Dr. Byron Checks in on Her Report Two Years Later

March 30, 2010 -

Two years after the release of the UK’s Byron Report, Dr. Tanya Byron has weighed in with a follow up which details the progress made towards ensuring the digital safety of children.

In kicking off her review of progress to-date (PDF), Byron wrote, “In the last two years there has been significant progress on improving children’s digital safety which I am pleased to highlight in this report.”

In reference to videogames, Byron called the progress made since 2008 “significant,” specifically citing three aspects:

11 comments | Read more

VSC Ramps Up for Future, Adds Dr. Byron to Panel

January 18, 2010 -

As the UK moves to adopt the PEGI system as a sole means for rating videogames, the Video Standards Council (VSC), which will enforce and assign actual ratings, has added additional personnel to its ranks.

One new addition to the VSC is an Expert Advisory Panel reports GamesIndustry.biz, which will feature media violence expert Guy Cumberbatch, author Geoffrey Robertson and Dr. Tanya Byron (pictured), author of the Byron Report.

VSC Chair Baroness Shephard commented:

The newly established VSC Expert Advisory Panel will play a key role. The VSC will have the ability to effectively 'ban' a videogame from supply in the UK if it infringes the limits set out in the law.  Any such decision will not be taken lightly and will involve a number of legal, clinical and psychological issues.

A trio of board members was also added to the VSC, ex-Chief Constable Tony Lake, retired Director of the Family and Parenting Institute Mary MacLeod and Chris Atkinson of the National Socitey for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

13 comments

Tanya Byron Applauds PEGI Decision

June 19, 2009 -

Dr. Tanya Byron has thrown her support behind the British Government's recent decision to award the U.K.'s game rating chores to PEGI over the BBFC.

MCVUK reports that Byron, who in 2008 completed a review of the role of video games and the Internet in the lives of British children, said:

Video games were the big issue in my review, specifically their classification system. I didn't have time to outline a new classification system entirely, but I did outline principles for how it should look.

My suggestions then went to consultation and the Government have this week made their decision, which is an enhanced PEGI system. My recommendations have been upheld and it's a really great decision which I thoroughly support.

19 comments

It's PEGI Over BBFC in British Video Game Rating Battle

June 16, 2009 -

After more than a year of consideration, the British Government has selected the Pan-European Game Information system, better known as PEGI, will handle video game content rating chores in the U.K.

The announcement was made a short time ago and is contained in Lord Stephen Carter's Digital Britain report.

The U.K. video game industry is sure to be pleased with the news. British game publishers association ELSPA lobbied hard for PEGI during the 15 months since Dr. Tanya Byron's review recommended that there be a single content rating system for the U.K. ELSPA boss Mike Rawlinson was ebullient over the announcement:

The Government has made absolutely the right decision for child safety. By choosing PEGI as the single classification system in the UK, British children will now get the best possible protection when playing videogames either on a console or on the internet.

Parents can be assured that they will have access to clear, uniform ratings on games and an accurate understanding of game content.

On the other hand - as in the United States where the ESRB handles ratings - some will question whether the video game industry can be relied up to effectively self-regulate.

For its part, the BBFC issued a statement reflecting its disappointment but vowing to support the Government's decision:

The BBFC has always supported PEGI and wished it well, but it continues to believe that it satisfies these requirements better than PEGI. However, it will cooperate fully in the detailed work needed to give effect to the Government's decision. And it must be independent in substance as well as appearance, reaching its decisions and providing information on the basis of its own detailed assessments.

Among the video game community the BBFC is best known for the controversial nationwide ban it imposed on Manhunt 2 in 2007. That edict was later overturned by Britain's High Court.

Via: TechRadar

32 comments

PEGI or BBFC for U.K. Ratings? We'll Find Out This Morning

June 16, 2009 -

The British Government's long-awaited decision as to which agency will take control of video game content rating chores in the U.K. should come this morning.

gamesindustry.biz reports that the release of the Digital Britain report by Communications Minister Lord Stephen Carter (left) will follow a statement in the House of Commons. From gi.biz:

The report, which is expected to cover a number of videogames industry issues, including the decision on game ratings, will also cover off a number of high profile issues, such as the UK's broadband infrastructure and the future of analogue radio.

51 comments

PEGI or BBFC? U.K. to Announce Ratings Choice Next Week

June 11, 2009 -

Who will be in charge of video game ratings in the U.K.?

That long-awaited answer will come next Tuesday, according to MCVUK. As GamePolitics readers know, a pair of entities have been competing for the assignment ever since Dr. Tanya Byron completed her review of the effects of video games and the Internet on British youth in early 2008.

The U.K. game industry has voiced a strong preference for the Pan-European Game Information rating system, better known as PEGI. Some in government, however, are believed to favor the British Board of Film Classification. The BBFC is best known to gamers for banning Rockstar's bloody Manhunt 2 in 2007. That decision was later overruled by the British High Court.

MCVUK reports that industry group ELSPA planned to do some last-ditch lobbying on PEGI's behalf new Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw. ELSPA boss Michael Rawlinson told MCV:

We are encouraged that Ben’s previous work as a BBC news correspondent will mean he has first-hand knowledge, experience and understanding of the problems facing the creative industries sector.

We look forward to meeting with Ben soon and discussing how our industry can continue to work with the Government to ensure games retain their place as a world leader in the sector.

We will, of course, also be explaining the significance and importance of PEGI becoming the single classification system for games in the UK. We wish him well in the post.

Thanks to: GamePolitics correspondent Mark "Beemoh" Kelly...

16 comments

Britain's Keith Vaz Calls for Implementation of Byron Report Recommendations

March 6, 2009 -

British Labour MP - and serial game critic - Keith Vaz spoke out against violent video game content in Parliament this week:

In a survey published last week, 74 percent of parents said that they were very concerned about the increasing level of violence in video games.  Given the fact that there is increasing availability of these games on the internet exhibiting scenes of graphic and gratuitous violence, when is the government proposing to implement the Byron Report in full? This is not about censorship; it is about protecting our children.

In regards to the Byron Report, Vaz appears to be referring to the suggestion that it be unlawful for retailers to sell any video game to a child younger than the age rating on the box. Currently, only the most violent and sexually explicit games are classified by the BBFC.  The rest are rated by PEGI whose ratings, like America’s ESRB, are recommendations and not backed by force of law.

Labour MP Harriet Harman, who serves as the Leader of the House of Commons, responded to Vaz in what seemed to be a sympathetic fashion:

I congratulate my right hon. Friend on his long-standing campaign on the issue. We need to make sure that we have tough classifications that are properly enforced. We need to make sure that parents have the information that they need. We need to make sure that the industry plays its part. The Government will take action on all those fronts.

It is perhaps worth noting that some of the games which Vaz has raised a fuss about in recent times have been non-industry products such as Kaboom: The Suicide Bombing Game or obscure foreign titles like RapeLay.  Neither game is subject to the rating system currently, nor would they be if Dr. Byron's recommendations are implemented.

Via: Edge Online

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen

16 comments

UK Watchdog Gives Thumbs-up to Video Game Ads

February 3, 2009 -

Britain's Advertising Standards Authority has awarded the video game industry high marks for age-appropriate advertising, according to today's Guardian newspaper.

The ASA study, an outgrowth of the 2008 Byron Review, surveyed 241 video game ads which appeared on TV, in theaters, online and on posters during April - June of last year.

From the Guardian:

The ASA said "most" of the ads, apart from radio, made a "clear reference" to the age-rating of the game...

 

"Depiction of violence was a strong theme, but it was often stylised, fantasy-like and clearly separated from reality," said the ASA...

 

"Our survey is encouraging as it suggests that video games are being advertised responsibly and in line with the [advertising] codes," said Christopher Graham, director general of the ASA.

Get the full ASA report here.

2 comments

In Parliament, Lively Debate on Video Game Ratings & Green Cross Man

November 14, 2008 -

The House of Commons had a lengthy and entertaining debate on video game issues yesterday. Also under discussion was the issue of Internet safety for children. Both topics, of course, were the focus of the well-known Byron Review.

MPs, including Labour Party game critic Keith Vaz argued about game ratings, game violence and whether the government does enough to support the British game biz.

The session had to be gaveled to order at a couple of points and Vaz made reference to a "secret tea" attended by Conservative MP Edward Vaizey and game industry execs. And, as if the ongoing turf war between PEGI and BBFC for U.K. ratings dominance wasn't complex enough, yesterday's debate also featured the light-hearted suggestion that British road safety icon the Green Cross Man (left) somehow be tied into the game rating system.

In this report, we've omitted the Internet bits to focus on the video game debate. Here's our abridged transcript:

John Whittingdale (Conservative): ...If one looks for empirical, hard, factual evidence that viewing a particular video or playing a video game has led someone to go out and commit a crime such as a rape or an act of violence, there is very little. Our view was therefore... that we should act on the probability of risk. Where there is a probable risk that someone would be influenced by exposure to such material, that is sufficient cause for intervention...

Tanya Byron did a great deal of work on that. Her other conclusion, which was shared strongly by the Committee, was that we cannot completely insulate children from material that might pose a risk. Part of educating children involves teaching them how to deal with risks. If we insulate them to the extent that they never encounter risks, they will not know how to deal with them...

Providers such as Microsoft told us about the parental controls that they have installed into products such as the Xbox... We were impressed by the commitment that almost every major industry body, including internet service providers, social networking sites and hardware manufacturers, has shown regarding the protection of young people, but there is no commonality...

I want to talk about video games in the final part of my remarks. I know that Keith Vaz... has several concerns about this issue, so he has arrived [late] at just the right moment.

Part of the problem with video games... is that there is no hard evidence to prove that playing a game will lead someone to go out and commit a crime or physical attack. Nevertheless, we agree that there is a probability that it could occur, and there is anecdotal evidence to support that view. The Video Recordings Act 1984 provided that games should be classified, that it is necessary to restrict certain games to people over a certain age... and that there would be games that should be banned entirely. That system has been generally successful since then, although there is often controversy about individual games...

Edward Vaizey (Conservative): I invite my hon. Friend, in the tone of his remarks, to make the point that when we talk about harmful video games and films, we are talking about a small minority. Does he agree that it is incumbent on hon. Members to remind the House as often as possible, when they talk about video games, that we have a most successful video games industry in this country, which employs thousands of people?

John Whittingdale (Conservative): My hon. Friend is entirely right. The video games industry is increasingly important and generates more money than the film industry. It is something that we are very good at. We are a creative nation, and many of the most successful games were developed here. We strongly support the games industry's efforts to ensure that it remains strong in this country and is not poached by other countries such as Canada, which is attempting to attract it there.

Keith Vaz (Labour): ...The fact remains that some of those games, even though they are a minority, are very violent. The hon. Gentleman and I have both commented on the video internet game "Kaboom" in which people replicate the activities of a suicide bomber. It cannot be right that the makers of those games should choose such storylines to provide entertainment, especially on the internet, where our children and under-18s can access them more easily than if they were going into a shop to buy them, as with non-internet games?

John Whittingdale (Conservative): This is a very difficult area and "Kaboom", which has been around for a little while, is an interesting example. It is a remarkably crude, cartoon-type game and is not in the least realistic, as many games now are. It is undoubtedly tasteless and might be offensive to a large number of people. I suspect that it is probably distressing to anyone who has suffered a bereavement as the result of a suicide bombing. Does that mean that it should be banned? I am not convinced that it should, because it is so crude, and other games pose greater concerns.

Edward Vaizey (Conservative): May I make a point to my hon. Friend? In his response to Keith Vaz, he has implied that "Kaboom" is somehow a legitimate video game that breaches the boundaries of taste, but it is not. It was created by an individual in his bedroom. To say that we should ban "Kaboom" is, with the greatest respect to my hon. Friend, slightly missing the point."Kaboom" is not subject to any legal constraints. It cannot be submitted to a regulator to be classified, because it is made by an individual, effectively illegally, outside the mainstream... It is not at all part of the mainstream video games industry. (more after the jump)

BBFC Head: Spat with PEGI? What Spat with PEGI?

October 8, 2008 -

Unless you've been hibernating for the last few months, it would have been difficult to miss the simmering feud between the BBFC and PEGI.

Both are in contention for the job of rating video games in the U.K., where PEGI enjoys the support of ELSPA, the U.K. game publishing lobby, while the BBFC appears to be favored by the government.

In a guest column for Edge Online, BBFC head David Cooke plays down the rivalry, which has gotten fairly nasty at times:

I have been reading recently that there’s a spat between the BBFC and ESLPA or the BBFC and PEGI. I don’t recognize this so-called spat. I have great respect for ELSPA and for PEGI and for the games industry...

Cooke also discussed the U.K.'s bifurcated game rating system, which currently uses both PEGI and the BBFC:

The conclusion that [Tonya Byron] reached was that we should still have a system in which both the BBFC and PEGI were involved for the UK but the BBFC should have a rather bigger role covering everything from age 12 and older.

 

In parallel, the House of Commons Select Committee on culture media and sports looked at the same kinds of questions as Tanya Byron, and they took a lot of evidence from many experts, including ELSPA.  They reached a similar conclusion to Byron.

Cooke also points out the difference between BBFC's mandate and that of ELSPA:

BBFC isn’t a lobbying organization, like ELSPA. It’s a statutory regulator. Our position is we’ll do what the government wants us to do... The key difference between us and PEGI is that we classify in accordance with guidelines that the British public has been consulted about. PEGI doesn’t do that and can’t really because it involves 27 different countries.

17 comments

PEGI vs. BBFC - Fight! ...Now with Bonus Paranoia

September 24, 2008 -

As GamePolitics readers know, the British video game industry has been lobbying forcefully to have the government declare content ratings the exclusive province of the PEGI system.

But, as gamesindustry.biz reports, ratings rival BBFC was quick to fire back to a recent attack launched by U.K. publishers group ELSPA, pointing out that both a government committee as well as Dr. Tanya Byron support the BBFC. From a statement issued by the group:

The BBFC rejects ELSPA's claims. They should be judged against the fact that both the Byron Review and the House of Commons CMS Committee have recommended a greater role for the BBFC in games classification. The BBFC's case will be developed in its response to the current government consultation.

As to the paranoia promised in this article's headline? Kotaku reports that a public relations firm representing PEGI agreed to answer its questions about the dust-up, but with the implication that it would do so only if Kotaku agreed to support PEGI beforehand and provided its transcript of a similar interview with the BBFC. From the P.R. firm's letter:

Is there any way that we could have confirmation from Kotaku’s editor that he supports PEGI – that way it might ease the way to getting an interview set up. Also, can you find out to me how many unique hits Kotaku gets in the UK. The reason is ELSPA may come back and say Kotaku is just US based. The fact that Kotaku is a US blog might make things tough – just trying to help set this up...

 

Also if you could provide the transcript for the BBFC interview that’d be useful.

67 comments

U.K. Game Biz Lobbies Against BBFC at Labour Party Gathering

September 22, 2008 -

By now, most GamePolitics readers probably know that the U.K. game industry is keen to see the government assign content rating duties to the privately-run Pan European Game Information (PEGI) service. At the same time, the industry is determined to keep the government's apparent choice, the British Board of Film Classification, at bay.

As reported by gamesindustry.biz, ELSPA, representing U.K. game publishers, has pleaded its case again. At a Labour Party Conference ELSPA boss Paul Jackson adminstered a bashing to the BBFC:

A linear ratings system like the one the BBFC uses is designed for films with a beginning, middle and end where the outcome is always the same. It just can't cope with the infinite variety and complexity of modern videogames, and the interaction between players.

 

The film ratings board continually downgrades games classified 18 by PEGI. They go to BBFC 15 or even BBFC 12. History shows us that BBFC ratings – and the UK – would regularly be out of step with our European neighbours.

34 comments

Despite ELSPA Denials, British Govt. Gives Ratings Nod to BBFC

July 31, 2008 -

Some rather curious developments out of the U.K. yesterday... 

Early on, James Kirkup, political correspondent for The Guardian, wrote a story to the effect that the British government would recommend that the BBFC, which rather famously banned Manhunt 2 last year, should rate games for the UK market. Kirkup predicted the official word would come today.

Later yesterday, ELSPA, which represents UK game publishers, called Kirkup's report "speculation" and "scaremongering."

Yet Kirkup has proved prescient. As Edge reports this morning:

A report from the UK House of Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media, and Sport has revealed that body’s preference in BBFC ratings over the industry self-regulating PEGI system...

 

the committee maintains that BBFC ratings are more “thorough and rigorous" than the PEGI system, and that the BBFC symbols “command greater confidence”... 

Meanwhile, the CMS committee's report itself concludes:

There is a distinct issue about labelling of video games to indicate the nature of their content. Two systems currently exist side by side: the industry awards its own ratings, and the British Board of Film Classification awards classifications to a small number of games which feature content unsuitable for children. The dual system is confusing, and Dr [Tanya] Byron recommended that there should instead be a single hybrid system. We believe that Dr Byron's solution may not command confidence in the games industry and would not provide significantly greater clarity for consumers.

 

While either of the systems operated by the BBFC and by the industry would be workable in principle, we believe that the widespread recognition of the BBFC's classification categories and their statutory backing offer significant advantages which the industry's system lacks. We therefore agree that the BBFC should have responsibility for rating games with content appropriate for adults or teenagers, as proposed by Dr Byron, and that these ratings should appear prominently. Distributors would of course be free to continue to use industry ratings in addition.

Gizmodo terms the CMS recommendation "decisive," adding:

The decision will come as a real blow to the pan-European games rating system, PEGI, backed by games software developer organisation, ELSPA as well as big guns like Microsoft, Nintendo and Ubisoft.
 

 

93 comments

U.K Game Publishers Dispute News Report that Govt. Has Chosen BBFC over PEGI

July 30, 2008 -

As GamePolitics reported this morning, a story in British newspaper The Telegraph claims that the U.K. government has already chosen the BBFC over industry favorite PEGI as the nation's future rating system.

MCVUK is now reporting that ELSPA, which represents U.K. game publishers, has disputed The Telegraph's story. An ELSPA rep told MCV:

The reports in parts of Fleet Street are, we would suggest, purely speculation. It is scaremongering and should be treated as such. The Government is now entering into a consulation period in which in which we are assured all the issues are being considered.

No decision has been made, and ELSPA will be fully engaged in this process in the months ahead.

GP: We can't help but note that ELSPA - not the British government - is denying the story about what the British government plans to do.


 

52 comments

U.K. Govt. to Tighten Game Ratings, Favors BBFC over PEGI

July 30, 2008 -

In the ongoing debate over which content rating scheme to use, British government officials appear to be coming down on the side of the BBFC rather than the PEGI system favored by the video game industry.

As reported by the Telegraph, on Thursday government ministers will issue proposals to tighten rules concerning ratings and expand the role of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) in rating games:

All computer games will have to carry cinema-style age classifications under new Government plans to protect children from scenes of explicit sex and disturbing violence.

 

Online computer games where players interact with strangers via the internet also face new classification rules for the first time.

The official action is being taken in response to recommendations made by Dr. Tanya Byron (left). The TV psychologist undertook a government-funded study in 2007 to examine the effects of video games and the Internet on children.

The Telegraph predicts a "fierce backlash" from UK game publishers:

Many games makers have strongly opposed moves to expand the BBFC's role in classifying games. The [game industry] group will today host a meeting in London of software chief executives to discuss how best to resist the expansion of the BBFC's role in rating games.

 

Games makers are mounting a lobbying campaign to discredit the BBFC, arguing that it lacks the expertise for the task. Games makers argue that parental education about games is more important than new classification rules.

While the industry may think the BBFC too restrictive, at the other end of the spectrum, Conservative Parliamentarian Julian Brazier believes the organization isn't tough enough:

The guidelines are too weak on the part of the BBFC. I don't believe it is an adequate guarantor of standards. Only the [video game] industry can appeal the BBFC's decisions, so in practice, classifications can only be reduced. We should have a system like that in Australia, where any member of the general public can ask for an age classification to be reviewed.

The BBFC is best known in the gaming community for its controversial 2007 decision to ban Manhunt 2. That ruling was later overturned on appeal.

The Telegraph is also running an FAQ on the government plan which mentions the government timetable:

Ministers will on Thursday open a four-month consultation on their proposals, trying to win agreement from the games industry for tighter classification. The final rules will be drawn up after that and are likely to be implemented next year.

 
71 comments

Did ESA Boss Endorse PEGI Over BBFC at E3?

July 24, 2008 -

MCVUK writes that Entertainment Software Association CEO Michael Gallagher (left) endorsed the Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) rating system over that of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) during last week's state-of-the-industry speech at E3 in Los Angeles.

From the MCVUK report:

As part of his keynote speech, Gallagher was critical of the Byron Report’s highly controversial backing of the BBFC system – and made it clear that the Entertainment Software Association believes it was the wrong way to go.

MCVUK is referring to this section of the Gallagher speech:

Friends and allies across the globe are facing their own challenges. Our success as a business and entertainment medium has caught the attention and the interest of foreign regulators and governments. Earlier this year we saw the release of the Byron Report, which praised the ESRB's work with retailers to help enforce sales restrictions to minors. We are now seeing a robust debate between the BBFC and PEGI. And while this is a European question requiring a European solution, our American experience proves that industry self-regulation is the best way to provide parents the information they need to make appropriate purchasing decisions.

Frankly, we're not reading Gallagher's remarks as expressing criticism of the Byron Review, although the ESA head's preference for self-regulation is clear. On the other hand, it would be natural for the ESA to back PEGI, as its UK game industry counterparts, including publishers' group ELSPA, have expressed a clear distaste for handing game rating responsibilities over to the BBFC.

We've got a request in to the ESA for clarification on Gallagher's view. In the meantime, you can read the full text of Gallagher's E3 speech here.

15 comments

UK Minister: Keep the Kids in Mind During BBFC-PEGI Rating Tussle

July 9, 2008 -

According to a report on MCVUK, UK Minister for Culture, Creative Industries and Tourism Margaret Hodge (left) has urged the video game industry and British Board of Film Classification to act in a "grownup way" as the government sorts out the future roles of the BBFC and PEGI rating systems.

The process has become contentious of late, with the industry voicing a strong preference for PEGI and the BBFC lobbying for an expanded role in rating video game content.

Of the dust-up, Minister Hodge said:

Please avoid this become a battle between two regulatory bodies. Let’s have a shared solution that everyone can buy into... Child safety is very, very important – I get more letters as a minister about this issue than I do about anything else. So your customers – my voters – are demanding we act...

 

Both BBFC and PEGI have their merit, and I’m not going to come down on one side or the other. We do need a system that can reassure parents and teachers that the content is safe. You must accept that most people in the UK know and trust the BBFC ratings. But I do understand that PEGI is much newer and was designed specifically for video games.

 

What we’ve got to make sure, at the end of the day, is that we meet the essential criteria that Tanya Byron set out in her comprehensive review. My challenge to you, the industry, is to respond to that consultation appropriately, but approach it not in a way that it is a battle to be won against government, but a problem we ought to be able to resolve in a grown up way to meet the requirements of all our stakeholders.

 

14 comments

UK Government Releases Action Plan Based on Byron Report

June 24, 2008 -

The British government has released a six-point action plan which endorses the recommendations concerning the Internet and video games made by Dr. Tanya Byron (left) earlier this year.

Referring to Byron's work as "groundbreaking", the document says that the government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown has accepted all of the child psychiatrist's recommendations. While the first four chapters of the action plan address how children relate to the Internet, the final two sections discuss how Byron's recommendations regarding video games are to be implemented.

Chapter 5, Reforming the video games classification system, notes that Byron called for a hybrid content rating system involving both the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and the Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) ratings. Byron's recommendation has generated some controversy in the UK, where the game industry strongly favors PEGI. It was the BBFC, GamePolitics readers may recall, which banned Manhunt 2 in 2007 before being overruled by England's High Court.

As it turns out, the government is delaying its decision in this regard. Instead, it will "launch a four month public consultation" beginning in July. Following this review, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport will publish its plan for reforming game ratings by early next year. DMCS will also work with game rating organizations to "agree to a way forward for classifying online gaming."

Chapter 6 outlines a number of steps, including:

  • raising parental awareness about video game ratings
  • setting standards for providing ratings information at point-of-sale
  • setting standards for parental controls by November
  • setting advertising guidelines for games

GP: Overall, the action plan generates no shockwaves. The key question involving who will rate games for the UK market - PEGI, BBFC, or both - remains unresolved for now.

Get your own copy of the UK government's action plan here.

Rebellion Exec: Byron Report was Good for Video Game Biz

June 23, 2008 -

The Tanya Byron review may have been controversial in some quarters, but Chris Kingsley (left), Chief Technology Officer of UK developer Rebellion is fine with it, reports gameindustry.biz.

In fact, Kingsley believes the TV psychiatrist's probe into the effects of video games on children was a net plus for the industry:

It helped to raise the profile in a way, and helped to answer a lot of questions. But games is just one section of it, and I think a lot of the challenges are faced by the other sectors are potentially things that we'll be facing in the future. So that will be interesting to watch.

And while ELSPA is currently lobbying for PEGI to become the one-stop content rating shop for UK games, Kingsley told gi.biz he's okay with Dr. Byron's recommendation that game rating duties be turned over to the BBFC:

As long as the BBFC can cope, and I can see some issues with how they rate games - because rating games is a more difficult prospect than movies, which you can just sit down for a couple of hours and you're going to know what's in there. With games there's a lot more content and a lot more potential for missing things, or if you don't quite play the game in the right way, you're not going to see the right things happen.

 

What we don't want to see is regulation getting in the way of the games industry too much, but we'll have to see how that works out in the next few weeks and months, as to what actually happens.

 

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Andrew EisenPlus, with Nintendo carrying the Wii U almost all by itself, it could help plug one of the unfortunately inevitable release schedule gaps.08/01/2014 - 3:23pm
Andrew EisenAn HD re-release would be cool though. It's a great game (and quite the looker, especially when up-rezzed) and more people should play it (the game had a limited release at a time when the Wii was all but dead an buried).08/01/2014 - 3:21pm
E. Zachary KnightSo no, people are not going to need to play the Wii game to undstand or enjoy the Wii U game.08/01/2014 - 1:27pm
E. Zachary KnightFrom what I understand, the two games have as much to do with eachother as Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy 2.08/01/2014 - 1:26pm
MaskedPixelanteIt's my secret hope that Nintendo announces Xenoblade HD to be released in the leadup to Xenoblade Chronicles X, or at least a mass market version of the first game so that people aren't going into this one blind.08/01/2014 - 12:40pm
PHX CorpI'm going to do a test stream later today, if anyone is intrested07/31/2014 - 2:40pm
Andrew EisenYes, I'm such a big Nintendo dork that I read Nintendo's quarterly financial reports.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenCool tidbit - Mario Kart 8 sales account for more than half of total Wii U software sales for the last quarter even though it was only available for the last third.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenStill a pretty cool promotion. Unfortunately for me, I'm not interested in purchasing Mario Kart 8 and I already owned or didn't want any of the free games on offer.07/31/2014 - 1:43pm
Andrew EisenInteresting that EU had 10 games to choose from while North America only had four.07/31/2014 - 1:41pm
MaskedPixelanteIt certainly worked, I probably would never have bought Mario Kart 8 if it didn't come with a free copy of Wind Waker HD.07/31/2014 - 1:14pm
Andrew EisenI imagine will see similar promotions like "Buy Mario Kart 8 get a download code for one of these specific games" but almost certainly not for all of its (however you would define) biggest releases.07/31/2014 - 11:24am
MaskedPixelanteI wonder if Nintendo is going to be doing "buy one get one free" promos for all their biggest releases going forward.07/31/2014 - 10:48am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/special-report-retail-revolt-over-pc-code-strippers/013614007/31/2014 - 8:27am
ZippyDSMleeWouldn't they be able to afford and get done in a timely manner a general gba emluator for the 3DS? It seems to me if they want to make money off sales they need to do it.07/31/2014 - 7:25am
Sora-ChanAmbassador program, that's what I was looking for. Anyway the other games that have been made no longer exclusive to the early adopters got updates in their software. It'll only be a matter of time more than likely for the GBA to get the same treatment.07/31/2014 - 5:35am
Sora-ChanI might be naming it incorrectly when I say "founder" i mean the program for earlier adopters.07/31/2014 - 5:34am
Sora-Chanthe 3DS's GBA emulator was a rush job due to the founder program. No other GBA titles have been released on the 3DS yet. If/When they do get around to it, they'll more than likely update the emulation software.07/31/2014 - 5:32am
Zenemulator...it's not just a slap job that makes "some" work..they do it for each which is why they work so well. I would rather have the quality over just a slap job.07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
ZenMatthew there is a difference between "worked" and "accurate". You play the Nintendo VC titles they play as damn close to the original as possible. The PSP would just run them as best they could, issues and all. And Masked...EACH VC title has their own07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
 

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