“Freedom of expression is one of the foundations of our society.
So how do we ensure that minors are protected from unsuitable or even harmful content, while making it possible for adults to see, read and play what they want?”
EU Commissioner Viviane Reding, addressing the 2007 ISFE conference.
Brussels, 22 November 2007– ISFE, the Interactive Software Federation of Europe, has launched the report: The Challenges of Online Gaming, which provides a unique insight into the current debate facing the industry. This report is the principal output from a two-day expert conference held earlier this year which brought together 20 panellists and over 100 stakeholders from the gaming industry to debate a series of issues– many of them controversial. This can be explained by the nature of the industry, one which blurs the lines that mainstream entertainment draws between the roles of performers and audiences. The report is now available in printed form upon request<1> or can be downloaded from www.isfe.eu.
The 30-page report of the high-level conference, held in Brussels in June of this year, gives an in-depth summary of the various issues concerning games and today’s society, particularly online gaming, a hallmark of our new digital lifestyle. The report includes numerous quotations from attending industry experts, who address topics including: Freedom of expression v. the need for regulation; the popularity of gaming amongst people of all ages and the labelling of online gaming sites; virtual violence and violence in real life; gaming literacy in the broader context of media literacy; games as a learning or clinical tool; and the economic impact of online gaming and its regulation.
The ISFE event illustrated the increasingly multidimensional and cross-sectoral impact of gaming, deeply connected as it is with leisure, appropriation of skills and knowledge, school and family. It not only represents entertainment but also equals learning, fostering of self-confidence, a new means of socialising and a whole new world which is ours to create.
More information on ISFE and PEGI can be found at:
<1> Please send requests to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Established in 1998 and registered in 2002 under Belgian law as an international association with scientific and pedagogical purposes, ISFE (the Interactive Software Federation of Europe) represents the interests of the interactive software sector throughout the 27 EU Member States plus Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Today, ISFE membership comprises 13 major publishers of interactive software as well as 13 interactive software trade associations throughout Europe.
ISFE has been running the Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) system since 2003 (see www.pegi.info). PEGI provides an age rating recommendation system intended to inform European parents regarding content that is suitable for their children. As a classification system PEGI supports informed adult choice and does not censor content.
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