ELSPA Exec Bashes BBFC

The political battle over who will handle video game rating chores in the U.K. continues.

In the latest development, Spong cites comments from ELSPA general manager Michael Rawlison concerning the relative merits of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) system.

GamePolitics readers may recall that the industry strongly favors PEGI, while Gordon Brown’s government seems to be leaning toward the BBFC. Here’s what Rawlinson had to say:

The PEGI people are available to go and talk to developers through the development process and look at things in pre-production. [By way of contrast] you can only get a ruling on a BBFC rating once you’ve finished the product.


If we listen to what the BBFC said in print around Dark Knight – ‘We analysed this film and we felt that it was borderline around 12 and 15 but in the end we decided to give it a 12’, now whether they gave it a 12 of their own free will and volition or whether it was through heavy arm-twisting and pressure, who knows? I certainly have no evidence one way or the other. However, clearly there is no way to pre-determine what the rating of that is going to be until you send them the product.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    oto kirlama says:

    I’m all for freedom of ttnet vitamin speech and allowing rent a car game makers to put whatever they want in games, but there’s one thing about this app that has me scratching my head.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but from araç kiralama the previous article araba kiralama on this I gathered that players can use Google maps in-game to find the other (real-life?) dealers in their area.  If this is the case, has travesti anyone considered what’s stopping someone from using this app to actually move drugs between hands for reals?

    But majority araba kiralama of their outrage araç kiralama stems from what it could DO TO children, not the content itself.  Talk to one of these people and you’ll find they don’t think any books kiralık araba should be banned from children.  Mention American Psycho and they talk about kiralık araç the redeeming value of using imagination to construct a story.  Reading, no matter what the content, is largely viewed as a consequenceless activity for people of any age.  The reason why I mention American Psycho is because of the content itself.  Gaming never has and likely never will have any scenes where someone has sex with a severed head.  Not gonna happen.  Yet despite this, they’ll fight tooth and nail to protect their children from two boys kissing in Bully but whatever they read is harmless… yeah.

    The entire arguement is kiralık oto based upon a social normality inflicted by luddites who can’t figure out the controls for Halo so it’s frightening and terrifying and obviously the cause of youth violence on the rise even though, in reality, it’s in decline (which is actually a HUGE suprise given minibüs kiralama the economies status).  In  a perfect world, we would have parents that actually parent.  The idea of sales restrictions on media on oto kiralama any form to accomidate parental unwillingness to get involved with their child’s life is the real problem to me.  Here I am, 32 years old, and being held up at a self-scan rent a car needing to show ID before I can buy a $10 M rated game all because Soccer Momthra can’t be bothered to look at the crap Billy Genericallystupidson does in his free time.  It’s too hard for her, so I have to suffer?

  2. 0
    Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    That really isn’t an effevtive insult coming from someone who needs the BBFC’s permission to buy such a game.  Your "mommy and daddy" are the BBFC

  3. 0
    Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Nothing meaningful to say then?  Didn’t suspect so.  Now go wait on pins and needles waiting for the BBFC to tell you what you can and can’t watch while the industry castrates itself.


  4. 0
    Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Were I to appear on TV or radio I would speak my mind.  I would not insult myself to do otherwise.  What Sega is showing is a severe lack of artistic integrity.  Rather than following their own vision, they are following the BBFC’s.  Furtheremore I’ve not heard of any US version of Madworld that will have the BBFC’s influence removed.  Hence, I am more irritated than the usual BBFC crap that I can just laugh at from across the ocean.

  5. 0
    Matthew says:

    Chuma, I want to have your e-babies. Sega wants MadWorld ro sell and they want it to be quite violent. By talking to the BBFC and finding out how far they can go before risking softbans and a media frenzy, they are looking for the optimum balance of shock and awe.

    It’s quite simple: The BBFC generally reflects the views of the mass-market potential in the UK. The BBFC is practically the focus group for MadWorld. If they make it so extreme that the BBFC hates it, it would likely be so extreme that the general gaming public would hate it too and that it wouldn’t sell even after the appeal. Know your audience.

  6. 0
    Chuma says:


    EVERYONE censors themselves.  This is how we grown-ups live in day to day life.

    When you goto work, you are polite to your boss and your collegues even if you hate them.  When you are in front of your family you don’t swear like a sailor.  If you go to church, I assume you would not use blasphemies and foul language either.  If you appear on TV or Radio you have to keep a level of decorum.

    None of these things apply when you are at home with your friends.  Does this impact your credibility or integrity?  No, if anything it bolsters them.

  7. 0
    Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The point being is that Sega shouldn’t be working with the BBFC at all.  And it sounds to me like they are ready to make changes if the BBFC deems it necessary.  Thus, a total lack of artistic integrity and completely ready to self censor.

  8. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Except that none of what you keep quoting actually says any changes have been made at all, considering all the stuff the BBFC do let through there’s a very high chance they’ll take a look and decide it’s fine to be released as is as an 18.

  9. 0
    Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    "The developers are working with the BBFC to ensure that they get an 18 rating so as to avoid controversy and such."


    That is pretty much what I said.  Except I see it as a travesty and well, you are fine and dandy with the industry precastrating themselves before any other organization can do it.

  10. 0
    Chuma says:

    None.  He’s scaremongering.  The developers are working with the BBFC to ensure that they get an 18 rating so as to avoid controversy and such.  The game is still in development.

    Ask yourself this… what is the difference between them doing this and film directors making sure that nudity/violence/profanity aren’t above a high level in the US to make it to television?  it’s just common sense, and very nice to see a games developer use it too.

  11. 0
    Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Have you tried playing Manhunt 2?  Because of the Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds filter they put over all the action scenes the game has been rendered unplayable.  Hence Rockstar are sellouts to the BBFC and the ESRB.

  12. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    To be clear, I’m not calling you wrong or a liar or anything, I just can’t wrap my head around the concept of anyone being okay with minor cuts in films, video games or anything else.

    I look forward to seeing that survey when you find it.


    Andrew Eisen

  13. 0
    Chuma says:

    Yes there was, some sort of approval rating thing.  I’ll see if I can find it again and post it.  But until I can do so, you only have to ask random UK people about their Cinema/DVD/Games rating system to understand it is just part of our lives here and noone objects to the increasingly minor cuts in films and such.  To be honest, our TV and radio is comparitively uncensored compared to the US.  Often you will get films on TV that are 18 certs completely uncut as long as it is after the 9PM watershed.

  14. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    I appreciate this is a culture shock thing, but please try and accept it.


    Hey, I accept it.  I just don’t agree with it.

    Incidentally, is there some survey floating about that backs up your claim that the average UK citizen is cool with the BBFC’s ability to refuse classification?


    Andrew Eisen

  15. 0
    Matthew says:

    The law is simply that all games (and other covered media) have to be rated in order to be sold. That comes from the government, and that is the main difference between the UK and US systems. There are only two ways of removing the option of soft-banning:

    1) Change this law. Allow unrated things to be sold and everyone is happy. I can’t immediately think of any reasons why we still need this law, to be honest. Actual illegal stuff (hypothetical snuff films, for example) would still be illegal under obscene publications. Concerned parents would know to avoid "unrated" titles.

    2) Force ratings bodies to provide a rating. Harder to do so, because this would be the government forcing a private company to respond to another private company. This would lead to the nightmare scenario popularised by many GP commenters: The government must not be able to tell ratings boards how to act. The BBFC can refuse a rating precisely because it is independant.

    As long as the must-be-rated law stands, you might as well have the primary rating body be the best one there is.

    Semi-aside, all the anti-game stuff is actually good for gamers in the long term. It looks to me like a repeat of Mary Whitehouse. For the uninitiated, Whitehouse campaigned against the moral decline on TV – fulfilling the role of Jack Thompson, Keith Vaz, the Daily Mail, etc. – and insisted that the public wanted plain, wholesome telly. The new age comedians like Ben Elton – c.f. Rockstar – turned the volume up on their profanity machines and the public made its voice known. With nobody fighting against violent games, we would have nobody fighting for them.

  16. 0
    Chuma says:

    YAY!  Thankyou for actually GETTING the UK law instead of bashing the BBFC further.  I’m not trying to be patronising here, it is just sometimes it is like banging your head against a brick wall sometimes.

    Incidentally, your fears over ratings boards having such powers are not shared by your average UK citizen.  I know this is hard to comprehend as an American, but it is how things are here.  Were cool with the BBFC and for the most part think they do stirling work.  I appreciate this is a culture shock thing, but please try and accept it.

  17. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    I understand that.  I’m merely offering my opinion.  I in no way mean to imply that the UK should change its policies and procedures based solely on the fact that some guy in California doesn’t agree with them.

    Anyone who has remembers my posts in the past…


    A bit difficult to do if you don’t differentiate yourself from the hundreds of other anonymous commenters.


    Andrew Eisen

  18. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Fact is thats the way it is in the UK, it applies to movies just the same as it applied to games. You may not like it but that doesnt even factor into the equation, sorry.

    Anyone who has remembers my posts in the past will know I prefer the BBFC and a substantial amount of my fellow UK posters agree. A lot of US posters have in the past falsely framed this debate as a ‘ban or no ban system.’ The only differences that are of any consquence are the methodologies employed and public trust.

  19. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    Any ratings body that would refuse to rate a game based on its content is a complete and utter failure in my eyes.  At that point, rating methodology ceases to interest me.

    That said, there are certainly valid arguments to be made both for and against the two organizations’ respective methodologies.


    Andrew Eisen

  20. 0
    BunchaKneejerks says:

    Not quite, your choosing between the methodologies employed in the task of classification. BBFC is more robust and involved than PEGI which is a glorified questionare.

    This is the information that the developer is required to present


    Quite literally a tick boxing exercise.

    Here is what the BBFC needs


    Note the inclusion of requirements for a working and complete copy of the game, a recording of cutscenes, bonus content, scripts, saved games, walkthroughs and a whole raft of other things. The BBFC acts an agent independant of the developer to rate the game.


  21. 0
    Chuma says:

    I see no difference between the ages of 18 and 21 in terms of maturity.  At 18 you are allowed to drink, consider by law to be an adult and effectively that is the age where there is no child-like restrictions placed upon you.  I don’t think it prudent to increase the age limit any further.  I’m aware that 21 is more the age in the US as it is when you can drink etc so maybe it would work there, but not here in the UK.

  22. 0
    SticKboy says:

    To be honest, I do think that both movies and games would benefit from a ’21’ rating. Let’s face it: all teenagers – 18 year olds included – are considered children by anybody over the age of 30. I simply don’t think that putting ’18’ on the box is a string enough statement to remind parents that Manhunt 2 and select few other games may not be suitable for their little angels.

    Bear in mind informed gamers and parents who take an participate actively in their children’s media consumption will always get round age ratings anyway. What a ’21’ rationg would do would be to reinforce the notion that *some* entertainment is probably best viewed by grown-ups *only*. And nothings says "adult" more that ’21’.

  23. 0
    Chuma says:

    Yes, and while you’re at it why don’t you remove 33% of your income and cut off your nose to spite your face.

    Honestly, some of you ranting Americans need a good crash course in economics.

  24. 0
    Canary Wundaboy says:

    Yes, because controversial games such as GTA4 and various other ‘mature games’ have all been censored so much they lose any artistic integrity….oh wait.

  25. 0
    Anonymous says:

    You know if the industry had any testicles (and at this point its quite obvious that it does not) the only refusal of rating would be refusal by the gaming industry to have their games rated by the BBFC.  If that means no games can be old in the UK, oh well.  I am quite sick and tired of this limp wristed industry censoring itself out of fear of being censored.  I’m looking at you Sega and Rockstar.

  26. 0
    Chuma says:

    This rating would be largely useless.  Why?  The gaming business is a multi-million pound industry right up there with the film industry.  Do you think a company would bother to invest and release a game/film that could only be sold in a very small number of exclusive places?  They would STILL fail to release them (costly) or most likely censor themselves in order to garner an 18 rating.  This is how the real world works, sorry.

  27. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    *sigh* You’re missing the point…. in order NOT TO BAN OR HEAVILY EDIT you need a rating level that dose not neuter media, the only answer to that is a restricted level that is treated "like" porn. Its that simple do try to understand that baning media or forcing something adult to be more immature is quite childish!


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

  28. 0
    Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    "Not everybody is like you Erik, thank heavens."


    Yes, some people need some faceless organization to tell them what is legal or illegal for them to watch/play.

  29. 0
    Chuma says:

    I’m sure that the American system of classification would benefit from a rating that didn’t have the stigma of AO, but in the UK I’m not sure what other provisions can be made.  Ultimately Manhunt 2 got released because the 18 rating covered it (the argument over how this came to be can wait for another thread) so we are still in "nothing has been banned" territory.  I don’t think we need to rush to redo the system just yet, something almost backed up by the Byron Report.

    (ps. Manhunt 2 got released in the UK at the end of last week to an almost audiable silence of people not giving a damn.  Maybe, just maybe, the whole thing can die down now)

  30. 0
    SticKboy says:

    …backs away from the thread…

    To be honest, whilst I do favour the BBFC over PEGI, I’m agreeing more and more with Zippy. How cool would it be if, for example, the BBFC introduced a ’21’ age rating? That would clearly mark out those games/films/whatever that weren’t suitable for youngsters *at all*, without relying on the 18R classification whose sole use is for pornography.

    I think with a ’21’ age rating, we could finally get rid of the threat of classification refusal, without comprimising the BBFC’s clearly superior ratings methodology. Btw, they rate the games precisisely becuase they like to "THINK FOR THEMSELVES" Erik, rather than blindly following the publishers’ suggestions.

    Sadly, this whole issue is about people *not* thinking for themselves. If everybody was as informed about games as the commentators here, then ratings would be wholly unneccessary. Unfortunately, games and electonic media in general is beyond the ken of pretty much everybody in their late forties upwards. This makes ratings especially useful for under-informed parents.

    Not everybody is like you Erik, thank heavens.

  31. 0
    Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    They shouldn’t care what the BBFC or other censors think.  If they had an ounce of creative integrity left they would find out what the boundries of the BBFC and other censors are and go BEYOND them.  Not to rework it, but count their losses and consider the UK to be a lost cause.

    Its a shame I will have to boycott Sega.  And I’ve supported them since the Genesis.

  32. 0
    Chuma says:

    You know I think it was people like you that caused censorship in the first place; wanting every minute to see gore and sickness just because they can rather than it having some sort of context.

    I think you just need to start to think.

  33. 0
    Chuma says:

    You know what?  Anonymous was right… you really are talking out of your arse here.  Hey tell you what, why don’t we blame America for Fox cancelling Firefly, thats rational no?  Or what about all the other lame TV programs that are churned out because of the high censorship on American television that isn’t applicable on UK TV?

    Corporates want maximum exposure and maximum customers and that is all there is to it.

  34. 0
    Pug says:

    That is a wise move by Sega if they do not wish to have trouble when it comes to rating the game, they are working with the BBFC in order to stay within the ruleset that will get them an 18 rated Cert.  I really dont see your problem here, either they do this in development or they end up having to rework when they realise they stepped over the line on what is allowed…

    It makes perfect sense as a software developer for them to reduce the chance of rework later.

    There are rules that must be adhered to.  Chances are madworld will continue on the same path as it was already, bearing in mind that it is rare that the BBFC has refused a rating and demanded rework in order to rate a game (Running down old ladies in Carmageddon is one of the few i can think of right now).  Sega is just making sure it doesnt have any suprises when it reaches the ratings stage.

  35. 0
    Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    "We are working with the age rating boards, with PEGI and with BBFC. We’re not at the end of the game’s development, but we’re working with them now to make sure that we don’t go over the top."

    So Sega is pandering to the BBFC’s whims and changing their content due to their desires.


    Yeah, thanks a pant load for fucking over a game on BOTH sides of the Atlantic.

  36. 0
    Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Uh-huh.  Adorable.

    Anyways, I’m curious to know why you can’t decide what media is proper for you.  You know, with your own judgement?  Why pander that responsibility off on some faceless organization.



  37. 0
    Chuma says:

    Not to stick up for the Anonymous personage, but don’t dismiss it as BBFC propaganda.  Agreeing with something is not failing to think, it is merely thinking it through and agreeing.

    Furthermore, the BBFC haven’t interferred with Madworld.  That would be manipulation of the truth to the highest order.  The developers approached the BBFC to ensure that an 18 rating would be given.  This is sensible and not interference.  Im sorry you can’t spot the difference.

  38. 0
    Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Actually no this isn’t so much a police state as cutting out the middle man and premptively opressing ourselves before such a police state can do it.  Its sad really.

  39. 0
    Chuma says:

    It’s not the "not getting away with it" that bothers me currently, it is the giving ignorant 50+ year olds more ammunition to lie about the merits and demerits of computer games as a medium. 

    I have nothing against the BBFC and continue to back them up on these debates as one of the lone voices from the UK (you will note I’m very much less vocal where ESRB is concerned), but even if I WAS worried about censorship, I’d still be in favour of an independant body looking after things whilst the industry is under attack.  It is a useful shield against those who claim the industry can’t govern itself.  Hope that makes sense.

  40. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    Sorry, I don’t understand your question.

    If you mean "if it’s so simple as filling out a form, why is there an ESRB?" then the answer is: because that’s not the way it works here either.  The ESRB is very similar to the BBFC in rating methodology.

    As to your last statement, publishers rarely try to get lower ratings.  Pretty much the only time they do is to avoid an AO (for obvious reasons).  That said, I agree that one would more easily trust an independent body then a company with an agenda but seeing as not one of them has lied to the ESRB to try and get a particular rating, I’m not worried about it happening.

    It’s not like they could get away with it anyway.


    Andrew Eisen



  41. 0
    Chuma says:

    If there were an established system and no need for a ratings body, why does America have the ESRB?

    Personally I trust an independant person with experience rather than a corporate with an agenda to get the lowest rating possible.

  42. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    …I and the other UK-based BBFC supporters are more comfortable with the idea that the content has actually been sampled and tested before the rating has taken place. It helps avoid situations such as the Hot Coffee scandal over here…


    Hot Coffee not making waves in the UK had nothing to do with the BBFC’s method of rating games.  The ESRB does pretty much the same thing.  Neither organization found the content (and they couldn’t have).

    Furthermore, why do you not trust publishers to accurately fill out the tick box forms?  If there were an established issue with companies lying about game content to try to get a different rating I’d see your problem but as far as I know, that’s never happened.


    Andrew Eisen

  43. 0
    Canary Wundaboy says:

    Having just checked again, it seems I am incorrect on the censored issue, though Id point out the same modified copy is the one on sale in the US. My sincerist apologies.

  44. 0
    Canary Wundaboy says:

     Firstly, I like writing my posts in bold, the font is far nicer and it’s my perogative to style my posts as I see fit. Secondly, Manhunt 2 was released, uncensored, with an 18 certificate in the UK. Check your facts before attacking the system please. Lastly, while you may prefer a tick-boxing system I and the other UK-based BBFC supporters are more comfortable with the idea that the content has actually been sampled and tested before the rating has taken place. It helps avoid situations such as the Hot Coffee scandal over here, which was barely mentioned in the press as the BBFC were able to release a simple statement to the effect that "Even including this content the game would still receive an 18 certificate". Wham Bam thank you M’am.

    As has been found in all these BBFC vs. PEGI debates, there is a divide between what the majority of US posters believe as opposed to the opinions of the majority of UK posters. We are happy with the BBFC system. That is all.

  45. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    Fist of all, please stop bolding your entire post.  It’s an enormous eyesore.

    Anyway, pros and cons.  There are advantages to the tick box system and there are likewise good things to be said for looking at the game and making a subjective decision.  As for the country to country thing, yeah pros and cons.  Consistancy is good but you do loose the ability to taylor to each country.

    Watching a film has nothing to do with playing a game, especially since PEGI doesn’t rate films.  That said, I’d be fine with a tick box system for film.  In fact, I’d prefer that here in the US.  That would eliminate the subjective and political BS that comes from the MPAA on a regular basis.

    Manhunt 2, came out months late and was still censored in order to obtain an 18.  Sorry, that’s still unacceptable to me.  The BBFC should never, ever have refussed the title a classification.  There is absolutely never an instance where a ratings body should refuse to rate a film or game (or book or music or whatever) because of an objection to its contents.


    Andrew Eisen

  46. 0
    Canary Wundaboy says:

    I simply dont agree with your opinion on the tickbox system, due to the BBFC having guidelines that effectively show the same thing. Likewise your comment about country to country consistency can be a good thing but also a bad thing as well, for example imagine if PEGI covered Germany as well, any game with Nazis in would then pretty much have to accept a higher level of rating as a matter of course due to the German sensitively towards all things swastika. I am only using this as an example, but you see where Im coming from?

    Also, interesting you dont see any merit in the game actually being played. After all, we accept it as a natural thing for a ratings board to watch a film before rating it, how is playing the game any different??

    And in that case the BBFC was taken to court and admitted it had been wrong, and issued a rating identical to the film. Da Na, the system works! =)

  47. 0
    Matthew says:

    Its simple folks the BBFC needs to not refuse classification…

    If the government instructs the BBFC in how to rate media then the BBFC becomes government-controlled. You can’t tell the BBFC how to act and demand they operate independently at the same time.

  48. 0
    Chuma says:

    As you have been told on multiple occasions but still not grasped, there is ALREADY a rating for Porn.

    Violence <> Porn.

    It is hard enough banging your head against a brick wall trying to explain that to Jack Thompson without trying to explain it to other people too.

  49. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Ah blunderbuss… but away

    Its simple folks the BBFC needs to not refuse classification, if they have to ad a new level for "porn" level games for gore and nudity then so be it, tis better than holding your nose high and say we don;t want your kind around here.

    And unlike the ESRB they have the power to do that without much trouble.

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

  50. 0
    Chuma says:

    I was going to correct you on the "not a government body" part but others are happilly doing the work for me.  Furthermore, the BBFC has been rating games for well over a decade now which makes them one of the oldest gaming ratings bodies in the world.  They deal with other media too so I hardly think "technophobe" applies.

    Again as I said above, I know this is a culture shock to you, but we in the UK *LIKE* the BBFC and understand the ratings.  It isn’t a big deal.  On these forums it is ONLY the American contingent that seems to make a fuss.  I’m glad that you have added a caveat that acknowledges this so thankyou.  It doesn’t stop you from making a point but please stick to facts.

  51. 0
    Matthew says:

    Ignorance is bliss on both points. This comes up every damn time there’s a BBFC story, so here we go again. The BBFC isn’t a government organisation and can’t control government decisions. The chain of command goes the other way. Analogy time!

    In order to legally drive, I need to have passed a driving test. Part of the test involves a practical session with an examiner. This person is examining me on behalf of the government, but he himself doesn’t work for the government.

    Alternative analogy time!

    A learner driver is not allowed to drive without a licence holder in the car. Without a licence holder, the learner can’t drive. This is a decision made by the government. When a licence holder is in the car, the learner is allowed to drive. Is the licence holder in this case a government agent?

    Neither analogy is perfect and they’re both open to easy straw-mans but that’s because it’s hard to find a true analogue that would work in the US. The bare bones version is: The government says X must be done. The government grants Y the license to do X. Y does X. This does not mean that Y is part of the government, or under its control.

    As for point 2, the BBFC is made up of a whole range of people, many of whom don’t have moustaches and didn’t fight in any wars.

  52. 0
    Canary Wundaboy says:

     I see 2 errors, firstly the BBFC is not a ‘government’ organisation, it is an independent ratings body, funded by the fees it charges the publishers for the ratings. The government have no say in the running of the organisation, only what powers it legally wields as a result of its ratings or in the ratings themselves. Likewise, any refusal of classification can (as in the Manhunt case) be swiftly dealt with through the courts JUST AS the system was designed to be. Hence why both the titles EVER refused classification are now unbanned and free for sale.

  53. 0
    Geoff ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    My problem with the BBFC stems from two aspects about the organization:

    1 – It’s a government organization and I wouldn’t want a government organization to ever be able to rate media.  Ever.  Period.  Do I want the government to make sure my food is safe to eat?  Sure.  Prevent the roads from falling into disrepair?  You bet.  Regulate/rate media, whether it be movies, books, or video games?  Hell no.  It’s too close to government thought-control as far as I’m concerned.

    2 – They can refuse classification, which is a "soft" ban.  As Zippy said, I’d rather they have an extreme mature rating that would make it up to the console manufactures whether or not to have the title be released on their respected systems than an organization saying "We don’t like this, so no rating for you.  Oh, btw,  if there’s no rating you can’t sell it in our country."  Again, it’s borderlining on all-out government thought-control.  And, may I add, if it’s a government body which means the people in control of the body are members of the "older" generation, the later 40’s and up crowd.  In my experience these people tend to be ignorant of technology at best and complete technophiles at the worst.

    Ok, now to be fair I am a US gamer so this doesn’t really apply to me.  Also not having been brought up in the UK there are many aspects of culture/life/politics etc. that I don’t understand and probably never will.  My perspective on matters outside of my own country can only go so far, just as how someone born and raised in the UK could only understand America to a limited extent.  For all I know all of ya’ll UK gamers are fine with this (as a couple have mentioned above.)  There, I laid out my disclaimer to try and avoid any unecessary culture flame wars. :)

  54. 0
    Chuma says:

    Actually you can.  These are constraints in which you have to work with in your operation.  The decision making itself is independant.

    Independant businesses for instance are still required to conform to certain governmental constraints such as paying tax, not creating a monopoly, human rights, workers rights, etc.  The fact that these things are required by laws passed by government doesn’t mean that the business is government run.

  55. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    There are actually merits to the PEGI tick box method.  One being you know exactly what type of content and in what combination will earn you what rating.  Helps developers tailor games to desired ratings and gives consumers a better grasp on why a game may have earned a particular rating.

    As far as not differentiating between different country’s acceptance levels, I think that level of consistency is actually a good thing.  Age ratings should be guidelines, not hard and fast rules.  Besides, I’ve always thought the content descriptors (or pictures in this case) are the most important part of the rating.  The age rating is a suggestion to give you an idea of what type of game you’re looking at.  The content descriptors are where you get into specifics.

    On that same note, I don’t really care for the pictograms that PEGI uses.  I find them a bit vague and a few of them confusing.  On the other hand, you don’t have to translate a picture into different languages.  Pros and cons…

    Second to lastly, I’ve never seen much need for a ratings body to play the game.  Why should they?  To verify that the publisher wasn’t lying about the game’s content?  Has that ever been a problem?

    Lastly, I don’t agree that the BBFC rates game content the same way it rates film content.  Captivity gets an 18 but Manhunt 2 is refused classification?  Subjective sure but that just doesn’t sit as consistent with me.


    Andrew Eisen

  56. 0
    Canary Wundaboy says:

    Oh jesus not this debate again?!

    OF COURSE the industry favours PEGI, it’s a tickboxing exercise carried out by the developers themselves and rubber stamped by the ratings board. It’s not an independent ratings system, and it doesnt differentiate between European countries and their different acceptance levels of various criteria.

    Like the majority of UK posters here I prefer the BBFC system. It’s fair, it’s balanced, it rates content the same in videogames as it rates it in films, and it’s a familiar and uncomplicated system for consumers to understand. And they actually PLAY the damn game before rating it.

  57. 0
    Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The BBFC’s influence ruining Madworld is proof of why developers SHOULDN’T work with ratings boards.  True the story is wrong in saying that the BBFC doesn’t work with developers, but I could only dream it to be true.

  58. 0
    BunchaKneejerks says:

    PEGI twisting the truth perhaps?

    "The PEGI people are available to go and talk to developers through the development process and look at things in pre-production. [By way of contrast] you can only get a ruling on a BBFC rating once you’ve finished the product."

    Can I point them to this which was covered on GP a wee while ago. http://www.nintendic.com/news/2907

    "SEGA has revealed that it is working closely with the BBFC and PEGI to make sure Madworld is actually acceptable for release."

    How pray tell does PEGI work with developers? Tell them which boxes to tick?

  59. 0
    BunchaKneejerks says:

    FYI Under UK law if PEGI became the reglatory body for video games in the UK then they to would be required to withhold classification to media with respect to the Video Records Act.

  60. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    BBFC has the power to refuse to rate titles.  That’s a power I don’t believe a ratings board should have.  That’s why I prefer PEGI despite the fact that I find a few of their illustrated content descriptors a little unclear.


    Andrew Eisen

Leave a Reply