BBFC not fit to rate games, says ELSPA

ELSPA boss says BBFC should stick to film content

Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association director general Paul Jackson has told attendees at a fringe event at the UK Labour Party conference that PEGI is the only system with the power to protect children online and offline, and expressed his opposition to proposed plans to extend the BBFC's remit for rating games.

"A linear ratings system like the one the BBFC uses is designed for films with a beginning, middle and end where the outcome is always the same," said Jackson. "It just can't cope with the infinite variety and complexity of modern videogames, and the interaction between players.

"There is a simple proof of this already available. The film ratings board continually downgrades games classified 18 by PEGI. They go to BBFC 15 or even BBFC 12. History shows us that BBFC ratings - and the UK - would regularly be out of step with our European neighbors."

Jackson also claimed that PEGI is the only system with online credibility, saying, "As well as being quick and simple to follow as a ratings system, it is very easily scalable to cope with the rapid growth in online games and add-ons."

Jackson was speaking as the publisher body ramped up its efforts to lobby the UK government to embrace PEGI as the sole classification system for games. As it currently stands, the UK employs a two-tier system for rating games, split between PEGI and the BBFC.

However, in late-March the government- commissioned Byron Review recommended that the British Board of Film Classification be charged with rating all games from 12+ upwards, with equivalent PEGI ratings appearing on the back of retail boxes.

Article supplied by Edge-Online