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New inquiry into risks of harmful material in games

The UK parliament's Culture, Media and Sport Committee has announced a new inquiry into the potential risks from harmful material on the Internet and in videogames

The UK parliament's Culture, Media and Sport Committee has announced a new inquiry into the potential risks from harmful material on the Internet and in videogames.

This inquiry is different than the Byron Review, a government report due in 2008 which will seek to understand better how to protect children from harmful images.

The CMS Committee wants to consider the benefits and opportunities offered to consumers, including children and young people, and the economy by technologies such as the Internet, videogames and mobile phones.

At the same time, it will look at potential risks to consumers from exposure to harmful content on the Internet or in videogames, considering the "effectiveness of the existing regulatory regime" in helping to manage the potential risks.

The committee is particularly interested in the potential risks posed by "cyberbullying" according to a statement calling for written submissions from interested parties.

While the CMS Committee will accept responses to the Byron Review, it intends that its inquiry be broader in scope as it will examine the impact of content on consumers in general, rather than focusing solely on the impact on children and young people.

Submissions are due by the end of January, with oral evidence sessions planned for February and March of 2008.

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