bit-gamer.net

Byron: Games aren't the problem

Byron: Games aren't the problem

Dr. Tanya Byron recently released a government report examining how games should be rated.

Speaking to the games media for the first time since the publication of her government report into the games industry, Dr. Tanya Byron has said that she doesn't believe that games are responsible for violence in modern society.

Dr. Byron, famous from the child-psychology show The House of Tiny Tearaways, recently completed a government report into games which came to the conclusion that all games need to be rated using a film-style rating system.

Speaking to GI.biz, Dr. Byron said that she doesn't believe that the games industry is responsible for all the violence it is scapegoated for.

"Let's stop blaming industry for things industry isn't responsible for, that's number one," said Dr. Byron.

"Number two, the industry has worked really positively with me. I do believe this industry does not intend to corrupt young people. Number three, I think there's a positive that adult games are created with adult content for adults to play."

"There are a lot of really good videogames." She went on, "I think games are very positive for children. They engage with them through thinking as well as playing...We need 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."

"We can't just isolate videogames as being responsible for the ills of society. I am really clear from the child development literature that there are some games that kids shouldn't play and it could have a really, really negative impact on them if they do play them...But my instinct is that the videogames industry is completely next to me on that one, because again, yes there are adult games and adult material that people can read and look at."

Agree with the good doctor, or is this little more than automatic crowd-pleasing spiel? Let us know what you think in the forums.

25 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Fod 31st March 2008, 10:36 Quote
woah, someone in the public eye talking sense about games, parenting and electronic communications in general, for once?

pinch me.
Paradigm Shifter 31st March 2008, 10:52 Quote
The real test is whether or not she sticks to that opinion when the 'politically correct brigade' get their "games are evil" caps on and leap on their soapboxes.

It doesn't surprise me that an independent report commissioned by the Government says something sensible... but if the Government actually pay attention to it? That's another matter entirely.
1st time modder 31st March 2008, 10:55 Quote
hopefully this common sense she speaks of regarding games actually gets some serious media attention, and as always games are a form of entertainment.... nothing more so should be taken as much, just be sure to tell your kids anything that is possible in GTA should NEVER be done in real life.
naokaji 31st March 2008, 11:07 Quote
now we can just hope that the government actually listens to her...
LeMaltor 31st March 2008, 11:16 Quote
She is like the perfect woman, sexy and not a games hater :D
Mister_X 31st March 2008, 11:18 Quote
Its common sense, but nice to hear someone with a "Dr" infront of their name say it.

Won't stop the parents of little snowflake blaming the games they bought for him when he turns out to be a tw*t.
Nictron 31st March 2008, 11:25 Quote
I have always agreed with the statement that a healthy mature individual out of a happy and balanced home will find it very hard to hurt someone else in society even if they do play Manhunt, but then I do not play Manhunt because I find it degrading and do not like to drop to that level even if I know it is just a game.

That is just the way I was brought up by my parents :-)
VictorianBloke 31st March 2008, 12:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fod
woah, someone in the public eye talking sense about games, parenting and electronic communications in general, for once?

pinch me.

Yeah, had to do a double take on the date, April 1st is tomorrow right.
FR34K 31st March 2008, 12:20 Quote
Doc Byron is mah hero!!;)
heh, and I'm not even a big gamer, but all my friends are

keep it up Byron!:D
Nexxo 31st March 2008, 12:28 Quote
Clinical psychologists: explaining the obvious to the idiot masses since 1896. :D

I'll probably get in trouble for saying this...
shigllgetcha 31st March 2008, 12:50 Quote
lol could you not say verifying instead :)
AcidJiles 31st March 2008, 12:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Clinical psychologists: explaining the obvious to the idiot masses since 1896. :D

I'll probably get in trouble for saying this...

The truth is always hard for people to stomach.
AcidJiles 31st March 2008, 12:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nictron
I have always agreed with the statement that a healthy mature individual out of a happy and balanced home will find it very hard to hurt someone else in society even if they do play Manhunt, but then I do not play Manhunt because I find it degrading and do not like to drop to that level even if I know it is just a game.

That is just the way I was brought up by my parents :-)

Same here, whats the quote "I dont agree with what your saying but I will fight for your right to say it". same applies here in my opinion, I dont want to play the game and would never suggest its to anyone but I believe they have the right to make it.
Grasshopper 31st March 2008, 13:35 Quote
Halleluia! I was about time some one notice this.
freedom810 31st March 2008, 15:25 Quote
Atleast she isnt bashing it.
Bauul 31st March 2008, 15:29 Quote
That was surprisingly sensible, good on her! Lets hope people listen.
Flibblebot 31st March 2008, 16:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
Lets hope people listen.
Nope. The Mail/Express will still continue to cite computer games as being responsible for the downfall of society as a whole, regardless of the amount of evidence to the contrary.

Wild accusations on the front page sells papers (which is why the McCann's charity fund is now considerably richer).

It's surprising that the Express hasn't tried to link the scourge of computer games to Princess Diana's death yet.
OtakuHawk 31st March 2008, 16:23 Quote
if you reeeaalllly want to know more about spree killings, the psychology and background behind them, and not CNN's media bullshit, I suggest the bookGoing Postal.

excellent book.
MrMonroe 31st March 2008, 16:25 Quote
Well, DUUH.

Now, if you're finished with her, would you kindly send her across the Atlantic so she can smack some sense into our politicians for a little while?
GuardianStorm 31st March 2008, 16:27 Quote
Don't most games have an ESRB/equivalent rating on them anyway? most of mine do...even FF7 has a rating on the back, and thats well old.
BioSniper 31st March 2008, 17:43 Quote
The thing with ESRB is that its not a mandatory legal age rating and people pretty much ignore it unless its enforced in the same way that films are.
At least she is talking sense though.
cyrilthefish 31st March 2008, 20:14 Quote
kinda confused by this article. A most of it i completely agree with, it's pretty much common sense. but this part:
Quote:
which came to the conclusion that all games need to be rated using a film-style rating system.
The phrase "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" comes to mind.

it feels like they're going with the attitude:
"if it ain't broke, fix it until it is"

It really does seem fine as it is to me, if anything i don't see the need for the BBFC rating, the other one seems fine.
Flibblebot 31st March 2008, 23:24 Quote
Like BioSniper said, ESRB ratings are not legally enforceable. BBFC ratings are, and are backed by fairly hefty fines.

ESRB is also an overseas (US, IIRC) organisation, and what one country deems suitable for minors, another deems unsuitable. Making games bought in the UK subject to a BBFC rating means that ratings are applied according to British guidelines of what is and what isn't acceptable to the various age ranges. The other option is to set up a new body responsible for certifying video games, but really that's just reinventing the wheel.
completemadness 1st April 2008, 00:50 Quote
why not just make ESRB enforceable? I don't really think that the BBFC is the right body to evaluate games, i mean, as the name says, "Film Classification"

Edit
Also i think the ESRB ratings are normally pretty spot on
Either way, its up to the parents to abide by the ratings, i mean, game normally tries to enforce ESRB ratings (in my experience)
steveo_mcg 1st April 2008, 09:50 Quote
For the most part BBFC ratings are also spot on, the only major objection i've had with them in the last 10 years has been manhunt's ban. They should have slapped an 18 on it and been done with it, thus allowing the game to shrivel up and die due to no interest.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums