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Byron: Ratings decision was "very tricky"

Government report author based her BBFC/PEGI solution on what "works for children and parents"

Dr Tanya Byron has explained that the decision she had to make over recommendations for a new ratings arrangement, bringing the BBFC more into prominence, was a tough one to make – but reiterated the support she's receieved from industry.

In the end she felt that the existing BBFC brand recognition outweighed other considerations and made it easier for a wider audience to understand.

"For me it was a very tricky decision because this is a really important industry, it's a creative industry, and it's worked really positively with me," she said. "It's an industry that makes adult games for adults, and I'm really clear about that.

"I support industry about that, and I want to support the industry to get that message out to the public - the European system works for industry, the BBFC works for children and parents, because of the branding and the understandability, and my remit was around children and parents.

"But the PEGI system will continue to work with the BBFC to rate 50 per cent of games, which are those at the lower end," she continued.

She went on to point out that there would be a period of public consultation, and that industry would be invited to comment further as part of that.

When asked whether or not the relative independence of the BBFC, in contrast to the self-regulation which PEGI represents, had a bearing on her decision, she played that aspect down.

"It is important, but for me, the real drive is about what works for children and parents – it's about clarity and enforcement," she said.

And DCFS Minister Ed Balls added his support for the ratings board: "The BBFC I would say has done exactly that in films, people are very clear there, and are used to the classification of films, and it's about bringing some of that clarity to the games industry."

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