The Industry vs. Tanya Byron: Pt 3/3

Ray Maguire:

What you were asked to do, you’ve delivered on. But actually we have something that’s not the best system in the first place that we couldn’t sort out in the European territory. So to have a system where we’ve kind of got one bit with another and ticked the boxes with what we had to do legally and to get the products to market. However, what we now have to do is look at the consultation and processes you’re talking about over the next 18 months and work out how we can broaden this from a UK remit to a European one.

As David [Reeves] says, it’s at the top of the agenda in Switzerland, it certainly is in Scandinavia and many more territories. If we fix something here in the short term, we will be fixing it again in the very near future. We should take the opportunity to take on board your recommendations of how this affects children, then we have a look at the supply chain side of it – the route to market. The route to market is changing. While it’s recorded media and we have something on a packet that’s okay.

But ten years from now the ratio will have gone from 90 per cent in-store to 90 per cent online. Therefore, we have a situation that if you’re a retailer, you’re responsible for the goods that come through your chain. But that’s not true with the ISP. How does this report get Government to figure out the responsibility of how we control either content online? It’s not a games industry issue. It’s an issue for every industry with companies that have a website – and when we look at user generated content, it’s a people issue. How do we get the halls of Westminster to think about online? We have ratings UK on products, not a good thing in terms of thinking about European trade – we’ve discussed this. But if we have to do that, we have to do that. But that will not work online. How do we upwardly manage this issue?

Tanya Byron:

Interestingly, a number of video games industry people, when it came to my call for evidence, filled nothing out in terms of what do in the online space. I found that really interesting – from a number of really quite key players in your industry.

That spoke volumes – it says this is a very new conversation that we’re only at the beginning of, and I think the questions you ask there link to that. PEGI, the BBFC and the industry all need to take an active role in the period of consultation we now have – and beyond that as well.

If you look at the recommendations I made in the online space, you’ll see the UK Council For Child Internet Safety, chaired by home office representiatives, that will tackle harmful online content, things like bulliying and suicide websites. I really want to make sure representatives from your industry will sit on this online council– I’ve been careful to make that very clear.

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