Byron report will recommend film-style ratings, cigarette-like warnings and minimum 12 age for UK

By Patrick Garratt, Thursday, 27 March 2008 07:00 GMT

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Two reports are claiming that the Byron Report will today recommend a film-style ratings system with recognisable symbols for the UK, as well as lowering the statutory requirement for game ratings to 12.

According to the newly relaunched GamesIndustry.biz, ex-TV presenter Tanya Byron will also recommend that the British games industry should also make sustained and high profile efforts to increase parents’ understanding of age ratings, and improve parental controls to enable better policing of game-playing in the home.

The Times is claiming that Byron will also recommend cigarette-style warnings for certain games. For those of you outside the UK, cigarettes here have a large portion of the packet taken up with a white, block warning.

According to the Times report, retailers that sell rated games to minors are to face up to five years in prison.

PEGI, the current voluntary system for rating games in Europe, is out, from the sound of that report.

“The alternative Pan-European Game Information system is considered to be ineffective because it uses symbols that are confusing and distributors effectively chose their own ratings by filling in a form about their product,” said the Time. “Dr Byron wants a single statutory classification system.”

It’s as yet unknown if the BBFC will be rating games in the UK or a new body is to be set up.

The Byron Report was commissioned by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown to look into better regulating games and internet use among the young in the UK.

The final paper is expected to be deliver at 9am GMT this morning.

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