Byron Review Will Affect UK’s Game Ratings

    March 27, 2008

Late last year, the British Prime Minister asked a clinical psychologist to look at the risks the Internet and video games pose to children.  Dr. Tanya Byron has now come back with several suggestions that the government has said it will follow.

Game Ratings Getting A Change
 Dr. Tanya Byron
(Photo Credit:

One of the more significant changes relates to video game ratings.  Anything that is intended for children twelve or older will now need to be examined, and ratings will model the already-established system for films.

Also important is Dr. Byron’s recommendation to establish a UK Council for Child Internet Safety.  A number of government entities, corporations, and age groups should be made part of the Council, and the collection will report to the Prime Minister.  Public information and awareness campaigns will start up, as well.

Responses to the Byron Review have been pretty positive so far.  Many children’s problems lie with parents’ choices, of course, so her advice to go beyond slapping new labels on everything seems wise.  Dr. Byron corresponded with hundreds of kids and adults during the course of her analysis, too, so she’s unlikely to be accused of just spouting off.

Ed Balls, the UK’s Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, stated, "I am grateful to Dr. Byron for carrying out this review and the recommendations show a convincing analysis of how we can properly manage risk in a fast paced, fast changing new media environment."