BBFC hits back at criticism

The British Board of Film Classification says it doesn't need "a building the size of Milton Keynes" to take on the extra work outlined in the Byron Review.

At the end of March, Tanya Byron published her six-month-long government-commissioned review into the effects of games and the Internet on youngsters. In her review, she recommended that the two ratings systems that are currently in use in the UK--those from the British Board of Film Classification and the Pan European Game Information--be combined and that the BBFC start rating all games in the country aimed at gamers from the age of 12 upwards.

PEGI ratings would continue to be applied to games deemed suitable for children, using the 3+ and 7+ age ratings. However, some members of the industry expressed dismay that the BBFC's ratings had been recommended over the PEGI ratings. The president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, David Reeves, and Electronic Arts' UK general manager, Keith Ramsdale, both went on the record to say that they personally had hoped that the system would be unified in favour of PEGI.

While some games publishers were quiet on their preference, others have been quite vocal with their views. The BBFC chose today to issue a statement slamming the criticism it has received. Director David Cooke said, "We are disappointed and concerned about attempts by one or two video games publishers to preempt, through recent press statements, the forthcoming public consultation on video games classification. Their statements are misleading in several respects."

Cooke went on to state that the average turnaround time for game classification is eight days. He also stated that "classifications are already cheaper for many games than those under the PEGI system" and that costs would fall if the organisation took on all games. These comments appear to have been in response to a letter from Gamecock's Euro office, published in trade magazine MCV, blasting the time and expense it took to get a recent game certified by the BBFC.

Cooke also added, "It is absurd to imply that the BBFC could not cope, or would need 'a building the size of Milton Keynes.' The BBFC is a larger and better-resourced organisation than PEGI and is well used to gearing up and to providing fast-track services where appropriate."

He concluded that the industry had nothing to be afraid of from the BBFC. He added, "The games industry really does have nothing to fear from a set of proposals which would provide more robust, and fully independent, decisions, and detailed content advice, for the British public, and especially parents."

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Discussion

30 comments
Hexagon_777
Hexagon_777

I don't understand why the BBFC needs to spread its hideous emblems onto videogames as well. The PEGI does the job just fine with their more appealing emblems and has even been endorsed by the EU.

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

BBFC should stick to rating movies. Let PEGI rate all the UK's games so the whole Manhunt 2 situation never happens again.

Irve
Irve

the games industry wants PEGI because they can control it .. and they can't control the BBFC . personally i will say again .. if you have an independant rating body that is recognised by the greater public there is LESS presure from the mainstream media to ban games. the reluctance to adopt sensible controls on video games sales in the states will be the undoing of the industry and will eventually lead to the media and their influence on big businesses like K-mart to destroying the independance that the software industry is trying to hang onto I'm a grown up .. and the more people see some of the games i play as made by and for adults then the happier i am !

Geetarman42
Geetarman42

Yeah lets change a bunch of sh*t to make it more simple.

lanista
lanista

@Nomad0404 I'm with you, I haven't seen any real issue with the BBFC It's very very rare they don't give a rating, as was the case in the recent the Manhunt issue And you can see they were really just sending a message so that publishers continue to think about keeping themselves in check Otherwise they (mostly) get things right as well as the next human being who could be charged with carrying out those responsibilities They are sensitive to the times, so the days of the 70s are long since gone

CharlieFubar
CharlieFubar

we need to rise together for a much much smaller government

ps3thabest
ps3thabest

o dease are the movie guys i get it they should go back 2 there lonely lifes trying 2 run the world people should watch what they want the only thing ive done corrupted is bang all their wifes hahaha

DecadesOfGaming
DecadesOfGaming

THE B.B.F.C ARE A BUNCH OF MUPPETS.. MOST OF THEM ARE DIRTY OLD MEN OVER THE AGE OF 65 WHO HAVE'NT GOT A CLUE WHATS GOING ON IN TODAYS SOCIETY. IT WAS THESE SAME IDIOTS THAT BANNED FILMS LIKE "EXORCIST" AND "TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE" IN THE 70's... BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT VIEWERS WOULD BECOME CORRUPT AFTER WATCHING THEM ?!... JUST A BUNCH OF SAD OLD LONELY POLITICAL FOOLS WHO PROBABLY HAVE TO PAY FOR S E X ON A REGULAR BASIS.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

@afrothunda312 - agreed. Plus, if what it says is true "He also stated that "classifications are already cheaper for many games than those under the PEGI system" and that costs would fall if the organisation took on all games" then surely we get our games cheaper. Bonus.

afrothunda312
afrothunda312

@natt39 They're proposing to use the same labels as films with the 12, 15 and 18 ratings which I think will be more simpe for parents buying games, they're going to recognise the classifications. Seriously though the PEGI ratings aren't as bold or intimidating on the packets IMO,

natt39
natt39

Lets face it most of the major stores all ready abide by PEGI's guidelines, and that combining them would quite possibly confuse people more than they all ready are...... After Manhunt 2 I think that it is been made quite clear what could happen in the future and maybe the BBFC should stick to classifying films which is what they were designed to do in the first place......

Metal_Rodney
Metal_Rodney

This is good news for games, in the UK at least. Whilst we all agree that the Manhunt 2 debacle was a mistake of epic proportions, let's not forget that even the BBFC eventually conceded the point and allowed a release. A standardised and compulsory system is better for everyone, especially since it will make it easier to prosecute retailers that continue to wilfully sell restricted games to those unqualified to purchase them (it's rightfully illegal over here). Whilst there's nothing wrong in principle with the PEGI ratings, they're very inconspicuous on the box and can be very easily overlooked - they don't even fit on the side of the box art like BBFC logos. The main positive of BBFC labelling is that its instantly recognisable by everyone that will see it. I suspect that a lot of parents purchasing unsuitable games for their children are simply not aware of the PEGI system and consequently don't see it. There will always be parents that buy games for 'underage' children, but that's their right to do so, just as it's their right to show Hellraiser to a 16 year old in the privacy of their home if that's their choice. I understand that there will be those who disagree with censorship entirely, but I think you might change your mind when you have kids of your own. If not I'd still support your opinions, I'd just disagree. As a side point, after Manhunt-gate I think a lot of non-UK residents might be suprised at what the BBFC will allow. Hot Coffee was a non-event in this country because the UK has a very open attitude to sexual content in all media formats. We all had a good laugh at the Mass Effect 'scandal' (lol) for the same reasons.

ZedFragg
ZedFragg

@D1rty_Dawg Yeah you can think of better ways to spend the money? thats why you ain't and will never be in power :P personally I don't think BBFC is at fault it's parents that just BUY kids games. I know parents that have bought such games as Dead Rising for a 10 year old...Yeah ok it's a comic game but that doesn't change anything. On the other hand I know a guys parents who wouldn't buy GTAIV for him even though he had the money...He was 17 and underage... Being 21 but without ID I know how much of a pain getting served can be...I can't even get served for my cigs but thankfully getting games has not been a problem.. Although I do know of Retailers that HAVE sold me games when I was underage and if they ever sold my kids games underage I'd sue....

Burnout_Avenged
Burnout_Avenged

These guys are idiots. PEGI aren't as bad, but it was ridiculous giving Resistance: Fall of Man an 18+.

Nomad0404
Nomad0404

I think the BBFC is far better suited to rate all games in the UK than PEGI. The BBFC icons for ratings are well known and established in the UK. Despite one issue with Manhunt 2 - which was blown out of all proportion and if you sit down and look at it reasonably you can understand the BBFCs issues - the BBFC do a good job of fairly rating all game content. All that is needed in the UK is better education of parents and bigger fines for retailers for selling to those underage. A lot of the ranting going on in this thread is simply hot air being releasd.

jknight5422
jknight5422

This story is about 6 paragraphs too long. Two sentences would've been enough.

GCNfreak011
GCNfreak011

Oops. I thought this said BFBC, as in battlefield bad company. what a disappointment

storm1110
storm1110

Im 19. I couldnt care less who rates what game and what rating it gets. Though i do think the BBFC are ridiculously stupid for all the hype they ended up giving Manhunt 2 themselves.

D1rty_Dawg
D1rty_Dawg

I can see no bigger waste of space and money than the BBFC! They are an outdated, misguided drain on the UK economy and should be closed down. I live in the UK and could think of a thousand better uses for the money that the BBFC waste every year!

LagMan_pt
LagMan_pt

What a bunch of CSs, hope those british fellows dont censor us all. While they should be more concerned about educating parents to make good choices for their children. They prefer to take it down on the gamind industry with stupid arguments about the rating system (it seems fine to me, what part of +18 they dont understand, it even has little pictures on it) . People should be responsible for their actions, not because theive playid a little to much GtaIV. Blaming movie and games for violence only takes the guilt from the offendors. What should make you violent is turning on you tv and watching the news of the wolrd today

cube-gage
cube-gage

i hate this crap. sure i dont mind a better lbelling system (but the current one seems adequate) but when they start banning games and forcing developers to remove content. why? why can films have pretty much anything in yet a game with a little too much blood has to be censored. same with hot coffee from gta, it ws like it's ok to shoot cops but performing a sex act is really damaging to players. stupid bunch of money grabbers that rarely get to do anything big in there job.

collingtonuk
collingtonuk

The BBFC ratings carry more weight than the others, but they need to have a quick turnaround and be fairly priced, it will be a monopoly after all.

Proman84
Proman84

Annoying. Who does BBFC think it is?

0678
0678

and the world continues spinning

deadstarr
deadstarr

jtthegame316: Their not trying to tell you anything, there putting the ages on for less aware parents that want to buy a game for their children.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

bbfc are scum always trying to tell me a adult what i can see and can't see and what i can and can't play. get lost bbfc i want to make up my own mind.