Dr Byron calls for new online-focused report

Written by Joe Martin

March 31, 2010 // 11:02 a.m.

Tags: #bbfc #byron #byron-report #casual-games #dr-byron-calls-for-new-online-focused-report #farmville #government #online #pegi #ratings

Dr Tanya Byron, the lady behind the remarkably sensible Byron Report that was commissioned by the UK government in 2008 and which examined the games industry and how it is regulated, has called for a new report to be run looking at casual and online games.

The call comes as part of the progress review on the 2008 Byron Report and, according to Byron, should be as independent as possible. The specific goal of the proposed study would be to consider the value and content of a code of conduct specifically for online and casual games.

It is important that families have up-to-date advice about new ways to engage in gaming,” she stated, according to MCV. “All UK mobile phone networks offer a level of filtering which can be activated when the phone is purchased or later by phoning customer services.

However, it is questionable whether parents are aware of this and take advantage of it. And if a child accesses the internet using wi-fi they by-pass any filtering which may be switched on at a network level.

I recommend that the UKCCIS executive board commission the video games working group to examine and report back by September 2010 on whether a code of conduct supported by independent review for online and casual gaming is needed.

The full progress report is available to read online. The main conclusion of the original Byron Review was that the games industry should be regulated in similar ways to films, using the BBFC rather than the PEGI rating system, and that new guideline on advertising and content for young players should be issued.

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