by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), for the same style of age rating used for movies and other video content. Although similar plans to criminalize the sale of violent games to children have been repeatedly suggested in the U.S., they have always been ruled out over first amendment concerns. The move is likely to prove much less controversial in the UK, which has no codified constitution. At the same time, The Guardian suggests the ministers will also advise parents to keep computers and video games consoles out of children’s bedrooms where possible, so that their activities can be more easily monitored. Plans for a standardized Internet filter have also apparently already been discussed with local Internet service providers. The recommendations are understood to be inspired by the ongoing Byron report into violence and video games, which is expected to be completed next month and will advise specifically on the current video games classification system.

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