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WiG 2007 BBFC - Caitlin O'Brien & Heidi Renton
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WiG 2007 BBFC - Caitlin O'Brien & Heidi Renton

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Caitlin O’Brien & ...

Caitlin O’Brien &
Heidi Renton
The BBFC and UK Games Classification
British Board of Film Classification

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Transcript

  • 1. British Board of Film Classification & Video Games
  • 2. Contents
    • Introduction to BBFC
    • 2006/07 statistics
    • How BBFC examine games
    • Recent video games research
      • Aims
      • Methodology
      • Key findings
    • Next steps
  • 3. Introduction
    • Started classifying films in 1913
    • Independent, non-governmental body funded through charged fees
    • Video came under BBFC remit in 1985 with Video Recordings Act 1984 – ‘suitability of viewing in the home’
    • Became British Board of Classification (not censors)
    • ‘ A highly expert & experienced regulator of the moving image (film, video, DVD & video games)’
  • 4. Some facts
    • In 2006 , BBFC classified 18,103 works
      • 15,122 (83%) videos & DVDs
      • 2,128 (12%) trailers & ads
      • 555 (3%) films
      • 298 (2%) digital games
      • Although video games small % of BBFC’s overall total, is an important area
      • First video game classified - DRACULA in 1986
      • Video games submissions increased tenfold from 2000 to 2006 (28 to 298)
  • 5. PEGI
    • Pan European Game Information
    • Administered by the VSC
    • Ratings based on questionnaire
    • 16+ & 18+ games checked
    • All 18+ & non-exempt games referred to the BBFC
  • 6. VRA
    • human sexual activity or acts of force or restraint associated with such activity
    • mutilation or torture of, or other acts of gross violence towards humans or animals
    • human genital organs or human urinary or excretory functions
    • techniques likely to be useful in the commission of offences
    • or is likely to any significant extent to stimulate or encourage anything falling within paragraph (a) or (b)
    • Or if digital work contains ‘moving images’ as an ‘extra’
    • (ie. trailers, ‘Behind the Scenes’, interviews etc)
      • Section 2 of the Video Recordings Act 1984:
      • ‘ A work is not exempted if, to any significant extent, it depicts’:
  • 7. 2006/07 video games
    • Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire / Starship Troopers Demo / Urban Chaos: Riot Response / Metal Gear Acid 2 / Hitman: Blood Money / The Godfather / From Russia With Love / The Sims Deluxe Edition / Final Fight – Streetwise / Timeshift / Tenchu: Time of the Assassins / Trapt / Resident Evil: Deadly Silence / State of Emergency 2 / Prey / Def Jam Fight for New York: The Takeover / GTA: Liberty City Stories / World Championship Poker 2 / Full Spectrum / Warriors: Ten Hammers / CSI 3: Dimensions of Murder / Golden Nugget Casino DS / Texas Hold ‘Em Poker DS / Sin Episodes: Emergence / Play Wize Poker & Casino / Vegas Reel / Saints Row / Jaws Unleashed / Call of Duty 2 / Curious George / Reservoir Dogs / Metal Gear Solid 3 – Subsistence / Company of Heroes / Yakuza / The Warriors / Canis Canem Edit / 50 Cent – Bulletproof / 24: The Game / Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 / Dirge of Cerberus / Call of Duty 3 / Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell - Double Agent / Tony Hawk’s Project 8 / Sid Meier’s Civilization Chronicles / Rapala Tournament Fishing! / Guitar Hero 2 / Eragon / Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses / Forbidden Siren 2 / Crackdown / Superman Returns / Leisure Suit Larry Collection / Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam / IL2 Sturmovick – Forgotten Battles / Driver ’76 / Shrek the Third / Tomb Raider Anniversary / Dead Rising / The Darkness / Dungeon Siege 2: Broken World / Call of Juarez / F.E.A.R / The Shield / Viva Pinata
  • 8. 2006/07 video games
    • Magazine covermount DVDs
    • - Jetix
    • - OXM
    • - XBox World 360
    • - PSW
    • - PC Gamer
    • - PC Zone
    • - PC Format
    • - OPS
    • - PSM2
    • - Nintendo Official Magazine
    • - Ngamer
  • 9. How BBFC examine
    • The BBFC Guidelines - latest issue 2005 - published every four years, & derived from a combination of:
      • requirements of UK law & Human Rights Act 1988
      • public consultation (citizens’ juries, research & questionnaires)
      • research projects
    • Examiners apply largely the same guidelines to games as to other media, allowing for some differences
    • Interactive aspect key – increasing physicality of games (Wii) means BBFC must fully understand the gaming experience
    • To assist the examining process, BBFC recently commissioned bespoke research study
  • 10. BBFC video games research
    • Overall research objective:
    • ‘ To improve understanding of what players enjoy about video games, & to explain their preferences for particular games’
      • how gamers relate to the medium
      • what makes games attractive (interplay between visuals, adrenalin rush, reward of finishing, social benefits of playing, etc)
      • the implications for classifying games relative to other media (grounds for applying different criteria to the classification of games?)
      • how games are perceived by the public, & by parents of gamers
  • 11. Research methodology
    • Qualitative research, consisting primarily of interviews & discussions with:
    • - gamers ( aged 7 – 40 yrs; light, intermediate & heavy players, in hours pw)
    • - gaming & non-gaming parents of gamers (of kids aged 7 – 17 yrs )
    • - people involved in game production, design & reviewing in specialist press
    • Fieldwork in several locations across UK in Autumn 2006
  • 12. Key findings
    • Basics
    • - people playing games younger (some 3yrs old)
    • - children usually have consoles in bedrooms
    • - ‘word of mouth’ & peer pressure a powerful influence (especially with young boys)
    • - notoriety of some games in media has effect on gamers wanting to play higher rated games
    • Patterns of use
    • - many young gamers play to the limits of what parents allow
    • - girls/women typically play fewer games, shorter sessions
    • - men make time to play, women fit around other activities
    • - boys talk about & share gaming experiences more than do girls
  • 13. Key findings
    • The appeal of video games
    • - girls stay calmer & set achievable objectives – boys tilt towards jeopardy & excitement
    • - games offer a ‘safe’ environment, structured by learnable rules - gamers find this dependability more relaxing & de-stressing than more passive activities like watching TV
    • - Storylines a relatively weak element in overall appeal
    • - gamers forget they’re playing a game less readily than filmgoers forget they’re watching a film
    • - intense concentration & fierce determination to win or make progress are not the same as deep emotional involvement
  • 14. Key findings
    • Violence as an appealing element
    • - violence as a means of eliminating obstacles is built into many game structures
    • - violence contributes to game tension; gamers vulnerable to being shot – many concentrate on their own survival rather than on inflicting damage
    • - violence is an element of escapism; makes the play exhilaratingly out of reach of ordinary life
    • - gamers seem not to lose awareness of playing a game & do not mistake the game for real life
  • 15. Key findings
    • Gamer concerns about playing video games
    • - sense of achievement can be fleeting, ‘rather a cold, emotionally shallow experience’
    • - some gamers uncomfortable with gore/bloody deaths, & ‘wrongness’, wickedness prevailing over innocence
    • - players exonerate games of responsibility for real violence
    • - most gamers & professionals agree TV/film violence creates more compelling, upsetting illusion
    • Parental concerns
    • - many relieved their kids not involved in more harmful activities
    • - confident that their kids not influenced by game violence
    • - no feeling that interactivity is an aggravating factor – TV worse
    • - many unaware of sexual content in games – more indignant about sex than violence
    • - more fear of ‘stranger danger’ than sex in games
  • 16. Key findings
    • Supervision & regulation
    • - many parents see amount of time their kids spend on video games - rather than content - as the problem
    • - parents motivated to enforce classifications are often defeatist: children get access to forbidden games anyway
    • - some keep issue at arm’s length as conscious they don’t know anything about games
    • - widespread agreement that some regulation of video games needed - current system generally regarded as fit for purpose
    • - problems seen with compliance; people buy kids age- inappropriate games, & stores don’t take games classifications as seriously as DVDs
  • 17. Next steps
    • Research published this week
    • Key research findings to be used to inform examination policy for video games
    • Likely to be included in next issue of BBFC Guidelines, published 2008/9
  • 18. Any questions?
    • Caitlin O’Brien / Heidi Renton
    • Examiners, BBFC
    • www.bbfc.co.uk