ELSPA has fired back at headline-grabbing claims made today by the BBFC that parents in the UK are concerned over child safety and the content of video games.
A YouGov poll put together by the British Board of Film Classification suggested that three quarters of British parents are concerned about the content of video games and the same number want independent regulation of their content – conveniently the kind of regulation the BBFC offers.
David Cooke, Director of the BBFC, commented: This poll clearly shows parents support a regulatory system for games that is independent of the industry and UK based, reflecting UK sensibilities and sensitivities. The UK public wants the protection of children to be paramount when regulating games which, of course, reflects the concerns which led to Tanya Byron being asked to produce her report.
"The BBFC has been classifying games for over 20 years and our decisions reflect the views of the public. Our classification systems and symbols are known and trusted by the public and in a converging media world they want to know what their children are playing as well as watching.”
But ELSPA has stepped in to point out that the games industry feels that rival classification system PEGI is still the better option.
Michael Rawlinson, director of the organisation, said: "Our first concern is to protect British children. UK parents need a system for videogames age classification that is built with the protection of the new generation of children in mind and as such delivers a robust system that works as well for games bought in-store as played online. Gamers no longer just play with their mates but play online, and we need a system that reflects this situation and protects their interests. The independently administered PEGI system is the right solution for child safety.
"Naturally we will support the PEGI system with a multi million pound campaign that helps parents understand that the right system for real protection of their children is PEGI. "
He added that "anecdotally, we have conducted our own research with You Gov that confirms our position".