6 June 2011 - London, United Kingdom– Video games trade body, UKIE, welcomes the Bailey Review of the Commercialisation and Sexualisation of Childhood, emphasising the responsible action the video games and interactive entertainment industry is already taking to protect children.
In its own submission to the Review ( http://www.ukie.info/content/ukie-response-bailey-review ), UKIE highlighted the positive actions the video games and interactive entertainment industry is already taking to protect children. This includes the introduction of the PEGI age rating system for video games. Thanks to the successful lobbying of UKIE (then as ELSPA), the PEGI system was enshrined in law in the Digital Economy Act 2010.
The video games industry already offers parents the opportunity to make an active choice over what type of content they want to allow their children to access through the parental controls available on all games consoles, and is pleased to see the Bailey Review recognise active choice as a positive step forward. All games consoles are fitted with parental controls. Parents have the choice to filter content that they feel is age-inappropriate and to restrict certain online functions, such as online chat. The video games industry is proud to be a leader in this regard, and welcomes Bailey’s recommendation for this standard to be adopted more widely.
As all consoles connect to the internet, our industry understands the needs to have a robust system of controls in place. Alongside the parental control functionality mentioned above, the video games industry is an Executive member of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) and is an active participant in discussions regarding industry self-regulation and connected consumer equipment.
The video games industry is also continuing to refresh its online safety offering. Whilst the PEGI age rating system provides parents with a means of assessing whether content is appropriate for their children, our industry is committed to expanding the PEGI Online system, to ensure an even safer online gaming environment for children.
Our industry is committed to a PEGI awareness campaign in the lead up to PEGI’s implementation latter this year. This will be another opportunity for us to increase awareness and understanding of the age rating system, online safety and PEGI’s links to parental controls, and to give parents the chance to feedback any views, comments or concerns they might have.
Noting the Bailey Review’s concerns over marketing and advertising to children, the video games industry is pleased to report that it already achieves a high level of advertising and marketing compliance both with the ASA Code and PEGI labeling guidelines. In 2008, a survey by the ASA showed that 99% of video games adverts were compliant with their advertising codes. Similarly, a recent survey by PEGI to measure the compliance with the PEGI labeling guidelines found that the UK achieved a 78.9% compliance rate across all media, with compliance of nearly 90% for press advertisements and over 80% for TV advertisements.<1>
Andy Payne, Chairman of UKIE said:“The games industry leads the way in its approach to the health and wellbeing of consumers, especially children, and we are pleased that the Bailey review recognises this.”
“We campaigned hard to have the PEGI age rating system adopted in the UK and are proud that the parental controls available on all games consoles provide parents with the active choice needed to control internet capability and limit access to age-inappropriate content.”
“Online child safety will continue to be a priority for the video games industry and we shall continue to develop the tools that parents need, through further developing initiatives such as the PEGI Online system.”
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The Association for United Kingdom Interactive Entertainment or UKIE is a trade body that represents the whole of the UK’s video games and wider interactive entertainment industry. Founded in 1989 (and formerly known as ELSPA), UKIE’s membership includes games publishers, developers and the academic institutions that support the industry.
UKIE works with government to champion a range of issues including age ratings, education and skills, tax incentives and protecting intellectual property rights. It also works with the media to ensure true and accurate representation of the sector by raising awareness of the industry’s positive economic contribution and the societal benefits of gaming to policy makers, regulators and consumers.
One of UKIE’s key roles is to support its members by providing them with key market information, promoting careers and offering the business support services, training and best-practice knowledge to enable them to operate most effectively.
In addition, UKIE works with GfK Chart-Track to compile weekly, monthly and annual retail charts and sales reports for the UK market.