EU tells games industry to better protect minors

By Patrick Garratt, Tuesday, 22 April 2008 21:45 GMT

The EU’s executive body has given the European games industry two years to come up with a widely used general code of conduct to protect children from violent images in games.

“Creators have to enjoy freedom of expression but at the same time it’s an industry that impacts society,” EU Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding told a news conference.

“When children go out to play today they enter the world of joysticks. We are not quite sure where they go and there is real anxiety from parents,” EU Consumer Protection Commissioner Meglena Kuneva added.

ELSPA’s Paul Jackson was on hand to stand up for the PEGI, the currently used European age rating.

“Importantly, it protects children as games move increasingly online and therefore should be adopted by UK regulators. We look forward to discussing this at the forthcoming UK consultation,” he said.

Remember that in the wake of the Byron Report, the British Board of Film Classification will soon be in charge of rating games meant for people aged 12 and over in the UK, and its findings will be enforceable by law. PEGI will only be used for games rated under 12. The UK is the largest games market in Europe.

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