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Dark Knight rating raises BBFC questions

Furore over film's 12A-rating adds fuel to games ratings debate

Fresh concerns have been raised over the BBFC's ability to rate videogames effectively, following the recent storm over its evaluation of the latest Batman film, The Dark Knight.

It gave the movie a '12A' rating, a decision which critics have blasted and which led to the BBFC receiving 60 complaints in the eight days following its release.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, "many parents found they had to shield their children's eyes from shocking scenes, including a man's eye being jabbed with a pencil and deranged villain The Joker saying he enjoys killing with a knife as his victims take longer to die."

An EA spokesperson told GamesIndustry.biz that lessons needed to be learned, particularly with respect to videogames ratings in the UK - the main responsibility for which may be handed to the BBFC following the Byron Review's public consultation period.

"This raises the important question of how to best protect minors from inappropriate content, right as the same question is being posed to the videogame industry," said the spokesperson. "We're looking forward to working with the government and the BBFC to determine what game rating system will truly be best for protecting kids in the UK"

Last year the BBFC handed Manhunt 2 a ban, only for that decision to be eventually overturned by its own Video Appeals Committee - but only after a lengthy detour via the High Court.

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