Government set to back BBFC in age ratings battle

The Government has ignored the industry’s backing of the PEGI system and has plumped for an expansion of the BBFC’s role in age ratings.

A report in The Telegraph states: In a consultation document that will spark a fierce backlash from the software industry, the Government will propose expanding the role of the British Board of Film Classification in certifying games.”

Following advice from Tanya Byron, the psychologist who reviewed children’s exposure to new technologies, Margaret Hodge, a Culture minister, will propose expanding the BBFC’s role as part of a new, expanded game classification system.”

The report adds that a meeeting of top publisher execs is being held today to discuss how best to resist the expansion of the BBFC’s role in rating games.”

The Government’s decision comes despite widespread support for the PEGI system within the industry and ELSPA chief executive Paul Jackson’s warning that backing the BBFC would be a step backwards”.

Jeremy Hunt, the Conservative shadow culture secretary, also hit out at the proposal:

"Parents want a simple classification system for video games. The Government’s suggestion for a hybrid system would simply confuse matters and not ensure the long-term protection of children."

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