Education and not legislation has always been the mantra at Destructoid when it comes to videogames “controversy,” but unfortunately the UK government doesn’t agree, and believes that imposing tougher ratings guidelines will prove to be the magical key that stops children carrying knives around and burning each others’ faces off. Following Tanya Byron’s report, the government has continued to show favor to the BBFC and it looks certain that, despite the games industry’s protests, that this board shall soon be responsible for nearly all ratings in the United Kingdom.
All computer games will have to carry cinema-style age classifications under new Government plans to protect children from scenes of explicit sex and disturbing violence.
Online computer games where players interact with strangers via the internet also face new classification rules for the first time.
In response to this, members of the games industry are said to be meeting in London today in order to discuss the best ways of resisting these new plans. While the industry thinks the BBFC too restricting, however, Conservative MP Julian Brazer, a man with a long-standing axe to grind against so-called “violent” videogames, has criticized the board for being too soft:
The guidelines are too weak on the part of the BBFC. I don’t believe it is an adequate guarantor of standards. Only the industry can appeal the BBFC’s decisions, so in practice, classifications can only be reduced. We should have a system like that in Australia, where any member of the general public can ask for an age classification to be reviewed.
I think I speak for every British reader when I state that the last thing, the final thing we could ever need, would be a system like Australia’s. Out of touch politicians really need to STFUAJPG and keep such ideas out of their sleazy brains.