Organizers of the ELSPA (Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association) Forum in the UK have announced that Dr Tanya Byron is to give a speech introducing the Byron Review – a government review into the effects of video games on children which has already received considerable coverage in the UK.
The review has already been featured in many mainstream media reports in the UK, with a public call for evidence first being made on October 9th. Speaking at the ELSPA Forum, held in conjunction with the second annual London Games Festival, Byron will discuss the reasons the UK government called for the review and why she agreed to become involved.
In a statement in September, Byron described her work by saying, “Helping parents and their children get the best from new technologies while protecting children from inappropriate or potentially harmful material is crucial in today’s fast moving world.”
“Parents welcome the benefits technologies can bring but they also want their children to be safe and many have concerns about what their children may come across online or whether the video games they are using are appropriate,” she added.
The report comes against a backdrop of increased media and political attention on the games industry in the UK, stoked by the BBFC's (British Board of Film Classification) continued rejection of Rockstar’s Manhunt 2
. New British prime minister Gordon Brown has already been drawn into the debate, announcing the Byron Review
but apparently ruling out any plans for additional video games censorship laws.
ELSPA officials have welcomed the Byron Review, with the Forum also set to discuss the general rise of negative publicity surrounding the games industry over the last year. The Forum will be held at The Royal Society of Medicine in London on October 22nd. Further information can be found at the ELSPA website