ELSPA proposes traffic-light games ratings

ELSPA proposes new traffic light style system for games ratings
ELSPA proposes new traffic light style system for games ratings

Games publisher trade body ELSPA has proposed a new, common sense solution to rating games, in a traffic-light style red, green and amber colour scheme.

Rival ratings body the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) unsurprisingly dismissed ELSPA's suggestion, stressing that its own colour-coded logo system is already well-established and well-understood, particularly by game-buying parents.

The current government consultation, driven by the Byron Review, is due to finish next month, with all parties finally reaching a workable agreement on a legally enforceable ratings scheme.

End to ratings spat

TechRadar can only hope that the ongoing spat between the industry-sponsored, voluntary Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) system and the legally enforceable (government-preferred) BBFC age ratings system can be resolved in such a way as to ensure the best, most widely identifiable system is put in place.

ELSPA's latest proposal takes its lead from the food industry, adding 'traffic light' colours.

"We're offering this idea as a direct consequence of the Byron review; the system needs to remove the potential for confusion and this is what we're doing," said ELSPA Director General Michael Rawlinson

"The system provided by PEGI is very robust, but we want to make it clearer that something that's for adults only should have that warning colour with it."

BBFC hits back

BBFC Director David Cooke told TechRadar: "The BBFC's widely recognised and trusted symbols are colour coded and trademark protected.

"We have successfully challenged a number of organisations who have sought to exploit our symbols, and we have already drawn this to PEGI's attention. We would be happy for PEGI to make sensible improvements to its symbols, but we would not be happy if this encroached on the protection of BBFC symbols, and we will be taking legal advice on this aspect once we have seen the detail of the proposals."

Adam Hartley