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GAME "would welcome" updated ratings system

Thu 27 Mar 2008 7:17pm GMT / 3:17pm EDT / 12:17pm PDT
Politics

UK's largest videogames retailer upbeat on possibilities, committed to effective staff training

UK videogames retail giant GAME has told GamesIndustry.biz that it is open to improvements and developments to the age ratings system, and that its staff undergo rigorous and regular training on how to enforce game classifications.

In an interview before the Byron Review was published, Robert Quinn, the company's UK and Ireland operations director, explained the company's viewpoint.

"As more and more customers start buying games for the first time, it's important that we can give them clear advice about the content of each game, so they can choose titles that will give them the most suitable entertainment," he said.

"Age ratings help us advise our customers, so we'll continue to support them and any initiatives that raise their profile and understanding.

"In principle we would welcome a move to update the age rating system to make it easier for customers to understand, and we look forward to seeing Dr Byron's suggestions."

"Consultation with retailers and with the public to agree 'minimum standards' in the provision of in-store information and advice for parents about videogames"

"Consideration of the best way to use in-store information to inform consumers (eg through use of television or audio information, or extended classification information)"

"Consideration of using specific and prominent shelf level notices where 18-plus-rated games appear, in order to support the message that 'not all games are for children'"

"Consideration of punitive measures for non-compliance with these codes"

"Agreement on formal, independent monitoring of what information shops provide, the results of which are made available to consumers"

But GAME is already working on a number of these areas, as previously explained by Quinn:

"In GAME stores we already support and enforce all age ratings in the same way - whether PEGI or BBFC - and will continue to do so," he said.

"If the customer is the parent or guardian, we will advise them clearly about the content of the game but are not in a position to refuse the sale.

"The responsibility lies with the parent - but we will make sure they have as much information as possible.

"As retailers, we can help to educate our customers about age ratings by providing clear advice and help on a one-to-one basis in our stores, and by displaying clear age ratings on the products we sell and material that explains what age ratings represent and why they are important," he added.

The full interview with Robert Quinn, in which he details GAME's policy on training, and what that involves, is available now.

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