Concern is growing among members of the U.K. game industry that the upcoming Byron Review, an investigation into the risks to children posed by videogames and the internet, could be used to justify a "crackdown" on violent videogames.
A leak to the Scotland On Sunday newspaper suggested U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown was preparing to introduce the crackdown following the release of the review, which will be published in March. According to MCV, the concern stems in large part from the fact that the industry has embraced the approach of Tanya Brown, author of the review.
"It was pretty much agreed by all parties - publishing, retailers and parents and Government - that there needs to be one rating system for transparency's sake, whether that be the BBFC or something more voluntary," an anonymous source told MCV. "But there's a definite fear that Brown will aggressively present this to the media and public as 'we are fighting the industry for your kids' safety.' Nothing could be further from the truth, and Tanya Byron knows that."
The Byron Review, commissioned in September 2007, is being led by Dr. Tanya Byron, a clinical psychologist best known for her BBC television programs about child behavior. The wide-ranging nature of the review, including open calls for evidence from researchers, the gaming industry and children, has earned widespread industry support for her efforts.