Five reasons why the Byron Review is great news for gamers

And why everyone should take the time to actually read it

1) Gaming is taken seriously
Finally, finally, gaming is being given as much credence as accepted media like films or music. Section 6 of the report is a breath of fresh air, not only because the author almost universally uses the right terminology when describing game genres etc but because everything sounds like the words of someone who has researched the topic in detail. You know, she actually knows what she's talking about.

For example, Byron makes the distinction between eras of gaming and stresses that criteria for evaluating the medium should be able to evolve with it as it changes. For someone outside of the industry to recognise the nature of gaming like this is music to our ears.

2) Censorship is not given as the quick-fix solution
It would have been so easy to say 'censoring unappropriate content will solve the problem'. Thankfully, not so. Throughout the report, Dr Byron advises guidance rather than censorship, only really commenting that the BBFC’s ability to ban games outright in extreme cases is necessary at this time:

"I fully appreciate the view of those that disagree with ‘banning’ video games and believe that adults should be free to choose what games they play, so long as existing laws applicable in the UK, such as the Obscene Publications Act are not contravened. However, at this moment in time, when parental awareness of the risks and use of the classification system needs improving, and given the lack of effective control of such games in many households, it is important to maintain the ability of the state to intervene in this way and promote the debate. This may be something that gets reviewed when we feel more confident about how parents are using the classification system."

To reiterate and clarify her opinion still further,she toldnext-gen.bizyesterday: "I can understand that gamers fear that there will be a 'you can't play these games any more'. I've not said that, I'd never say that, and certainly if I heard people beginning to use my review to try and imply that I will be very quick to say that that was not and will not be a recommendation of mine."

3) Gamers themselves are portrayed as intelligent people
There are quotes throughout from gamers and non-gamers and not once is any gamer portrayed as ignorant or stupid. In fact, the Children's Call For Evidence offerings are highly intelligent – take this, for example:

"Kids don’t need protection we need guidance. If you protect us you are making us weaker we don’t go through all the trial and error necessary to learn what we need to survive on our own. I know that in video gaming it may seem insignificant but it applies to gaming and the bigger stuff in life as well. So don’t protect us guide us through the gaming world don’t fight our battles for us just give us assistance when we need it."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The longest-serving GR+ staffer, I was here when all this was just fields. I'm currently Reviews Editor but still find time to speedrun Sonic levels and make daft Photoshop articles.
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