The Interactive Software Federation of Europe has fired out a worrying warning to Gordon Brown – labelling any move to drop its PEGI ratings in the wake of Dr. Tanya Byron’s inquiry a ‘mistake’ and a ‘backwards step’ for the UK.
ISFE director general Patrice Chazerand told MCV that the body’s own research shows that the current PEGI/BBFC shared system is trusted and understood by parents – in stark contrast to the findings of Dr. Byron’s Review.
I would resent that idea of equating games to movies – it’s not the same experience,” Chazerand told MCV. It’s a step backwards. If we are to see a move to movie-like classification, I would see it as a mistake. But I cannot speak for the UK public – or the UK Government.”
His comments come after The Guardian newspaper reported on last Saturday’s front page that uniform ‘cinema-style’ ratings are to be brought in by Labour following Dr. Byron’s Review – the results of which are expected next month. The newspaper’s story followed a similar prediction by MCV on last week’s cover.
Chazerand also admitted that a switch to universal BBFC ratings would be damaging to PEGI – and that the UK may come to regret the move as games distribution evolves online.
If your Government goes for a national solution over a pan-European one, I would take it as a blow to PEGI and not a reflection of the industry being global,” he commented.
It’s not fitting to have a national system of game classification if you are current with the internet and if you are supportive of it.
ELSPA told MCV that it could not provide a comment on the outcome of the Byron Review until it was published. next month.