‘Parents responsible for under-age gaming, not the industry’ – Byron

Monday, 6th August 2012 10:54 GMT By Dave Cook

Tanya Byron, author of the Byron Review – a study into the way children are affected by gaming and exposure to the internet – has underlined the role of parents in ensuring their children don’t play games featuring mature content.

Byron’s comments echo statements issued by key industry players when PEGI became UK law last week.

The Byron Review was also instrumental in the implementation of PEGI.

In an Metro interview Byron reiterated her 2008 findings that parents need to claim responsibility:

“When I did the review in 2008, I didn’t see a cynical industry that was there to create games just to exploit and make money. The industry has always been very clear with me, in a very genuine way, that adult content is created for adults – it’s not created for kids.”

Byron added, “This has never been about putting the blame on the gaming industry. It’s actually, I think, to have a very simple, streamlined system which the games industry is working really clearly with to make happen and being really responsible about letting people understand the content they’re making and who it’s for.”

“But the gaming industry is fully supporting and enabling parents to get access to information wherever they can about these issues so fundamentally then it is all about the parents.”

“We cannot subcontract responsibility for how children play games to the industry,” Byron continued, “but I think now the industry has got a much clearer system what we see is an industry that’s being absolutely transparent about what they’re producing and how parents should be thinking about it when their kids are playing.”

“And now it’s fundamentally about educating and empowering parents because that’s where the regulation really lies when it comes to children and gaming.”

What do you think? Is this issue getting old, or does more need to be done? Let us know below.

Thanks OXM.



  1. slayernl

    Its getting very old, people should just use their brain if they had one.
    Just know your kids get involved and be a parent, if you have trouble finding what games are ok to play for your kid that use PEGI.
    If you know your kid is younger but can handle games for a more mature audience than their also no problem.

    But at least be involved and do some research on the issue.

    Don’t blame things in the world on things you do not understand, that makes you look stupid.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. drewbles82

    Isn’t it obvious. Other than borrowing a mates game, downloading illegally or some douche at a game shop selling it to them, its always going to be the parents fault.
    You could do it so anyone who owns a console has to input their date of birth so if a parent buys them a console, and they get hold of an 18 rated game, it won’t work. Then again they will just make up a date of birth to play it like they do on a lot of social networking sites.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Vaughn.H

    The issue is getting old, however as PEGI has finally become legally enforceable it’s a good time to retread old ground and ensure parents know what they can do. Unlike a film in a cinema, if a parent buys an 18 film for their under-age child then it’s at their discretion if the child watches it, with games parents don’t see the same similarity. As drewbles suggested, an age gate system could work, however said system has been in place since this generation of consoles launched and yet I’d wager 99% of parents – or users – don’t know it exists,or how to activate it.

    What is needed is the education of parents, as time goes by the problem will erode as gaming savvy parents begin to emerge, however the immediate problem can only be sorted by showing parents how to regulate what their child sees. Having worked in a major games retailer for a few years, its incredible the aamunt of parents who allow their kids to play some hyper-violent titles and just dismiss its content because “it’s just a game”.

    Perhaps one solution would be to create games that are multi-tiered. allowing a 15 year-old to play an 18 title when a filter is on that remove excess blood or language, takes out some of the ,ore grisly animations or set-pieces when applied through an age restricted console. Sure I can see many being perturbed by such a method as it “removes” the full experience, however maybe that’s a suitable penalty for playing a game underage?

    #3 2 years ago
  4. ArithonUK

    The PS3 has age restrictions for ONLINE games, but it still lets an account for an 8-year-old run a 18-Cert game without any problem. Surely that is a technical omission on the manufacturer’s part?
    I don’t know about the X-BOX or Wii.

    If I can restrict film & TV viewing with a PIN on my Apple TV, shouldn’t parents be able to do the same with consoles? You can’t “borrow a mate’s copy” of Resident Evil or COD if it won’t run without a password!
    I’m sure we can get this on any device if the manufacturers put their firmware where their lip-service to parental controls has been…

    Also developers need to take responsibility. Why? Well SIMS2 (which I personally hate) had a 7+ rating, but SIMS3 had a 12+ rating because the SIMS were having sex (I assume that’s why). Try explaining to a child “no you can’t have the new SIMS because the developer is kinky and twisted”. Also, many fairly innocuous games are PURPOSELY made 16+ rating by ADDING pointless swearing to the dialogue to get a parental advisory sticker and by implication make the game more “risqué” – squarely and cynically aiming to attract the underage market. That cannot be blamed on parents. It’s no less deliberate and undesirable than cigarette adverts hung over playgrounds.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Mineral4r7s

    And for what reason should the kids put in their real age?

    #5 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.