EU: Games industry must protect children

Written by Joe Martin

April 23, 2008 // 9:55 a.m.

Tags: #children #eu #european-union #industry #law #legal #rating

The European Union's executive body has issued an ultimatum today, giving the games industry at large two years to come up with an industry-wide code of conduct to help protect children from violent images.

Reuters reports that the EU Executive body does have the power to create new legislation and impose restrictions on games publishers and developers, but has decided to issue a two-year warning period before resorting to such measures.

The warning has been seen by many as an unrealistic and out-of-touch demand which places responsibility on the makers of games marketed to adults rather than on the retailers who put those titles in the hands of children - or the parents of children who play them.

EU Consumer Protection Commissioner Meglena Kuneva spoke out on the topic and indicated that the industry was being asked to do this because parents are unaware of gaming content. Never mind that it should be the role of the parent to find out themselves by looking at either the ESRB, PEGI or BBFC rating systems though - the last of which has been supported by a recent government report.

"When children go out to play today they enter the world of joysticks. We are not quite sure where they go and there is real anxiety from parents," she told Reuters.

The first thing that EU has asked is that the PEGI symbols be made more familiar and understandable to parents, though whether this will truly help at all remains to be seen. What do you think? Let us know in the forums.
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