Friday, 28 March 2008

The Byron Review

In case you missed it, back in September 2007 the UK government commissioned a review of the risks children faced from exposure to harmful or inappropriate material on the internet or in video games. As someone who has researched and taught in the area of 'media effects' myself I was expecting the typical tirade of simplification and behavourist assumptions that tend to dog these types of investigations.

I have to admit that I was a little bit dubious as to the outcome of Dr Tanya Byron's review. However, it seems I need not have been so concerned as the study seems to have been very well considered and quite constrained. I think Byron and her team deserve some praise and recognition for a balanced review.

I have not managed to read the full review document yet, so I may still change my mind, but I am impressed with what I have seen thus far. Of course, there are bound to be a few fall outs from the findings - in particular the advice for a hybrid rating system for games under and over the suggested 12 certificate may lead to more parental confusion than assist them in making informed decisions but one could argue that the present combination of BBFC and PEGI advise already does that.

The full report can be found here


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