BBFC’s response to ‘film-based’ games classification system

R18 rating system logo from the BBFC - Image 1After putting up with the heat from Microsoft UK about not implementing a specific “games-based” classification system for rating video games, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has decided to respond with their own explanation why they insist on using the the same rating system they employ for the movie and film genre. Hear more about the BBFC’s response in the full article.

Logo of British Board of Film Classification - Image 1After Microsoft UK corporate affairs head Matt Lambert’s statement yesterday, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has responded in order to explain their games classification system and why they insist on using the same ratings system they employ for the movie and film genre.

The BBFC countered that they don’t expressly classify games in the same way that they classify film, since they “physically play the game”. They continued by saying that the film classification system used is a familiar one and is most easily understood by parents who want find out how appropriate a game is for their children.

To reiterate a strong point made by a BBFC spokesperson: “Yes, we’re using the same symbols that we use for films, but that’s because parents understand what those symbols mean.”

The British censor board explained that unlike PEGI, the BBFC employs well-qualified game examiners who playtest the games to give a proper rating based on their rating system. In contrast, they mentioned that PEGI merely uses a tick-box system which is usually filled in by the game distributors themselves.

According to their own research studies made last month, many of the categories employed by PEGI weren’t as easily understood by consumers as the straight forward method that the BBFC used.

Here’s an excerpt from the statement released by a BBFC spokesperson regarding the matter:

Just like when they get a film that’s an 18, and says ‘Strong bloody violence’ they have an idea of what that is, because they’ve seen it in 18-rated films… The fact is, sticking a spider on the back of a box is not going to help a person make the kind of decision that they ought to be making about games.

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