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Industry at war over games ratings

BBFC says alternative system is toothless

The computer games industry is at loggerheads over new proposals to change the way games are regulated.

Industry body Elspa says a new system – called Pegi – should be used to regulate games, as it is "designed specifically for interactive software". Elspa wants the government to use Pegi to oversee games ratings instead of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).

Paul Jackson, director-general of trade association Elspa, told the BBC: "The BBFC system is incapable of rating the sheer number of games and accessories in the online world we are now facing."

However, the BBFC believes Pegi is incapable of managing the games rating process, with a spokesman describing it as "box ticking exercise". The BBFC contends that its system is more appropriate as it is enforced by law, whereas Pegi is a voluntary code.

The dispute has led to calls for a shared system to which both the BBFC and the industry contribute.

Margaret Hodge, the UK minister for culture, creative industries and tourism, said the industry would suffer if the issue created "a battle between two regulatory bodies".

"Child safety is very, very important – I get more letters as a minister about this issue than I do about anything else. So your customers - my voters - are demanding we act."

For more games news, reviews and free games downloads, see Games Advisor


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