BBFC criticises ELSPA's age-ratings strategy

BBFC hits back at ELSPA's latest age-ratings strategy
BBFC hits back at ELSPA's latest age-ratings strategy

The recent game ratings row rumbles on, with the British Board of Film Classification criticising requests from games trade body ELSPA for the industry's own self-regulated PEGI system to be given legally enforceable 'teeth' by the government.

The BBFC's press officer, Sue Clark, told TechRadar that:

"There is already a legally enforceable system in place – the Video Recordings Act which makes the BBFC ratings legally enforceable."

Clark added that: "Two independent and authoritative reports – the Byron Report and the CMS Select Committee Report – have come out categorically in favour of a much greater role for the BBFC in video games classification. We are very happy and able to take on an increased role. There is no question about us being able to cope with the increased work load."

Games are not films says ELSPA

In response to these comments from the BBFC, ELSPA's Managing Director, Michael Rawlinson, told TechRadar:

"If we are going to overhaul the UK games rating system with child safety fully in mind, we should be finding a solution that works not only today but also for the future, both on and off-line.

The ELSPA boss is adamant that, "films are not games and games are not films," adding that , "we should not be trying to adapt a system that was designed to do a different job, namely rate films. Now is the time to find the right solution once and for all."

Byron consultation under way

The ELSPA boss continues: "That solution we believe is PEGI. To this end, the games industry will continue to provide the DCMS with the evidence to support our case for PEGI. We are very happy for PEGI to be legally reinforced in the UK via the Video Recordings Act."

TechRadar has contacted Culture Minister Margaret Hodge's office for comment and further information on the current Byron review consultation.

Adam Hartley