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ELSPA “fully supports” Byron Report, but warns on online gaming

Thursday, 27th March 2008 11:33 GMT By Patrick Garratt

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ELSPA head Paul Jackson has said he welcomes the Byron Report in a just-issued statement, but has warned that the paper may not be complete enough to cover issues related to online gaming.

“We fully support Dr Byron’s advice to parents on the use of technology in the home and parental awareness of their children’s activities, including the need for wider awareness of age ratings on video games,” he said.

“We believe in one legally enforceable system for classification of video games and to build increased public awareness of both the age ratings system and the long-standing availability and use of parental controls on all games consoles.

“However, we are concerned that the proposals as they stand may struggle to keep up with the public’s increasing desire to buy and play online.”

Jackson also welcomed the desire for the Government to talk to the industry in general, and from his comments it’s clear that no decision has yet been made on who’s actually going to be rating games in the UK on the basis of Byron’s recommendations.

“The games industry would need to be re-assured that the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) would be capable of delivering against any new remit, or whether PEGI may be more appropriate. We welcome the news that the Government wishes to consult with the industry on any changes to the classification system,” he said.

Press release after the link.

ELSPA STATEMENT ON THE LAUNCH OF THE BYRON REVIEW

Thursday 27 March, 2008, London/… ELSPA, the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association, welcomes the findings of the Byron Review. It lays out an important framework to deliver a better understanding of how to protect children on-line and when playing video games.

Paul Jackson, Director General, ELSPA, said: “We fully support Dr Byron’s advice to parents on the use of technology in the home and parental awareness of their children’s activities, including the need for wider awareness of age ratings on video games.

“We believe in one legally enforceable system for classification of video games and to build increased public awareness of both the age ratings system and the long-standing availability and use of parental controls on all games consoles.

“However, we are concerned that the proposals as they stand may struggle to keep up with the public’s increasing desire to buy and play on-line.

“The games industry would need to be re-assured that the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) would be capable of delivering against any new remit, or whether PEGI may be more appropriate. We welcome the news that the Government wishes to consult with the industry on any changes to the classification system.”

“We look forward to working very closely with Government over the next few months to address these concerns as the implications of the review are fully understood.”

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