The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is threatening to sue the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) for copying their current rating board for the classification of videogames. The new system proposed by the ELSPA is supposed to give parents a quick and easy reference on the appropriateness of a particular video game though a series of colored symbols.
Perhaps the latest episode in the war of words between the BBFC and ELSPA is the former threatening to sue the latter over their recently released game ratings board.
The board in question is a traffic light-like rating system with PEGI (Pan European Game Information) age ratings. The new system is supposed to give parents a quick and easy reference on the appropriateness of a particular video game.
It’s a pretty solid looking system with only one problem: it looks almost exactly like the BBFC’s ratings board:
On the left, as the logo suggests, we have the BBFC board that’s been in use since 1982 and on the right is the ELSPA’s system for rating videogames which was unveiled just recently.They do seem to be similar, though the same can be said if we compare them to a common traffic light.
The BBFC probably wouldn’t have made such a big deal out of the whole thing, had the ELSPA not been so critical of them over the last few months. If you recall, ELSPA’s director general, Paul Jackson, had been quite vocal about the BBFC not being fit to handle games classification. The full story’s in the related articles below.
“We’re happy for ELSPA to make sensible improvements, but not if they encroach on the protection of the BBFC’s symbols,” said the BBFC on this issue.