back to article Videogame retailers support Byron Review, says Byron

Psychologist Dr Tanya Byron has told a meeting of videogame publishers that most retailers support the idea of giving the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) a bigger role over game classification. Byron, who last week published her infamous review into the effect of videogames and the internet on children, has …


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  1. Mark Broadhurst

    As a serious gamer

    I support it too.

    It makes sense that one media format should be put to the same scrutiny as another.

    Unlike most of these reports it was not negative about games in general and asks for sensible goals much like Films are subject to.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Xbox 360 System

    Bizarrely the Xbox 360 has the idea of child account and yet still lets the quite happily boot an 18 rated game.

    Whats wrong with that picture ?

  3. Squits

    Games are not movies.

    They are an art form, expressive.

    Cut them to shreds with your draconian old ways please.

    However, I do agree that they should be tiered correctly, and 18 certificate game should not be given to a child UNLESS you know that child can comfortably cope with the issues at hand, when I watched porn at 15 I didn't immediately go and rape anyone, neither did I kill someone after watching The Terminator at about 13 years old. I wanted to see it, my mates wanted to see, we all loved it.

    If an individual already has issues, they're bound for bad things already, don't blame computers (Or VHS)

  4. AndyC
    Thumb Down

    Because the BBFC are totally impartial... can be seen from the whole Manhunt 2 farce.

    "Oh look, there is a bandwagon in the media about violence, lets jump on it!"

    Is it just me, or does anyone else think that the BBFC may just be getting a little worried by the amount the games industry is growing and generating and them NOT being involved with it? Give the classification to PEGI, at tleast that way we get the same service as most of Europe (Germany being the odd ones out).

    And yes, I am in favour of ratings on games, more in favour of smacking parents with the game boxes until they read them before handing them over to their little darlings to play on though...

    Now, off home to go play something gory, featuring drug abuse and drink refernces... Because I can...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    o just

    ---- off.

    A while ago I went into HMV to buy Aliens special edition, now i'm 26 and first saw the film when I was like 11, I have warn out 2 videos of the film.

    The dumb a--- special ed "female" (I suspect slug may be a better term) ID'd me. It's a ----ing dvd you dumb freak!

    Anyway being 26 and not driving I have no ID and after a moment of stunned disbelief and her insisting on seeing ID I told her to go ---- herself. Went home and downloaded the damn film.

    Nobody cares about age rating system except a few people who are magical mushroom people.

  6. Paul

    To be honest...

    I thought that was the case now...

    Oh well. It is a good idea, if nothing else, it gives shops the right to say "sorry, we cant sell this to you, its the law"

    It also puts games on a par with films, rather than toys.

  7. Peter Leary


    I was in Grainger Games yesterday having a gander and I saw this young kid pick up an old Xbox game, to which his mother immediately took from his hands and said "You're not having that, it's violent" and the kid said "But it's not! It's not!" and the mother retorted "It is, it has the word hit on it, it must be violent"

    The game he had in his hand turned out to be 'The Simpsons Hit 'n' Run'.

    The fact is, there are plenty of parents that are very naive/ignorant to videogames, and while I'm against perpetuating the stereotype that games are for kids alone, I appreciate that a big "18" slapped on the front of all games as opposed to only the ones that depict violence against real humans will soothe many a whining parents.

    Because the world is just getting thicker by the day, I swear.

  8. Iain

    Re: "Xbox 360 System"

    What's wrong with the picture is that you've not configured the account for parental controls correctly. It's not difficult.

  9. Mike Crawshaw

    "Parental Confusion at the point of sale"

    When the game already has a 16/18/whatever sticker on it???

    I can't accept that people are so stupid as to be confused by the existing labels. Really, despite all the evidence of stupidity I see around me on a daily, nay, hourly basis, I simply don't believe it.

    What I DO believe is that the parents in question simply don't care as long as it shuts up their whining brat, and that this is a way for the to look like they're doing something about LatestMediaEvil v15.1.2. Changing the sticker from the existing bloody great "18" to slightly different bloody great "18" that's the same as the ones on DVDs is NOT going to stop lil Jonny getting his mitts on the latest GTA. If his parents ignore the current huge sticker, they will ignore the new one.

    As we effectively have 2 systems in place at the moment, reducing that to 1 and making it enforced at point of sale is a sensible move. Just please don't treat us like imbecile children when justifying it.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    its the parents, stupid.

    What is the point of all this? If parents ignored a PEGI rating, they'll ignore this. The BBFC already rate the most "adult" games and parents ignore that too. Its not the publishers, its not retail (who don't need the bad PR and Trading Standards hassle), its the PARENTS. Bring back the stocks for acts of parental stupidity. The buggers would take a bit of responsibility after a few rotten tomatoes.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Game ratings not taken seriously

    A local well known game store had 18 rated games below the 5 foot pr0n level line that most news agents have. Primary school kids were browsing them. The manager wasn't bothered. Yes, I know it's one thing to pick up a CD case & read notes/booklet and another to play, but making a token effort to keep them on the straight and narrow is required IMO.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ratings are taken seriously - by retailers

    Really, no-one who works in retail really wants to be stung by trading standards and/or the old bill by selling a rated product to a minor. It's a criminal record and a fine for the person who sold it, not necessarily the shop at all. At £5.52 an hour, you can produce your ID or bugger off as far as I'm concerned. I don't care if you think it's no big deal, hell, I watched all sorts of stuff when I was younger and it did me no harm, but I'd rather lose the sale than be prosecuted. Bring your mum to buy it if you want it so bad.

  13. Anigel

    age is not the problem

    When it comes to gaming, age is NOT the problem and as long as we keep on trying to fool ourselves that it is then society as a whole will continue to suffer.

    As long as these 40+ year old PC adults are so entrenched in the fantasy world that they believe someone who once saw 5 minutes of a game or film got turned into a serial killer by the time they were 7 and a half because of it then its no wonder they believe everyone else is living in cloud cuckoo fantasy land, shame they do not realise that they are the ones living there.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Parents are not confused

    They deliberately allow their children to have 18 rated games and films because they want to.

    From Tanya Byron's comments so far, I can only conclude that this is more about her making a name for herself than actually doing any proper research.

    The BBFC refused at first to give Manhunt 2 a certificate, not because it was so violent it was unrateable, but because they believed that children would have the game bought for them by adults (or possibly be able to buy it themselves).

    That is not a failure of the ratings system. It's a failure of the distribution system and a failure of the parents.

  15. Fibbles


    This seems like nothing more than another land-grab by the BBFC. One wonders if they will soon start lobbying for the right to apply their classifications to books as well.

  16. Stacy Kidd
    Thumb Down

    @ anonymous

    "Nobody cares about age rating system except a few people who are magical mushroom people."

    That woman obviously cared because it's her job. She didn't make the sodding law. I'd do the very same, I don't want to lose my job just because an individual hasn't bothered to keep identification on them. The amount of customers who give me a "You've just spoken Russian" look when I ask for ID have to realise I'm not picking on them, I'm simply following policy.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Aren't the BBFC past their sell by date yet?

    There must be a better solution.

  18. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  19. Mike Crawshaw

    BBFC & Books

    (from Fibbles)

    "This seems like nothing more than another land-grab by the BBFC. One wonders if they will soon start lobbying for the right to apply their classifications to books as well."


    From today, no UK retailer will be able to sell copies of The Bible or The Koran. The BBFC has refused to give age-classifications to either of these best-selling publications, due to "excessive violence, racist and xenophobic overtones, occasions of incest and lack of moral fibre."

    The BBFC has stated that, should this material fall into the hands of children or vulnerable people, many could find themselves believing that these stories are real, and attempt to re-enact scenes from these books."

    "In certain cases, such as the story of David and Goliath, Samson, Cain and Abel or the Fall of Jericho, this could have disastrous results including physical injury, damage to property, and potentially, death" a spokesman said yesterday.

    IT tech forums, normally hotbeds of dissent regards the BBFC expanding their powers, were notably silent about the move. One frequent contributor to 'The Register' was seen to write "Wise up to the Future being Different from the Past. Do something Original that doesn't criminalise Society and set them against Public Servants. You know IT makes Sense.". We don't know why...

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