UK's Byron Review recommends expanded game ratings system


A report concerning the effects of games and internet media on children, led by one Dr. Tanya Byron, was released in the UK today. Among its recommendations are a change to the UK's video game ratings system, which would see the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) assuming a more prominent role in game releases, rating more titles and establishing a new 12+ classification. Currently, the BBFC only examines games flagged for violent, sexual and criminal content -- adopting the lower age limit would undoubtedly result in a dramatic increase in workload.

Though Byron hopes that more film-like ratings will ease confusion among befuddled parents, the report also suggests the incorporation of Europe's PEGI rating system, with its notice appearing on the back of a game's box and the BBFC's on the front. Any retailer ignoring these ratings and selling games to a child under the printed age limit will also find itself on the wrong side of the law, as the report would deem such an act illegal.

You can read a thorough layout of the report over at Game Politics.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.