Byron Review: Games Aren’t The Problem

We blame the parents!

Some people will have you believe that video games are the cause of all today’s problems with youth culture. According to a government-backed review, carried out by psychologist Tanya Byron, games are not the cause of violence in our modern society. An opinion most of us probably held anyway – Jack Thompson excepted.

The major conclusion reached by the report is that a stricter ratings system would be beneficial in ensuring games intended for a mature audience reached said gamers rather than children and teenagers. One such part of this new ratings scheme would be to have all “PEGI 12+” games further reviewed by the BBFC – currently only those with graphic violence or sexual content are subject to this level of scrutiny.

Byron also wants a change so that the BBFC ratings would be printed on the front of packaging, while the current, more common PEGI ratings would be relegated to the rear.

Kids are the digital natives,” said Byron, “parents are the digital immigrants.” “The European Pegi system works for the industry, but the BBFC works for parents and children.”

The main gist of the report is that a stricter, more easily understood ratings system would enable parents to better ensure that their children are playing games appropriate for their age. If those parents then choose not to observe the age-restriction, they should at least be more aware of the fact that there may be a negative impact – although it should be made clear that isn’t the same thing as saying that playing violent games will lead to violent children.

BBC report

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