BBFC to launch online ratings system

The BBFC is to launch a new online ratings platform for downloadable games.

The body admits that BBFC Online has the potential to rival PEGI’s equivalent – which drew much acclaim during Dr. Byron’s Review of young people’s access to inappropriate digital material.

BBFC Online is due to be launched at the end of the month or in June, and will apply to both downloadable games and movies.

However, BBFC director David Cooke claimed that, although the body wants to gain the full support of the industry, it would rather work with PEGI than against it.

He told MCV: Tanya Byron has said that we need to look at and improve the PEGI Online Safety code and we’re happy to help be part of that process.

We have two options, to work with PEGI, or to compete with them. We’d much prefer the first option, but if PEGI Online collapsed, we’d have to step up.

I believe in practice it goes a bit further than PEGI Online. We’d like to see it beefed up. Material on PEGI Online at the moment is largely self-monitored and there is no dedicated resource for doing any more than that.

Part of this is a question of resource – have you got the bodies that can run independent spot checking – and we could certainly produce them. We’re large enough that we can adjust or even recruit if we need to.”

But we need to sit down with PEGI and publishers and work out what strengthening is feasible and needed following the Byron Review.”

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