BBFC to rethink age guidelines

The British Board Of Film Classification is set to alter its system of deciding on age ratings after new extensive research into video games showed that interactivity could actually limit the effect of violence on gamers.

The BBFC currently uses the same set of parameters for rating both movies and games, but this week’s report has led the body to a new understanding of key differences between the two mediums.

“We’re looking to review our games classification policy in the next few months – and that’s one of the reasons for this research,” BBFC spokesperson Sue Clark told MCV.

“We have traditionally taken the view that because a game is interactive, by definition we need to be more careful. But when you watch a film you actually have less control than when you play games. It’s easier for you to lose that sense of reality.

“One of the key conclusions of this report is that interactivity actually helps players distance reality from adult experiences in games.”

The 107-page BBFC report, Playing Video Games, was the result of a research project involving interviews with video games players from young children to those in their early 40s, as well as parents of gamers and industry commentators.

The BBFC discovered that younger gamers are influenced to play titles such as Grand Theft Auto and Manhunt by peer pressure – and that negative press coverage of violent titles significantly increased their uptake.

However, the firm noted that younger players often find violence in games upsetting – particularly when they play games rated for adults.

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Tags: violence , bbfc

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