The BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) has been having a close look at what makes British gamers tick, Gamespot UK reported yesterday.

The 107-page report is based on a series of interviews that the BBFC conducted with a number of focus groups including young and middle-aged gamers, parents, journalists and game developers.

The report tried to take a sensible approach to the subject it seems and has come to some interesting conclusions. In regard to violent video games, the report states that many gamers see violence as a means to overcome obstacles, not as an end in itself and that, since violent encounters in games usually put the player character at risk also, many gamers are more focused on saving themselves than enjoying killing.

The computer game violence section finished with the idea that:

"The requirement to keep interacting with a game in order to make progress makes it harder to become engrossed in than a film, and that seems to serve as a reminder for players not to mistake the game for real life.

The study also discovered that parents who were familiar with computer games or who played them themselves were much less worried about simulated violence.

Outside the topic of violence, the report surprisingly came to the conclusion that there doesn't appear to be much brand loyalty on the market. "Console brands do not appear to be cool in the way that games can be; a console is cool if it is very new on the market, but not because it is a particular brand.

"Despite its having produced some of the most popular of all games, Nintendo is mentioned less often by gamers than PlayStation and Xbox. On prompting it is sometimes regarded as pursuing a different strategy and its consoles are not subject to the same comparisons."

The report also acknowledged the need for ratings on computer games, outlining that parents were often unwilling or unable to play games themselves and thus needed help finding products suitable for their children. However, parents were not absolved completely, as the report states that "when they are interviewed in research many parents seem to agree on the need for a system. In practice, many do not make any effort to enforce it."

If you are a parent concerned about computer games your child may be playing, or have an opinion you'd like to share about the report, then our forums are the place to be heard.
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