Byron review

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Byron review

  1. 1. The Byron Review was a report delivered on the 27 March 2008 to the UKDepartment for Children, Schools and Families. It was authored and overseenby Dr Tanya Byron.Focuses on the use of videogames and the internet by children andwhether/how, we should police this.-videogames and the net are useful as they offer opportunities fordevelopment- harmful as they offer inappropriate materialFocus of the report is not on how the internet can harm us or affect behaviourbut on how it can advance or improve our lives.The report discusses the generational digital divide - young people andchildren are more aware and advanced with technology than theadults/parents. this results in parents being over protective through fear ofwhat they dont understand.Shared culture of responsibility - between adults, the industry and thegovernment to protect children from inappropriate material.The review proposes a national strategy for child internet safetyFor videogames PEGI (age rating system, often confused by parents for levelof difficulty, the ratings are 3, 7, 12, 16, 18, with icons representing, fear,violence, drug use, gambling, discrimination, sex and Online game play) isused but the review states that BBFC should be involved more. But increasedclassification will cost money that the BBFC don’t have.The Department for Children Schools and Families website has now beendecommissioned (where the report used to be held for the public to view)Conclusions of the reviewFor videogames:There are a number of ways that these possible ‘risks’ can be managed.For example, many online gaming sites have people monitoring players’behaviour and looking out for anything suspicious.Many also offer ‘report buttons’ to use if your opponents are being abusive.But ‘online gaming’ is still relatively new compared to they way games havetraditionally been played – on consoles and computers, ‘offline’. So, to makesure that enough is being done in games aimed at children,I have said that the different industries and the Government should worktogether to help make online games safer (e.g. by having clear and easy touse ‘report buttons’).I have also said that the new Government Council, which is looking at safetyon the internet (see page 7), should also focus on online games.
  2. 2. To solve this problem, I have recommended that there should be just one setof classification symbols for video games in the UK. I have also said that thisneeds to be backed up by law, so that games with ‘12’ ratings and abovecannot be sold to someone under those ages. I am suggesting that the twoorganisations (BBFC and PEGI) work together to decide what the ageclassifications should be, but what you see on the front of the box would bethe same labels as you see on films. Government will need to consulteveryone on how these changes can be made.I also want there to be a big information campaign – with posters in shops, sothat everyone knows to take the age ratings more seriously.Advertising: I am also saying that advertising and video games businessesshould work together to make sure adverts for games (posters, television,online etc.) do not include material that may not be suitable, and that they arenot aimed at those to youngTo play the game being advertised.For the internet:I have made clear that this Council needs to listen to what you and yourparents think. I am asking the Prime Minister to meet them every year tomake sure they are working hard on your behalf.This Council will have three main jobs: 1. Make sure enough is done to teach children, young people, parents and other adults about the risks of going online and what they can do about them. 2. Work with technology experts, people who understand how children develop and different companies to make sure that there are proper technical tools and support (for example, to help you and your parents decide which sites are safest for you to use). 3. Agree sets of safety codes about the ways companies look after children and young people on their online web spaces.

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