With all of the hullabaloo (yeah I said hullabaloo, big whoop, wanna fight about it?) that surrounded yesterday’s Digital Britain report, you may have missed the announcement that PEGI is going to be the sole gaming classification body in the UK, leaving the BBFC out in the cold.
The BBFC have, in the past, accused PEGI of being “just a couple of blokes” and have pulled a bit of a strop over the announcement. “The BBFC has always supported PEGI and wished it well,” they said. “But it continues to believe that it satisfies these requirements better than PEGI.”
What this means for consumers is that games will now display the PEGI logos that indicate a game’s specific content – such as that of a spider for fear, a fist for violence and a hypodermic needle for diabetic friendly titles. Not really – the needle represents a drugs theme, silly.
The symbols will accompanied by an age-classification of 3,7,12,16 and 18, which are legally enforceable – if you ain’t old enough you ain’t getting in, simple.
The PEGI system is Europe-wide and is self regulated by the publishers themselves.
(via The Telegraph)
Banned videogame Manhunt 2 looks like it’s finally going to see a UK release, more than a year after it was released in the USA, on October 31st. A successful appeal to the BBFC, and many modifications to the game, have finally gained it an 18 rating, meaning that it can be released…
In the wake of the Byron Review, tension is beginning to simmer beneath the surface of the normally peaceable games ratings industry. Dr Tanya Byron’s recommendations put the UK ratings board, the BBFC, in a strong position to take on more responsibility (and work, and pay cheques presumably) but its rival, PEGI, is not out of the running yet. Big names in the industry like EA and Microsoft have come down in favour of the European-wide PEGI service.
Last week’s Byron Report looked like it might have a calming influence on the ever increasing levels of sensationalism surrounding video games and help bring the public’s perception of games into a more accepting future. I know, I know – it’s appalling really. Thank god for British tabloid rags. They’re ready to step up and dredge every seedy gutter for a story or twenty that will make you lock your doors in terrified realisation that the outside world really is populated by roving bands of video game obsessed PSYCHOPATHS…
The Byron Review – the government’s high-profile investigation into the effects of video games and the internet, led by child psychologist Dr Tanya Byron – has recommended a mandatory film-style age rating system using a single recognisable set of symbols for use in all video games…
Jonathan Weinberg writes…
It’s a row that’s been rolling on for far too long. It’s a row that does nothing to help the perception of gaming among wider society. And it’s a row that is going to run and run for quite some time yet.
Rockstar has now finally overturned a ban that meant it was unable to release Manhunt 2 in the UK. But while that’s good news for the firm, for gaming itself, this whole bloody saga is just another nail in the coffin of gaming.
The media is already far too focused on the negatives – the violence, the calls to ban so-called “killer games” and the conflicts over having a voluntary code to provide an age rating for the majority of titles.
Occasionally a positive story will slip through, like the OAPs playing Wii to keep in shape, but on the whole, games are treated with far more disdain than rap music and horror movies, both of which have had their fare share of criticism in the past….
When does a Government go too far in a bid to protect its citizens? When it locks people up without a charge? When it bans people from taking to the streets and puts them under curfew? Or when it employs a TV presenter to look at how the Internet and computer games are harming the nation’s youngsters?
This week it’s been announced Dr Tanya Byron – star of such TV greats as House of Tiny Tearaways – is to preside over a review of what effect the web and console adventures are having on kids across Britain. And I for one find it not only laughable, but downright disgusting that Gordon Brown and his cohorts think they have the right to interfere in our lives which such a pointless exercise…
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