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BBFC defends Canis Canem Edit rating

Gianni Zamo, senior examiner for the British Board of Film Classification, has defended the decision to award controversial Rockstar title Canis Canem Edit a 15 certificate.

Gianni Zamo, senior examiner for the British Board of Film Classification, has defended the decision to award controversial Rockstar title Canis Canem Edit a 15 certificate.

CCE was originally titled Bully, but Rockstar opted to change the name of the game for its European release following criticism by anti-bullying campaigners.

However, the controversy continued to grow, with MP Keith Vaz calling on the Government to step in if the BBFC failed to ban the game from sale.

But the ratings board opted to award CCE a 15 age rating - a decision which it stands by.

"You can understand the concerns of a subject that hits the headlines fairly frequently in this country. Often the truth is far less dramatic than the myth that's put around it," Zamo told GamesIndustry.biz.

"Certainly Canis Canem Edit is not the monster, demon game that's going to turn our children into horrific and violent individuals."

Many of those who campaigned against the release of Canis Canem Edit criticised the game for featuring violence between schoolchildren and against teachers. But according to Zamo, the violence is neither as graphic nor as gratuitous as may have been assumed.

"It's much more considered in its approach I would say, and quite carefully balanced in terms of what you can get away with as this character and the consequences of anything you might do," he observed.

"It's not just a free-for-all, go out and kick the living daylights out of everybody - there are penalties for engaging in anti-social behaviour, so I think Rockstar have been careful to balance it out in that respect."

Canis Canem Edit was released in the UK on October 27 and went straight into the all-formats top ten, despite the refusal of some major retailers to stock the game. CCE is currently at number eight in the PS2 software chart and is expected to sell well in the run-up to Christmas.

Visit GamesIndustry.biz next week to read the full interview.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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