Tag Archives: byron report
Thu, Jun 26, 2008 | 06:54 BST
Sorry, missed this last night. The UK Government has published an action plan based on the recent Byron review, detailing how recommendations on games classification and internet usage by children is to be implemented. From this GI report:
Beginning this July, the government plans a four month public consultation on the reform of the videogames classification system, followed by published proposals in early 2009.
The Department of Culture Media and Sport will also work with the industry to agree on the classification of online games.
“The UK videogames industry is a real success story and the internet is now part of our lives in a way that we couldn’t have imagined a few years ago,” commented Margaret Hodge, Culture Minister.
“But just because these technologies are fast-moving and exciting doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have appropriate safeguards.
“By taking forward Dr Byron’s recommendations we will help children to safely navigate the internet and allow parents to make informed decisions about what is appropriate for their child,” she said.
By autumn 2008, the government also hopes to begin raising awareness of videogame ratings to the general public.
Lots more through the link.
Fri, Apr 04, 2008 | 10:38 BST
Another, and hopefully the last, interview with Tanya Byron, author of last week’s Byron Report, this one courtesy of MCV. Apparently Byron’s son is more thankful than most that she didn’t lay some kind of evil smackdown on videogaming as a whole.
“My son, when I was given this job last year, said to me: ‘Mummy, please do not ban videogames because I will have no friends.’ He literally said on the morning the Review was published: ‘Thanks mum. Phew!’”
Please let that be it. Please.
Thu, Apr 03, 2008 | 07:08 BST
PEGI boss madman Patrice Chazerand has come to the ridiculous conclusion that people should stop thinking about competition between the BBFC and PEGI and focus on how the two ratings bodies can work together for the good of the British people.
“I don’t know if I’m being too visionary, but I think we should stop thinking in terms of competition and start thinking more in terms of cooperation,” he said. “You’ve heard me say that if asked what my preference is, and what the industry has said, that PEGI would be the single ratings system, but as long as the government takes on board the Byron recommendations, you’re confronted with a situation where you have to cooperate.
“I think it’s a different logic to that of competition – I would say that productive cooperation, the one envisioned by Tanya Byron to better serve the interests of the UK, would be true cooperation – not competition.”
We’re not sure what the hell you mean by public services working towards a safer society as opposed to playing a pathetic game of oneupmanship instead of doing some work, but we’d thank you to keep your opinions to yourself, Patrice.
And where would we be then?
Tue, Apr 01, 2008 | 14:24 BST
Here. EA boss Keith Ramsdale still thinks PEGI’s the best choice to rate UK games, despite confirmation that the BBFC will be rating all games meant for 12 year-olds and over in the wake of the Byron Report.
“As an Industry we have been unanimously clear that there should be a single system and that system should be PEGI,” he said. “PEGI is an efficient system to help people make appropriate content choices for players of all ages. A Nielsen study showed PEGI has 94% awareness with the UK game-playing public and it follows a tougher regime than the BBFC. In 2007 PEGI gave 47 titles an 18 rating but BBFC downgraded 21 of those to 15 or less. We believe that UK consumers will be far better served with this system and this route would offer the most practical, efficient and compliant system.”
He added: “EA believes PEGI is the most suitable system for rating video games. EA and the wider Industry have and will engage with the appropriate Government departments to ensure the right decisions are made in the best interest of the British public.”
Changing the mind of the Government? Good luck.
Tue, Apr 01, 2008 | 15:20 BST
That was the news – Week 13, 2008: Commendable Byron talks common sense, becomes tomorrow’s chip paper
The Byron Report – a study commissioned by the UK Government to investigate games and internet use among the young in the UK – was delivered last week, saying almost exactly what everyone thought it was going to say and showing its author, Doctor Tanya Byron, in a highly professional light.
Probably the best thing about the publication, however, is that fact it’s now been and gone and we can (almost) stop writing about it.
Fri, Mar 28, 2008 | 19:48 GMT
In a response that could have been tailored for idiots like Anne Diamond, Byron told critics of gaming to “stop panicking, get a grip, move on in the debate and just be sensible about who plays what at what age, and what’s appropriate.”
The comments came as part of a massive interview with Byron, which revealed she was:
- Pleased with the general response to her Review despite “completely wrong” early reporting.
- Promised publicly and privately by ministers that the government will act on recommendations.
- “Taking a step back” from gaming while considering her next move.
- Discussing with ELSPA head Paul Jackson his fears over BBFC’s role.
- Assured by parts of industry that they would help fund awareness campaign.
Take a look. Hopefully we can move on now.
Fri, Mar 28, 2008 | 11:01 GMT
Tanya Byron, author of yesterday’s Byron report, has moved to assure gamers that her recommendations – the main one of which was for a legally enforcable system of ratings for games in the UK – won’t stop adults getting at the content they want to consumer.
“I’ve worked with a lot of gamers throughout the review and I do believe that adults have the right to make decisions about the content that they access, whether it’s viewing or interacting,” she said. “There’s a huge moral debate around content in videogames. I’m very clear, that wasn’t the remit of my review to pass judgment on that and I do believe that content for adults is content for adults. It should be rated that way.”
Very nice exclusive by Next-Gen, there. Any chance you could turn the caps lock off though, Colin? No need to shout.
Thu, Mar 27, 2008 | 20:03 GMT
Following news that the cost of Tanya Byron’s quest to make parents aware of how games work in the UK is likely to be shouldered by the games industry itself, TIGA has said, rather reasonably, that the extra financial pressure on British games companies wouldn’t exactly be welcome.
“The Government must not burden the games industry alone with the cost of executing an information campaign about the ratings system for games,” said TIGA CEO Richard Wilson. “Games developers already face intense competition from government subsidised Canadian games developers. The last thing the games industry needs is for the UK Government to impose additional costs on it.”
The whole thing would be funny if it wasn’t so depressingly inevitable. Tell you what, Gordon: why don’t you just put Council Tax up another 40 percent to pay for the fact you want to actual do something remotely socially aware in Britain. Words fail us.
Thu, Mar 27, 2008 | 19:40 GMT
Fri, Mar 28, 2008 | 21:22 GMT
Oh dear. This isn’t going to go down too well. According to this, the cost of making parents more aware about videogaming – as recommended in this morning’s Byron Report – could well be paid for by the games industry itself.
“I have talked to industry about how they can enable public information campaigns to be funded,” said Tanya Byron, speaking at a launch event for her report this morning. “I haven’t spoken to industry since the publication of this report, I need to go back and do that again, but this is an industry that clearly wants people to understand there are brilliant games for kids, that they want kids playing, and that adult games are for adults… How the industry takes that forward is a matter for discussion.”
Genius. No tax breaks, greater restriction and yes, people need to know what’s good for the public but no, the government won’t stick its hand in its pocket. Pathetic. How much more bust do you want British games firms to go, Brown?
Fri, Mar 28, 2008 | 15:14 GMT
David Cooke, director of the BBFC, has said he believes the British body is a better fit for rating games in the wake of this morning’s Byron Report as it has the power to ban products.
“We co-operate closely with the Pan European Games Information Systems (PEGI) and will continue to do so,” he said in a statement.
“Unlike PEGI, the BBFC has the power, in exceptional cases, to reject films, DVDs and games which have the potential to pose real harm risk. We reject an average of two to three works a year (mostly DVDs) and will continue to do so where it is necessary to protect the public. At the adult level, we respect the public expectation that adults should be free to choose except where there are real harm risks. But we do not think it would be right to remove the reserve rejection power and we are pleased that Dr Byron agrees with this.
“The BBFC has been able to handle a major expansion of the DVD market over the last few years, and we are ready and able to take on the extra work envisaged by Dr Byron. We attach great importance to providing a speedy and effective service, primarily to the public, but also to the creative industries who produce films, DVDs and games. We will be talking to the Government, PEGI and the games industry about how to implement Dr Byron’s recommendations.”
Full thing after the link.
Fri, Mar 28, 2008 | 09:02 GMT
Neil Thompson, senior regional director of Microsoft’s entertainment division for the UK and Ireland, has just issued a statement to videogaming247 on the Byron Report, welcoming the measures related to games ratings and internet safety outlined a few moments ago.
“This is a timely and valuable report on what we believe is a key issue, ensuring that parents, Government, NGOs and the Industry continue to work in partnership to make sure that our children are safe as is possible online and only viewing appropriate content online or when playing video games,” he said.
“We would like to congratulate Dr Byron on the way she has run this consultation process and have been keen to fully engage with her Review team. Her report has brought further focus to this important issue.
“For our part, Microsoft is committed to producing parental control technology to allow parents to make decisions about what content they want their children to view – online or when playing video games. We look forward to continuing to work closely with all concerned to address these issues in the future.”
You can view the full report here.
Fri, Mar 28, 2008 | 07:52 GMT
Both Nintendo and SCEE have told videogaming247 that they will be making no comment on today’s Byron Report.
“There’s no comment and no one will be offering comment – it’s an industry issue and therefore we are referring everyone to ELSPA,” said a Nintendo UK spokesperson.
“I’m afraid we will not be making any comment on the Byron report,” said a SCEE rep. “As this is a games industry issue rather than a Sony-specific one, it may be worth speaking to ELSPA instead.”
We’re still waiting to hear back from Microsoft.
Tanya Byron recommended today that ratings for UK games should be enforced by law. Hit this for broad detail of what’s contained in the paper.
Thu, Mar 27, 2008 | 22:13 GMT
- New codes of practice to regulate social networking sites, such as Bebo and Facebook, including clear standards on privacy and harmful content;
- A gold standard for the use of console games, including clear set-up guidance for parents on issues such as pin codes and locks;
- Better information for parents on how to block children accessing some websites. Byron has been struck that the technology exists to impose timers and filters, but there has been little take-up, knowledge or development of the technology;
- A new law based on a 2006 Law Commission recommendation making it unlawful to assist suicide on the internet;
- A national council to implement her strategy, with a fixed timetable for industry experts; a parents’ panel and child development experts to implement her recommendations.
From the piece:
Classifications are likely to be refined on the basis that what may be deemed appropriate for someone approaching 18 may well not be appropriate for someone of nine or 10.
At present most video games are simply licensed for general use or for those aged over 18 years.
The new classification system will be clearer, with one set of logos and much more explicit descriptions of content and context on the packaging. She is also likely to propose a clearer law stating when games cannot be sold under that age.
The British Board of Film Classification system gives no indication about contents of games or detail of why an age rating has been given. Research published by the IPPR thinktank this week suggested some children were spending 20 hours a week on the internet, almost three times higher than the previous estimates.
The final report’s nowhere to be seen yet.
Thu, Mar 27, 2008 | 20:24 GMT
According to this, Tanya Byron is pinning the biggest issues in games ratings on lack of understanding between generations.
“The key finding is that we have this huge digital generational divide at the moment where children are enjoying benefits and opportunities both online and in videogames but parents are really genuinely confused in terms of what videogames are and how their kids are playing them, what the content really means and what should they be allowing their kids to play and not play,” she said.
“For me it’s about how can government really empower parents, society and teachers who grapple with these issues in schools to really support children to think about risks both online and in videogames where most adults are coming from the position of knowing less than the children who are using these technologies.”
The Byron Report, a study into gaming and the internet in the UK, was published today. We’re still waiting on the actual document, but Byron has recommended that all games should be rated in the UK, that the minimum age rating should be dropped to 12 and that a dedicated body related to web and game regulation should be set up.
A launch event for the report is currently in progress in London.
Thu, Mar 27, 2008 | 20:07 GMT
Well, sort of. The BBC’s got it, clearly. We’re just waiting for the final draft, but you can see everything that’s about to be announced here. Included is:
- The creation of a website for parents where they can find our more information about online safety.
- A comprehensive public information and awareness campaign on child internet safety.
- Clear and consistent guidance for industry on how games should be advertised.
- High profile efforts to increase parents understanding of age ratings and improved parental controls.
The final report, should you care by now, is set to be published any time now.
Thu, Mar 27, 2008 | 20:07 GMT
British newspaper the Guardian is reporting that Tanya Byron’s report into games regulation in the UK this morning contains mention of lock-out codes for console games.
The report, to be delivered at 9am this morning, is to recommend, “A gold standard for the use of console games, including clear set-up guidance for parents on issues such as pin codes and locks,” said the paper.
The report doesn’t clarify whether or not this means such devices are to be including in games by law.
Byron is to recommend that “a national council to implement her strategy” will be set up, the paper says, “with a fixed timetable for industry experts.”
Thu, Mar 27, 2008 | 13:15 GMT
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.
Thu, Mar 20, 2008 | 13:53 GMT
Says so here. Tanya Byron’s report was commissioned by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown to look into violence and rating issues. The paper is thought to recommend that all games in the UK should be rated by a dedicated board, possibly the BBFC.
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport confirmed the date this morning.
Thu, Mar 06, 2008 | 10:33 GMT
According to this, Microsoft’s Neil Thompson – head of corporate affairs in the UK – has said he wants games ratings to stay with PEGI when Tanya Byron submits her reports of games age restriction to the government later this month.
“We made it very clear to the Byron Report team, both as an industry and as Microsoft, strongly believe that PEGI has a lot more benefits for customers, parents and for everyone involved in the industry really,” he said.
No one knows for sure what Byron is to recommend in the coming weeks, with both the formation of a new regulatory body and taking the BBFC to rate all games in the UK a possibility.