Government got it right with PEGI, says Byron

Tanya Byron today gave the thumbs up to the Government’s recommendations on video game classification.

As part of its Digital Britain report, Westminster revealed earlier this week that PEGI is to become the sole age ratings model in the UK.

Talking at the end of a vibrant Digital Safety conference in London, Tanya Byron, author of last year’s Byron Review: Safer Children In A Digital World, offered her personal thoughts on this week’s decision and how it affects the games world.

"Video games were the big issue in my review, specifically their classification system. I didn’t have time to outline a new classification system entirely, but I did outline principles for how it should look.

"My suggestions then went to consultation and the Government have this week made their decision, which is an enhanced PEGI system. My recommendations have been upheld and it’s a really great decision which I thoroughly support."

The new, single-classification system will replace the current hybrid model that has two separate sets of symbols – PEGI’s alongside the BBFC’s.

Byron added that she hoped the strategy set out by Digital Britain, and the new PEGI system, could help reduce the "moral panic and media scare stories" that often swirl around video games.

"One of my children is dyslexic, but actually learned to read thanks to video games. If I had just tried to sit them down with a book, it wouldn’t have been a lot harder to make real progress," she noted.

The Video Standards Council (VSC), has also been handed a new role. The independent organisation has a mandate to implement the PEGI classification system for all video games in the UK.

The new system consists of five age categories and a series of pictorial boxes, describing content such as bad language or violence.

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