ELSPA Not Giving Up the Fight over U.K. Game Ratings

ELSPA, which represents U.K. game publishers, has vowed to fight on in its bid to have content rating chores assigned to PEGI rather than the British Board of Film Classification, gamesindustry.biz reports.

The PEGI-BBFC debate has become rather a long-running sideshow in the U.K., where government officials seem to prefer the BBFC, the industry wants PEGI and no one seems in the mood to compromise. ELSPA boss Paul Jackson spoke to gi.biz of his organization’s determination:

Nobody is saying for a second that if government brings in a regulation for a videogames act of parliament that our members won’t fight it. Of course they will. At the end of the day we’re a very law-abiding industry and we’ll fight our corner right the way through. If there’s a legislative process we’ll fight that as well.

 

I think [government officials are] listening now. I have a real sense that the arguments we’re making are so well-founded in fact that they’re impossible to not listen to…

 

Fifteen years ago when we set up our own age ratings without anybody asking us to, we did it entirely off our own backs to make sure there was child protection. I don’t think there is the slightest doubt that this industry isn’t serious, coherent and of one mind of where we’re going.

 

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125 comments

  1. 0
    GusTav2 says:

    I was trying not to get sucked into the madness but, as you said:

    Wait, that’s my line.  Why don’t you think for yourself, IE decide what media is appropriate for you, and say fuck PEGI and the BBFC.

    You will of course be ingoring the fact what anyone else said and be taking a decision for yourself. Or will you be basing your decision on a perceived slight because a PR agency released a press release that suggested that one group of people you like are talking to another group you don’t?

     

  2. 0
    Erik says:

    "Hang on, let me get this straight. Are you saying that parantal neglect is preferable to having age guidelines printed on the box? If so, then I’m at a bit of a loss, Erik."

    What I am saying is that if the child’s parents don’t put an effort to protect their child from such content then there is frankly nothing anyone else can do about it.

    "Also, as you didn’t make a direct reference, am I to take it that you don’t think a four year old should be able to choose for himself, by dint of saying a parent "allowed it"? Is that not some form of censorship?"

    Sure the child can choose for himself.  But the catch is a parent’s choices trump the child’s choices.  That is in no way censorship.

    "Lastly, you’ve repeatedly said what you don’t want – what is it that you do want? Anything more constructive or practical than simply re-stating "think for yourselves"?"

    Not to have organizatios such as the BBFC treat adults like four year olds.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  3. 0
    Erik says:

    By pandering to the censors there is no way the game could have "ultra-violent content" or be "too hot to handle".

     

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  4. 0
    Nocturne says:

    Perhaps the BBFC should have just said that they were refusing to rate Manhunt 2 because it’s shit and it would have prevented this whole mess.

    That’s a power I’d like to see a ratings board actually have. "What do you want us to rate? Barbie Horse riding adventure part 5? Fuck off!"

  5. 0
    SticKboy says:

    Because, Erik, it permanently associates the game with ultra-violent content, therebv making the game seem almost "too hot to handle", generating interest in and publicity for the title. It makes the actual game (and its developer) seem edgy and cool whilst simultaneously showing Sega to be a responsible publisher.

    People are attracted to content that is seen to push the boundaries of what is acceptable – Sega are trying to expolit that to promote their game whilst trying to maintain a family friendly image at the same time.

    Just because it didn’t have that effect on you, doesn’t mean to say that’s not what the PRs involved intended.

  6. 0
    SticKboy says:

    Hang on, let me get this straight. Are you saying that parantal neglect is preferable to having age guidelines printed on the box? If so, then I’m at a bit of a loss, Erik.

    Also, as you didn’t make a direct reference, am I to take it that you don’t think a four year old should be able to choose for himself, by dint of saying a parent "allowed it"? Is that not some form of censorship?

    Lastly, you’ve repeatedly said what you don’t want – what is it that you do want? Anything more constructive or practical than simply re-stating "think for yourselves"?

    I am really making the effort to understand your position, I hope you can extend the same courtesy.

  7. 0
    Erik says:

    "I can’t believe people fall for the PR from Sega."

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t PR people supposed to make people want to buy the game?  Sega has admitted that they are castrating their game if the BBFC deems it necessary.  Meaning that many people won’t buy it.  Why would their PR department do anything so idiotic?

     

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  8. 0
    Erik says:

    Under what circumstances?  I would say that the circumstance would be that if the paren’t of said four year old allowed it either through direct support or parental neglect.  So I have no problem with a four year old playing Condemed 2, Jehrico, watching Saw or Hostel. 

    Next.

     

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  9. 0
    GusTav2 says:

    I agree with the majority of your ‘commandments’ but you hit a problem with #1. There will always be a line which State’s will find it difficult for media to cross. Each State may have a different line but it will exist.

    Germany will have a problem with the imagery associated with national socialism. The current UK climate would certainly draw a line with the sexual exploitation of children.  Even the Dutch probably draw a line somewhere.

    No State will simply be happy to have that material badged ’21’ or ‘AO’ or whatever and allowed on the market, even with marketing restrictions. Once you accept that we are in a line drawing exercise we have to address the more difficult, but unavoidable, question of where to draw the lines. There is no easy option.

  10. 0
    State says:

    There does seem to be a lack of knowledge over the reasons for censorship, for instance terrorist material is illegal (such as instructional videos) because it can help aid terrorists, child pornography is illegal for many good reasons (for instance it is harmful and brutal for the children forced into such). These are areas where censorship is needed and has an overwhelmingly good reason for existing, I would like to know why Erik thinks censorship shouldn’t exist by taking the previous examples into account.

    Regardless games companies would not put that sort of content into games (only the sick perverted few would want to do such a thing). The argument against censorship is misplaced because this is about who should classify games. Every country has such a system, even believe it or not the US. The ridiculous attacks on people saying that they are like Jack Thompson are just that, in fact the ERSB routinely equates games with pornography, one sex scene in GTA: San Andreas means the pornographic rating AO, two sex scenes in Fahrenheit: AO. The BBFC has seen that sex has a valid part to play in games just as it has with films and rates them accordingly. GTA: SA uncut: 18, Fahrenheit uncut: 15. The ERSB has pretty much banned such games by awarding them the restrictive AO rating.

    I can’t believe people fall for the PR from Sega. When have they ever said that the content is being cut because of the BBFC? When have they ever said that they are self-censoring? When there have been cuts imposed on a game most of them come from the ERSB, and let’s not forget that the ERSB gave Manhunt 2 an AO rating essentially enforcing cuts onto the game.

    The argument that people should play a game so that they can decide on whether they will play that game is ridiculous. A classification exists so that we can know what sort of content is in the product before we watch/play it, we use it as a guide. It is hardly being a sheep by looking for guidance and again (and has been stated many times before) classification agencies have to abide by that particular country’s laws on censorship.

  11. 0
    SticKboy says:

    Under what circumstances would you allow a four or five year old child to play, say, Condemned 2 or Jericho? Or watch Saw or Hostel? Do you think the creators of these titles intended for children to experience them? Would you allow the child to make the decision themself?

    I realise this is an extreme case, but your query was hardly subtle.

    For the record, I am not pro-censorship, but that’s not to say I am anti-regulation. I simply prefer pragmatism over idealism.

     

  12. 0
    SticKboy says:

    Tbh, I’d just welcome a debate between ratings agencies. So far, it’s only the liberal ones that have had to defend their positions – the FSK and OLFC have never been brought to account. Say what you like about PEGI/BBFC/ESRB, but when it’s been perceived that they have made mistakes, they have all had to respond and make alterations (appropriate or otherwise), or at least defend their respective methodolgies.

    What I want to hear is why the OLFC and FSK behave as they do. I mean, how can you justify not giving Australian adults a representative age rating? It’s ridiculous, and obviously so. This problems of British, Canadian and USAian gamers pale into insignificance when compared to the hardships Australian and German gamers face every release.

    I know "it’s only videogames", but still…

  13. 0
    Gift says:

    Ok I see where you’re coming from now. I’m still not sure more liberal ratings agencies will help take the edge off of the more authoritarian variety though; that’s a big ask.

    As for Erik, I’ll sit that dispute out thanks 😉

    Gift.

  14. 0
    Erik says:

    You know thinking I think that I should be willing to see things from the other side.  So I invite Chuma or whoever to show me the benefits of censorship and not thinking for one’s self.

     

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  15. 0
    Erik says:

    Thats is becausd the UK-Thompsonites on the board do not have an oppinion, their oppinion was given to them.  Now my biggest failing is wasting my time communicating with these puppets.

     

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  16. 0
    SticKboy says:

    Writh reagrds to funding, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for games publishers to have to pay the various classification agencies for a rating on a per-title basis. If stores then refused to stock unrated games, which seems likely, we could then ensure a rating for all games as paid for by the publishers without unneccessarry interference from social or economic sectors.

    With regards to nations classification bodies talking to each other, this is only to ensure games with significant online components have some parity in their ratings, or at least an understanding that these demographics are not wholly seperate. It becomes less important for countries outside of North America, Europe or Oceania as gamers there typically donlt speak English and therefore will encouter each other less frequently online.

    It always serves as a way for more liberal ratings agencies (ESRB, PEGI, BBFC) to encourage stricter ones (OLFC, FSK) to improve and better reflect modern times.

    Lastly, Erik is a cock because he never listens to what others say, takes their differences of opinion on board or come up with constructive solutions. He’s just dogmatic; ergo he’s a cock.

  17. 0
    Erik says:

    "You’re saying that people should play the game to see if they want to play the game."

    Yes, that is exactly what I am saying.  Who should know what a person would/wouldn’t like to watch rather than that person themselves.  That is unless you are a sheep who needs to be told what to watch or not watch.

     

    "The comments coming from Sega are pure hyperbole, and they are trying to make it seem like the game is too hot to handle"

    Then I have news for Sega.  In a stunning turn of irony it has had the exact opposite effect.  They have shown themselves to be gutless cowards and by pandering to the censors I expect their game to be as "too hot to handle" as Babie Horse Adventures.

     

     

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  18. 0
    State says:


    DING! DING! DING! DING! We have a winnah!  Tell him what he’s won Johnny! 

    A lifetime’s supply of common sense!

    Except yiu comment didn’t make much sense and was akin to saying, that someone should buy a product to see if they would want to buy the product. You’re saying that people should play the game to see if they want to play the game.

    Sega has stated that they are working with the BBFC to keep the game within whatever rigid pansy structure that the BBFC will dictate to them.  To put it in perspective it is like Galileo working with the Catholic Church to come to a "compromise".  That compromise being a geocentric universe.

    The comments coming from Sega are pure hyperbole, and they are trying to make it seem like the game is too hot to handle. They are trying to say that the game will be banned because it is so extreme, but it’s just pure PR, and they know full well that the BBFC is very liberal in games classification and are highly unlikely to ban the game. Many publishers have claimed that their next game is likely to get banned by the BBFC but then the BBFC rate the game which usually gets a 15 or 18, they are simply trying to whip up fear.

     

  19. 0
    Gift says:

    "a hybrid system is the best solution given the current situation and the solutions on offer."

    I don’t see why a hybrid system is really best, why not hand the whole thing over to the BBFC? I think Byron was just paying lipservice to the games industry by keeping PEGI for some ratings (maybe she felt it would soften the blow).

    Regarding point 6, what funding would you propose?

    The rest I more or less agree with, except for 10, who the hell is Erik anyway? Oh and 9, I don’t really see why other nation’s rating bodies need to communitcate, it sounds over complicated and I’m not sure what the benefits would be. I certainly don’t want the BBFC talking to the Saudi religious police or Chinese censors, what would we gain from such interaction?

    Gift.

  20. 0
    Gift says:

    Ugh, I’d prefer PEGI but ELSPA really need to move on. For good or ill the government are going to implement the advice they were given, they won’t commission another report or ignore the one they have just because ELSPA don’t like it. Seriously, things could have been a lot worse it’s time the industry changed tack to capitalise on the positive things Byron said.

    Gift.

  21. 0
    Chuma says:

    In an ideal world, these points would be spot on.  The issue arises from the Daily Mail readership who complain about games like GTA existing at all and subsequently there are "moral standards" imposed upon the BBFC.  They basically boil down to what is acceptable in the current climate, as shown by films that got an X(Now 18) rating back in 1950 getting a U(Universal – Everyone) rating now.  As this is a moral judgment you get the occasional problem like with Manhunt 2, which is why the VAC was set up as an appeals process.

    If you could convince the government to agree to drop the laws that mean a game/film/dvd has to be unrated if it exceed 18 and instead give it an X rating for over 21s sold only in specific shops like with porn, I would be all for it.  I just don’t actually see that happening is all.

  22. 0
    figsnake12 says:

    I actually feel that the BBFC rates games more fairly, with ratings being roughly the same as the target  audience’s age. PEGI ratings are plain stupid, 16+ for a game aimed at 12 year olds? Useless.  

    The BBFC may ban more games, but in all honesty no one would have ever played manhunt if there hadn’t been a huge controvercy, because it’s just plain bad. Not fun, not exiting. BAD. And the BBFC gives fairer ratings on the whole. 

    BBFC: 19,467 

    PEGI: 2

  23. 0
    SticKboy says:

    I support Dr Byron’s report – a hybrid system is the best solution given the current situation and the solutions on offer. However, please find below a quick and easy guide to the way things should work in video game ratings:

    1) A ratings body should never be allowed to ban a game through refusing to classify it. All games should receive ratings, even if that rating is ‘X’ or ’21’ or ‘AO’ or whatever. It’s then up to retailers to decide whether to stock it or not. Interference from platform holders should also be disallowed.

    2) Ratings should carry clear symbols denoting the age for whom the ratings body has judged the game game to be best suited. These should be backed up by written content identifiers – pictures of spiders and fists can be misinterprested if not accompanied by text labels and could lead to confusion.

    3) All classifications should have an even spread of age ratings – that means having something for 18/19 year olds (looks at OLFC), and something for 15/16 year olds (looks at ESRB).

    4) The ratings body must make some effort to play the games they rate. There are many arguments about how to go about this, whether the game should be played all the way through or just the important bits, etc etc. To my mind, a check-box system complemented by a developer/publisher submitted showreel plus some extended hands-on time would seem to please all parties. Not having any hands-on time, though, seems a bit daft.

    5) People under the age rating should NOT be allowed to purachse the game by themselves – either by law or by store policy, depending on territory. If a parent chooses to buy it for their kid, so be it; but staff should be allowed to refuse the sale if they think the parent is purchasing the game out of ignorance. 

    6) The ratings body must be free from interference by the industry or other corporations, special interest groups, government interference and media pressure. That includes not accepting donations.

    7) The ratings body must be publically accountable. Otherwise, how could ratings be challenged?

    8) The ratings body must mount a thorough and detailed PR campaign informing the general public of what it does, what its symbols mean and that whilst their ratings aren’t manditorily enforced, they are guidelines that ought to be adhered to.

    9) Ratings bodies around the world must communicate with each other and recognise that whilst their ratings only apply locallly, the product will be played by a global market, often with or against each other. If cross-border communication is taking place between gamers, then so too should it take place between ratings agencies.

    10) Erik is a cock.

  24. 0
    GusTav2 says:

    The BBFC cannot just decide to ‘slot’ media.* The BBFC operates within a legally mandated role which requires them to refuse classification under certain circumstances. The only way that can be changed is for the UK Parliament to amend the VRA 1984. Abusing the messanger doesn’t solve the problem.

     

    * I’m still not sure what you mean by ‘slot’, it’s not a phrase used by anyone else. I take it you man classify.

  25. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    2 Problems with the ESRB argument 1 AO is baned by console makers because of the  politcail vibe in the US and 2 they don’t have to because generally games are not BANNED or have the threat to be banned if released under the guise of Mature, yes it would be great if they allowed AO but the console makers will have to let it be a usable level first..

    The BBFC is a body that directly handles most if not all physical media rating in the UK it badly needs to stop banning media and get down to just slotting it.
    The BBFF might rant things within the levels it rates more matruly than most but like Australia it gets dumb when things leave its supposed comfort zones.

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  26. 0
    State says:

    First off, comparing the amount of games the BBFC have banned to the amount that PEGI have banned is unbalanced. The BBFC have been rating games for twelve years whereas PEGI have been rating games for five.

    The BBFC is actually more liberal than PEGI over game classification, as PEGI give just about any game containing a smattering of sex an 18+. How are the British public able to decide on the content in games if an organisation routinely rates games too highly meaning that the ratings end up losing their effect?

    You don’t want to talk about hypotheticial situations, yet you base your arguments on the hypothesis that the BBFC will ban games in the future.

    What is worrying about PEGI (apart from the fact that it isn’t independent and not publicly accountable) is the fact that a rating has to cover the whole of Europe. Germany is very strict with violent games, and no doubt game certificates have had to be increased to accommodate some countries. The makers of Fallout 3 alluded to this fact that each country has a different perspective over game content. Another area that needs to be mentioned is that of censorship laws in every country (all countries have these laws including the US), Britain for example has laws over instrutional drug use, violent pornography, terrorist material etc. Games would have to be reviewed by a censorship board other than PEGI if they were found to contain such censored content, the BBFC handles the certification process and the censorship process, it would seem that PEGI would have to pass such content onto an external party for review. So it would seem that then PEGI would be looking at the certification on a country by country basis and we would then have defeated the point of the system. The Pan-European system does seem to be flawed and in many cases unworkable.

  27. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    Here’s the difference: The BBFC HAVE banned games (both Manhunt 2 and Carmageddon waaaay back), PEGI hasn’t. The BBFC were forced to change their decision, PEGI wasn’t.

    You shouldn’t judge based on a hypothetical situation PEGI has said COULD happen in the future, you can only go off past evidence, and on the matter of banning games for very poor vague reasons it’s BBFC 2 – PEGI 0

     

    ————————————————-

    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  28. 0
    State says:

    The ESRB forces no one to edit their games.

    Like I said, games have to be cut to get an M rating, I was very specific over that point.

    since they DO have an AO rating, and games are quite welcome to aim for that rating if they want. It’s just that none of the main console companies allow AO games to be released on their system.

    Again the uncut Manhunt 2 was essentially banned as it was rated AO and no one wanted to carry it. As well as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, many shops do not carry the AO rating. The AO rating was created for pornography (the reasoning behind why so many companies wanting nothing to do with the rating), but the usage has expanded. The ERSB knows full well the consequences that the AO rating has and so uses it (in a heavy handed manner) on many decisions.

    PEGI has used the argument that they have the power to ban a games company from ever getting a game rated again (although as it is an internal body this would never happen), so I find the complaints over the BBFC refusing to classify Manhunt 2 pedantic when considering that PEGI could possibly ban all games from a particular company.

  29. 0
    Erik says:

    To have a last response you would have to have a first.  You have never responded to me, it has been thos who think for you all along.  You are an uninteresting middleman

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  30. 0
    Erik says:

    Blank covers is a better proposition to never being able to see the cover because your Big Brother decided that you are not adult enough to see them.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  31. 0
    Chuma says:

    No apparently all your books would have blank covers and anyone who complained about not knowing the content would be villified as not thinking for themselves by reading through it all first and finding out if it was relevent to them.

  32. 0
    Chuma says:

    Of course by coming to me for advice you would have already defered your thinking.

    Sorry to break it to you but in EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of your life, someone else knows better than you.  If you shut up long enough to accept this fact you might realise that listening to others HELPS improve your own thoughts.  It is by listening to other peoples opinions and justifications that we obtain new directions of thought and ideas and help to have a more rounded knowledge of a subject.

    If all you are ever going to do is listen to yourself then you have nothing but a fool for a teacher and a student.

  33. 0
    Erik says:

    Fuck the US and UK culture.  Is that simple enough for you to understand or do I have to boil it down more?

     

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  34. 0
    Erik says:

    Yes.  And apparetly I must have missed the memo when a person turns 18 that they have to become a book burner like yourself.  If you can find said memo for me I’ll happily join you and Thompson in your freedom-icide witch hunt.  Until then, I think I’ll think for myself thank you.

     

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  35. 0
    Chuma says:

    It is TRYING to point out that different cultures censor things in different ways, but ALL cultures censor people.  You clearly aren’t mature enough to understand this and instead just want to bang on that "All censorship is bad and evil".  Well I have a suggestion – buy an island and move there or get into politics so that higher ranking politicians can rip you a new one instead.  Until the world ends and either of these two options happen, trolling on a forum whenever ratings boards are mentioned is neither productive nor helping your cause.

  36. 0
    Erik says:

    Well I’ll tell you what.  If I ever want pointers in being told how to defer my thinking to another person YOU will the first person I’ll come to for advice.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  37. 0
    Erik says:

    Once again, since you fail to pay attention, FUCK THE FCC.  Just what makes you think I support them?

    Furthermore the FCC has always been, you know, a governmental group.  Or did the Federal in F throw you off?

     

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  38. 0
    Chuma says:

    It is now, AFTER they made the report deciding that the 1st amendment didn’t apply to TV and Radio.  Oh wait that sounds like an incidious way to make your own business doesn’t it?  Why yes… yes it does.

    As for the porn to games comparison, it was made purely to point out that something that causes no harm has had excessive sanctions placed upon it by the US as well.  Porn, like games, does no harm.  The only reason for sanctions is that there are moral standards that are adhered to.  Sorry you didn’t get that.

    And yes, me and the BBFC are having babies together.  When they grow up they will be Adult Only though so you won’t get a look in.

  39. 0
    Erik says:

    Can I buy porn?  Lets see, the age to buy porn is 18 and I believe 21 in some states.  As I am 28, yeah, I’ve been buying porn for over a decade.

    But hey, drawing a parallel between porn and videogames is par for Thompson’s course.  And I really don’t see you or any other BBFC control fantatics as being all that far removed from Thompson.

    And to your other points.  Fuck the FCC.  Can you bring yourself to say "fuck the BBFC?".  I’d imagine that saying so would be rather difficult while you are tounge kissing it eh?

  40. 0
    Chuma says:

    Hey Erik, can you go out and buy porn in America at your age?  No?  Even though there is no proof whatsoever that it has negative effects even when Reagan funded a study on it specifically to find such a link?

    What about saying ‘Fuck’ on TV after 9pm? No? Sexual content on TV?  That neither huh… I guess really this just shows that the ‘moral standards’ and the ‘acceptance of governing laws’ vary between our cultures yes?  Then again, it’s not like you have a self appointed body decide that the 1st amendment doesn’t apply to TV and Radio and then set itself as the body to oversee fines and content of these, even though it is clearly against the constitution…

  41. 0
    Chuma says:

    And if PEGI were in charge they would have to abide by the same code of conduct and laws that the BBFC are party to.  It is not the company rating the games you dislike, it is the laws imposed upon them by the Government.  If you don’t like that, well you are free to change country or get into politics or appeal to your local MP or start a campaign etc etc.

    Your misinformation on the subject perpetuates the myths that Americans on this site have about the BBFC.  I would have hoped someone who has lived here all their lives and is old enough to have witnessed games going from unrated to rated on the back of Mortal Kombat and other "controversial" games in the 90’s would have a better understanding of the subject before commenting.

  42. 0
    Chuma says:

    Laughably incorrect.  The BBFC has been going for nearly 100 years.  To suggest it was set up for the 80’s only displays your ignorance on the subject.

  43. 0
    Erik says:

    ""So you’re saying that you should experience the content so that you can decide whether or not the content is suitable for you to experience?"

     

    DING! DING! DING! DING! We have a winnah!  Tell him what he’s won Johnny! 

    A lifetime’s supply of common sense!

     

    "All of these organisations are there to give guidance over content."

    That is all well and good, but when they step over the line of guidance into either saying what people can and can’t buy, or dictating to the designers what should or shouldn’t be in the game then that goes FAR beyond guidance.

    "What has Madworld got to do with the BBFC?"

    Sega has stated that they are working with the BBFC to keep the game within whatever rigid pansy structure that the BBFC will dictate to them.  To put it in perspective it is like Galileo working with the Catholic Church to come to a "compromise".  That compromise being a geocentric universe.

     

  44. 0
    State says:

    Wait, that’s my line.  Why don’t you think for yourself, IE decide what media is appropriate for you, and say fuck PEGI and the BBFC.  What purpose do these organizations serve other than to take these decisions off yourself.

    So you’re saying that you should experience the content so that you can decide whether or not the content is suitable for you to experience?

    All of these organisations are there to give guidance over content. Whilst their primary reason is to state what is and isn’t suitable for children of certain ages, the certificates are also used for adults to gauge the explicitness of the content contained, but the BBFC and PEGI can also decide on whether some content is suitable at all for anyone to view.

    Which box would you tick if you wanted to play an untouched version of Madworld

    What has Madworld got to do with the BBFC? They have not made any decision over the content. Also I highly doubt that they would want to game cut as they have been quite outspoken on comical looking content (such as Killer 7 and Dead Rising) and their decisions to rate them uncut. Statements have only come from Sega and look to be PR to make the game sound like the most violent ever in a hope of generating better sales and to generate interest.

  45. 0
    Canary Wundaboy says:

    "Why don’t you think for yourself, IE decide what media is appropriate for you, and say fuck PEGI and the BBFC."

    I do. I’m 20. I play what the hell I want. 😉

  46. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    Lets put it in terms even you can’t try and shout down shall we. Stop me if you get confused.

    *The BBFC ban Manhunt 2.

    *Rockstar edit Manhunt 2 and resubmit it.

    *The BBFC ban that version too.

    *The ban is appealed by Rockstar

    *The ban is overturned.

    *The BBFC appeal against the over-turning through a judge.

    *The judge requests the appeal commtee look at it again.

    *The appeal is turned down and Manhunt 2 is released.

    At NO point did the BBFC willingly accept that it was a game for adults, and at no point did they think they were in the wrong. So my original statement is not wrong. The BBFC has no banned games not because they don’t ban anything, but because they were eventually forced to rate and release the game.

  47. 0
    BunchaKneejerks says:

    Its a little bit more important just ‘semantics’. Dismiss that all you like but the major difference is that in your story the BBFC was forced to give it a rating whereas the reality is that no outside pressure, becides the appeal by Rockstar, was required for Manhunt 2 to get a rating. The system is working and adapting.

  48. 0
    BunchaKneejerks says:

    You are wrong. No party took the BBFC to court. The BBFC applied for a judicial review because they believed that the report produced by the VAC was not correct with regards to the Video Recordings Act. The judicial review found in favour of the BBFC and the VAC were required to resubmit. The subsequent resubmission was correct with regards to the Video Recordings Act and the BBFC, as a result, were required to assign the classification.

    Take your misinformation somewhere else.

  49. 0
    Erik says:

    "That’s cool, go through your entire life being told what to think."

     

    Wait, that’s my line.  Why don’t you think for yourself, IE decide what media is appropriate for you, and say fuck PEGI and the BBFC.  What purpose do these organizations serve other than to take these decisions off yourself.

  50. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    Because they got taken to court over their last ban, lost and were forced to change the decision. It’s certainly not because they haven’t banned anything.

    Need we get into the fact that game was intended for adults only, and they decided part of their job was to decide what adults can and can’t handle, instead of just agreeing that it’s for adults and rating it as such.

     

  51. 0
    BunchaKneejerks says:

    Guess what, Nintendo used to make playing cards, Sony used to be in telecoms. There is no denying the origins and original intent of the BBFC but the organisation has modernised and liberalised.

  52. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    I disagree. THe BBFC was a body created to deal with (that is to say, ban or certificate) the unregulated video nasties in the 80s. They are rooted in making judgement calls on what grown men and women can and can’t handle in their entertainment of choice.

  53. 0
    Erik says:

    It doesn’t matter if you were directly speaking to me or not.  You misrepresented me as actually supporting PEGI.

    Furthermore, if these groups existed soley for giving their opinion on the content I could grudgingly ignore their existence.  But when they start wielding the power of bannings, or the industry apporaches them for self-censorship THAT is when your reliance on these people to do your thinking for you becomes caustic to the industry as a whole.

    Now go wait for the BBFC to tell you what you can watch/play.  I really shouldn’t waste my time on puppets such as yourself.

     

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  54. 0
    Chuma says:

    And if I were talking to you then it might be relevent.

    You are getting increasingly thoughtless in your rants.  Now you are suggesting that critics and raters should not exist and everyone should "think for themselves".  Well excuse me, mr no-job-money-bags, but some of us have busy lives and limited funds and would like NOT to buy and play every game in existance to find out if we want to play it in the first place, or if it is suitable for our nephews and nieces.

    Do you even hear yourself talk anymore or do you just type whatever comes to mind as an when?  I think there should be a rating on your comments ranging from 12 (IQ rating) to M (Massively stupid)

  55. 0
    Erik says:

    When have I EVER stated that I like PEGI?  So those who haven’t  been paying attention: FUCK THE BBFC AND PEGI.  Think for yourselves, rate your own damn media you lazy slobs.

  56. 0
    Chuma says:

    I think this is more of a culture issue between the US and the UK than anything else.  Those that say "I don’t like the idea of banning games" I can understand, but probably cannot see it from the UK perspective as most people are okay with things as they are now and have been for 100 years.  Those that say "I like PEGI because PEGI doesn’t ban games and BBFC does" is just either not listening (Erik) or doesnt realise that if you put PEGI in charge, they would HAVE to change the way they do things because there are laws in the UK that govern this; it’s not the ratings board that dictates some games shouldn’t be rated but the laws that govern them.  Sure ultimately they get the say in what the ratings are and could decide that all games deserve a rating, but that would lead to the media finding examples of "unacceptable content" and the government would have to intervene and appoint a new ratings body.

    I hope that makes sense.

  57. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    I have no problem with a ratings body that says ‘This is suitable for kids, so it gets a Universal rating’ ‘This is not suitable for anyone inder the age of 18 so it gets an 18 rating’.

    My problem comes when they start saying ‘Adults aren’t responsible enough to play this adult-themed game, so we wont let it be released.’

    But like you said, that problem is part the larger one in that I think the Video Recordings Act is out-dated and in need of over-hauling.

    ————————————————–

    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  58. 0
    BunchaKneejerks says:

    First off, things have been too hostile between us and i’m the one at fault. So i’m sorry for that.

    But I am genuinely curious about your take on classification in the UK.

    I’ll state where I stand, I think media classification is correct. I agree with the enforcement of BBFC ratings for films and games. But then again, I also think anyone who talks at the cinema should be shot and their corpses should be paraded thru the streets as a warning to others.

    EDIT: also forget about the pros and cons of PEGI and BBFC for this. Imagine it in the context of a hypothetical regulator.

  59. 0
    Chuma says:

    And similarly we have been telling you that the BBFC is following legal guidelines set up for it and if you replaced it with PEGI then they would have to do the same BY LAW.  Complain about the law if you want, but pinning it on the BBFC is "complete wank!".

  60. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    I’ll say it till I’am blue in the face the BBFC needs to slot media and not block it it doesn’t matter what it is slot it to its correct slot and only ban the illegal stuff.
    If you want a level of adult material thats not porn but treated like porn the make that slot ope to publishers to publish to and not ban it out of being a complete wank!

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  61. 0
    Chuma says:

    Your grasp of economics is as sound as your grasp of the BBFC.

    Here’s a little story all about how Banks decided that as the house prices were rising at a huge unsustainable rate they would give mortgages to everyone under the sun, even offering 110% mortgages at low interest rates because they knew that the house value was constantly rising.  If people couldn’t afford to keep up the interest rates, then they could repossess the houses and sell them on at a profit.  They also allowed people to fill out "self assessment" mortgages where they proved their employment themselves, not by doing background checks etc so that people could lie about their employment status.

    These mortgages were then sold on as investment opportunities to other banks and institutions by rating them good to bad and getting the FSA to rating them AAA products fo the best and BBB for the second best and the really bad mortgage investments were taken off the balance sheets and put in offshore companies, something that meant the transparancy of the bad debts was kept away from prying eyes.

    Ultimately as mortgage rates started to rise, more and more people failed to keep up their repayments and these investments were not yielding any returns.  This has led to banks having no liquid assets, not trusting one another with loans, and with the house market collasping, they have houses as assets not worth what they originally lent and an inability to sell them on to regain the cash.

    When a bank starts to run out of liquid assets, even if it has an abundance of money tied up in other things, it has to ask for help, which gets reported by the media, which causes a ‘run’ on the bank.  This means eveyone pulls their money out of the bank and the situation for it esculates.  Ultimately it then has to announce insolvancy and those banks who are more healthy pick up a sizable asset for a steal and noone in government or the FSA opposes the creation of a monopoly because they care more about the public who have invested within the bank.

    The provisions to shore up the banks that will probably get passed early friday will need to be done, not just to protect joe public who has savings in the bank, but also for the pensions.  Because everyone in the US hates the socialism ideals we have in the UK, failure to assist the banks means the stock market collasps and noone gets to retire and that ladies and gents is a banking and ideology problem, not a partisan issue.

  62. 0
    Dark Sovereign says:

    Oh please. Fannie and Freddie, easily the largest part of the problem, are government run companies. The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, while noble at heart, was hijacked by leftists and big government types to force banks to make loans to low income and minority communities, neither of which are known for being able to pay off their debts. The "affordable housing" push by Bush, Clinton, and the Democrats is what led to this.

  63. 0
    Randomavatar says:

    An opinion on something like beverage preference needs no amending, making statement thats attribute beliefs and attitudes to others based on your assumptions is something not in the realm of opinion.

  64. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    And the point I’m trying to make is that I shouldn’t have to say ‘In my opinion’ before everything I say, since it should be a given that any broad statement is self-evidently my opinion.

     

    ————————————————–

    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  65. 0
    Randomavatar says:

    Still, those opinions, while being more vocal are no more representative than yours or mine and making the assumption they are is just as flawed. the majoraty are not always the vocal groups. This is the problem, and making generalisations based on assumed majorities only serves to stand in the way of rational analysis of the situation as it really is. And thats the point I’m trying to make.

  66. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    You feel it is untrue does not equal it is untrue, any more than my opinion does. Every time you look at small town newspapers, you see locals (usually in a higher age demographic) fighting changes. Everywhere I look in Britain I see the older generations desperately trying to keep Britain as it ‘used to be’ rather than move it forwards.

     

    ————————————————–

    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  67. 0
    Randomavatar says:

    Thats not how I’m representing myself, go back and look at my first response.

    All I was saying is thats you were the one making assumptions about the majority of the population for stating that its a ‘typical brit’ thing to do such and such. thats making generalisation about an entire country, not outlining personal opinions. Now if you levied that critisism against individuals then there wouldnt be as much of a problem, nor would it be a problem if you said it as you did in the shotbox and aimed the remark toward the government or even the bbfc, thats not the issue, the issue is thats you generalised it to everyone in the country by stating it was a typical brit thing, and thats just untrue, and thats the only case where either of us were trying to make a sweeping statement representing the majority.

  68. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    For a start you seem to be representing yourself as speaking for a quite possibly non-existant majority, whereas I was just stating my own personal opinion.

     

    ————————————————–

    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  69. 0
    Randomavatar says:

    I didnt say it was perfect or that you werent entitled to your own opinion so try and make an actually counterpoint next time. What I said was overgeneralisation of minority opinion to the majority is offensive to those excluded by it, its not a ‘typical brit’ thing to hang on to things for the sake of it, you can call specific people out for it, but generalise it to the populace at large and youre making broad sweeping remarks without regard to facts.

  70. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    I must have missed the memo that said Britain has now been classified as perfect and is no longer above scrutiny. That IS my view of the country. The younger generations are being suffocated because of the older generations fear of change and preference for living in the ‘glory days’ of the past.

  71. 0
    Randomavatar says:

    Backfired? You think I’m not still offended because youre british? It makes it worse that youre overgeneralising your own view of the country to the views of everyone.

  72. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    I’m British brainiac. Lived here 24 years, since the day I was born. (Funnily enough, I had a feeling you’d try the nationality smokescreen, shame it’s backfired.)

     

  73. 0
    Randomavatar says:

    Okay, TIME OUT, First off no matter what your opinion is throwing out flagrantly inflammatory comments about a nation is just plain offensive, I could respond by insulting america (assuming you are american) in turn for similar national problems without any thought for logic or fact but I won’t, you know why? because its petty and has no place in a rational discussion.

    So either you discuss the topic in a civil manner or troll elsewhere.

     

  74. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    THey aren’t ‘evil’, they aren’t ‘ban happy’ but they are out-dated. It’s a yet another typically British hanging onto something for the sake of hanging onto it out of fear of change.

  75. 0
    Canary Wundaboy says:

    No, he just means the BBFC are more leniant and liberal. Mass Effect is a case in point, PEGI rated it as a 18, BBFC were happy to give it a 12. If you then compare the ME content to similar content in films, you’ll see that the BBFC certificate is far more reflective. Unfortunately the Manhunt incident has led to massive amount of misinformation in the videogame community, many of whom are happy to believe the portrayal of BBFC as an evil, banhammer-happy organisation. Thankfully, this portrayal is wrong.

  76. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    Well for a start BBFC frequently downgrades the age-rating on games. The amount of times I’ve smirked at a box that has a PEGI rating of 18+ and a BBFC rating of 15 is too many to count.

  77. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    The ESRB M rating argument is flawed though, since they DO have an AO rating, and games are quite welcome to aim for that rating if they want. It’s just that none of the main console companies allow AO games to be released on their system.

    ————————————————–

    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  78. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    I can deal with most of your points but need to point out one thing:

    The ESRB forces no one to edit their games. No one. The people forcing game companies to edit their games in the US are Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo and the retailers. They are the problem. They are the ones saying we will not have AO rated games. ESRB is fine with AO rated games.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
    Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  79. 0
    State says:

    The adult 18 rating is not an anything goes rating, this is a common misinterpretation. The BBFC regularly bans films too and the ERSB forces games to be cut to get an M rating. The comments from the BBFC time after time go on about gaming being a legitimate artform and one that has an adult audience. PEGI constantly talks about protecting "the children" from these games and its rhetoric comes out sounding like something from the Daily Mail.

    The fact that games get lower ratings from the BBFC than PEGI shows that they are more in tune with games than PEGI themselves are. BBFC ratings for games and films closely match, PEGI ratings on the otherhand are over the top in many cases, and as has been pointed out Mass Effect is an example of this.

    The latest comments from PEGI go further to show that they are not up to the job of not only rating all games for the UK but any games at all. The latest comments talk about how labels need to be recognised across Europe, but they forget that the British government is looking at games classification in the UK only.

  80. 0
    Chuma says:

    Your reasoning is flawed.  Ill let you read one of the multitude of other articles in which people explain at great length, including myself, why this is the case.  Can’t be arsed correcting every American kiddie that posts here anymore.

  81. 0
    Matthew says:

    They just arbitrarily rate them instead. Don’t settle for the lesser of two evils; regardless of the BBFC’s ability to refuse a rating, PEGI doesn’t require the examiners to play the game or even see it in action. “Does it contain boobies?” “Yes.” “Greg, put the boobies icon on the box.”

  82. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    Go insane with power probably.

    Seriously though, I don’t know. I’d probably give the job to PEGI just to annoy the die-hard BBFC fans. I’m like that.

  83. 0
    Erik says:

    Which box would you tick if you wanted to play an untouched version of Madworld, or if you were a Brit who wanted to buy Manhunt 2 during the time it was banned?  Try as you might you just can’t sweep these things under your blind faith in the BBFC.

  84. 0
    Zaruka says:

    hmm hard to say since i dont know much of two but i would rather have them regulated them sefts, but like i said it could be something total differnt then the ESRB here in the states. either way you have one of the two telling you the rating.

    Thanks Zaruka

     

    oh and lets try to be mature with someone choise, dont want this to turn into gt fourm

  85. 0
    DeepThorn says:

    Why not both again?  Have them both have to ban a game for it to be banned, and have the ratings be side by side, even have a banned ranking for one if one bans it and the other doesnt…  is that a win or no?

  86. 0
    BunchaKneejerks says:

    This comment sums up the BBFC/PEGI debate to a point.

    Cheater87 represents PEGI, he is assuming that the industry are telling the truth and thus is just blindly ticking the box that says "I Love PEGI"

    However, if you look into the methodologies and actually understand whats being debated you are taking the BBFC appoach and actually perfoming a critical analysis. Thus with full knowledge you are better able to make a reasoned decision and are more likely to tick the "I Love BBFC" box.

  87. 0
    cutetei says:

    Second.

    I think PEGI is better – they don’t arbitrarily ban games.

  88. 0
    BunchaKneejerks says:

    So if we were to disregard your misinterperatation of the BBFC and PEGI ideologies for a minute. Which of the two do you feel has a better approach to assigning ratings and I don’t mean which has the prettier pictograms, I mean the actual methodology between rating games?

  89. 0
    Canary Wundaboy says:

    That’s cool, go through your entire life being told what to think.

    Baaaaaa. 😉


    BBFC ftw, PEGI are conducting the worst kind of smear campaign full of lies and dirty tactics. Ironically, it’s exactly that fact which has shown is they don’t deserve the responsibility.

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