This Tanya Byron Lunacy


So, the long awaited report is out and it is stupid.

So there we have it. A sad day for politics and another sad day for the British gaming industry.


  1. To be fair, Grand Theft Childhood isn’t out yet and even still, there simply isn’t enough research to scientifically prove what we all suspect anyway. To blindly condemn one report because it disagrees with your point of view and to endorse another which isn’t even published yet is hardly solid ground for our arguments.
    Don’t get me wrong; I am in *total* agreement with you, but it’d be nice to have “overwhelming scientific, peer-reviewed study” to slap in the faces of ignorant, vote-whoring homunculi like these.

  2. By accident or design, the current system of BBFC and PEGI in tandem serves the interests of consumers and publishers perfectly adequately. It’s certainly streets ahead of the badly compromised ESRB system.

    Replacing a PEGI 12+ symbol with a BBFC 12 achieves nothing. Is there even any measurable goal that this Report (with it’s presumed but never adequately defined concept of ‘harm’, and scant distinction between children, adolescents and young adults) can be judged against?

  3. Fantastic collection of points here Bruce — I agree pretty wholeheartedly with each and every one. Especially the note about the media double standard in terms of books, music, movies, etc. Think what you can find at your average library alone, completely unrated and completely unregulated.

    I’d never arguing that we regulate books, but the disparity is so glaring it could char your eyes right out of your skull.

  4. Unfortunately rational, balanced analysis is in practice irrelevant. Ultimately it’s political decisions being made concerned more with grandstanding gestures to accrue political support.

    Furthermore I doubt it will make a huge amount of difference. I have consistently seen parents buying 18+ games for kids often the age of 10. Store staff make it absolutely clear about the age guidelines but plenty of parents (not all) simply don’t give a damn.

    Factor in illegal downloads and the vast expansion of digital distribution and I simply don’t see this working in practice. After all in the hypothetical event that I was denied the opportunity to buy some “Murder Music”/Hip Hop it would be readily available for me to download.

  5. Passed with no reservations, it’s disgusting.

    The BBFC has kinda proven it can’t be trusted not to censor as in the case of Manhunt 2, and is a film-run “independent body” – yeah, in my opinion, compared to the PEGI which is game industry run, it’s not independent at all! (As reported by some publications!)

    It’s not good that a 12 is added, more burden on game companies, and the higher burden of all the measures makes it not seem that great to make any games available here, since otherwise you’ll have to (somehow) chip into the initiatives.

    Sigh, not much I can do, my local MP is a party whip.

  6. To be honest the only real tangible change is that it is suggested that the ratings be enforced by law – the rest is mere hot air. To be honest I was hoping that the report would suggest a brand new ratings board specifically aimed at games but failing that that we should abide by the PEGI rating system. This hybrid of BBFC and PEGI is only going to further confuse people.

    The only plus side I can see to the BBFC rating games is that they will now have to hire more staff in order to cope with the workload – hope fully at least a few of these staff will not be as zealous in their rating of games… It makes me laugh as I read an article complaing about lax film ratings in the UK just the other day – rather ironic don’t you think?

  7. Oh, I forgot to ask in my last comment but did you actually read the report? It suggests many changes that gamers have been siting as important for years.

    Ie: Informing parents about the subject matter etcetera.

    You also comment that (and I quote):

    ‘Why does the report not include books (which have no age rating), pop music, films, television, radio, videos etc? Different popular culture is treated differently in a wholly illogical manner. ‘

    That is the precise reason it does not include these materials. They have already been hugely studied.

    Overall I agree with you but I do not see the Byron report as a negative thing. In fact if you read it fully it’s quite defensive of videogames in some respects.

    As previously stated my only problem is with the suggestion of the BBFC as their involvement is illogical seeing as they were a panel designed to review films. A better idea would have been to create a new panel.

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