UK Minister: Keep the Kids in Mind During BBFC-PEGI Rating Tussle

According to a report on MCVUK, UK Minister for Culture, Creative Industries and Tourism Margaret Hodge (left) has urged the video game industry and British Board of Film Classification to act in a "grownup way" as the government sorts out the future roles of the BBFC and PEGI rating systems.

The process has become contentious of late, with the industry voicing a strong preference for PEGI and the BBFC lobbying for an expanded role in rating video game content.

Of the dust-up, Minister Hodge said:

Please avoid this become a battle between two regulatory bodies. Let’s have a shared solution that everyone can buy into… 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…


Both BBFC and PEGI have their merit, and I’m not going to come down on one side or the other. We do need a system that can reassure parents and teachers that the content is safe. You must accept that most people in the UK know and trust the BBFC ratings. But I do understand that PEGI is much newer and was designed specifically for video games.


What we’ve got to make sure, at the end of the day, is that we meet the essential criteria that Tanya Byron set out in her comprehensive review. My challenge to you, the industry, is to respond to that consultation appropriately, but approach it not in a way that it is a battle to be won against government, but a problem we ought to be able to resolve in a grown up way to meet the requirements of all our stakeholders.


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  1. Cheater87 says:

    If the ESRB was used everywhere then there would be no AO or 18 rated games in Europe. 😛

  2. ZippyDSMlee says:

    they can;t pegi isdeveolped to be a whole europ ratigns board te BBFC only has jurisdiction in the UK and the ESRB is based on half assed amerkian vaules.


    Altho if there was a 18+ level and the console makers did’t licesne  porn games it could work, but they’ll still need a euro standard of 7 for kid 12 for teen 16 for mature teen.

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)


  3. lazyslothboy says:

    I am a little confused as to why there is all of this hostility.  It seems she just wants the two groups to settle their differences and figure everything out without it turning into some kind of warzone. They might be civil for now, but you can’t see the future. That could always change. She didn’t say that video games cause kids to kill each other. I didn’t see anything offensive, but here we are tearing into her.  We are twisting her words around so that it sounds something sinister when I honestly don’t believe she had that intent.  Call me devils advocate, but I don’t see her comment to be worth so much hate.  Perhaps someone could explain to me why that we are ticked off at the comment?

  4. TBoneTony ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Mes UK minister,


    Have you even READ the Byron report?







    "The Videogame Industry should NOT be responsible for the actions that they can’t control"


    Such as the failure of parents understand the PEGI and BBFC rating system and that the BBFC tried to BAN MANHUNT 2 based on fear and not on evidence that it causes any harm on an 18+ year old, the type of age rating that it was meant to be rated for?



    If you are going to get involved, at least have the knowlage of what the Byron Report said both the good and the bad things…


    Also understand that there is no scientific proff of Videogames even being linked to real violence.


    Understand the situration from both sides before you make such assumptions of how they should work out between themselves.




  5. Krono says:

    To: Margaret Hodge

    The game industry and the BBFC aren’t children, don’t treat them like they are.

    Furthermore, they are already acting in a grown up way; they’re lobbying for what they see as their best interest. That’s something grown ups do.

    You’re also missing the point that PEGI being newer has nothing to do with it. It’s a matter of it’s designed for videogames (which you did get) and that it’s used by the rest of Europe (which you seem to have missed). Additionally you’ve missed that the BBFC isn’t designed for games, and has a so-so track record of dealing with what it doesn’t like.


  6. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    What’s their part? Are they trying to give teachers authority in people’s homes?


    -If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we’d all be livin’ large. For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block & Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, by Harvard Medical School researchers Larry Kutner and Cheryl Olson

  7. lumi says:

    "We do need a system that can reassure parents and teachers that the content is safe."

    NO.  No you do NOT.

    You need a system that can INFORM parents (and teachers, I guess?) what age the content is intended and appropriate for.  So that THEY can decide if it is safe or not for THEIR children.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Look, games are NOT movies and the BBFC have proven themselves on many occassions as too irresponsible to handle the ratings of games.  I mean, hello UK Minister… how much money was wasted, exactly, in the Manhunt 2 fiasco?

    As to the ignorance of the parents in regards to ratings familiarity, this excuse only goes so far.  After all, below the Icon is very often the age range.  What warranted that rating is also often on the package (from what I understand of PEGI).  So the information is readily available.  The ignorance involved in not reading said information is not a defensible position.

  9. Alteffor says:

    So much like a politician to throw her causes at us without even trying to think of a solution.

  10. mogbert says:

    But the BBFC is being a poopy head!

    j/k I have to say, I don’t know the difference between the two ratings. For one, I’d like games to be rated closer to movies, but for another, I understand that games don’t really fit into that classification that well. If they were rated te same as movies, then every game that allows internet chat would be rated X for extreme language and graphical descriptions of what Chuck Norris can do. However, on the other side of the coin, we are talking about a field where some people think a game should be rated AO for having the word "beer" in it.

  11. JCoit says:

    "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…"

    She didn’t however, mention which side the letters were coming from.  She just said letters about the issue.  Some of them could have been..
    "Screw child safety"
    or "Gimme mah Manhunt2 lady!!!"

Comments are closed.