Byron Review surprisingly rational

england Six months ago, the Prime Minister of England commissioned Dr. Tanya Byron (no relation to Simon Byron from One Life Left) to review the awareness and classification of videogames and how they can affect children. An awfully large undertaking for one person, if you ask me.

To complete this study, Dr. Byron did not wear a white coat, sit some kids down in office and watch them play a series of games she selected. That’s uncomfortable and would have yielded completely different results. Instead she played games with her kids, she played games with her friends and she talked to people. Sounds like something normal people who have children and buy video games would do, right?

Well, the report is out and, as my title might suggest, it is surprisingly rational. Dr. Byron is a clinical psychologist and apparently the woman for the job by saying, "We have to make child digital safety a priority. If you are under 18, you should not be able to buy an ‘18′ game and if you are under 12, you should not be able to buy a ‘12′ game." That’s so lucid.

Dr. Byron’s suggestions are startlingly similar to Neil Thompson’s from a few days ago. She believes more parents need to be educated on the ratings, as her research has shown that some still do not understand that a game rated 18 is not a good choice for a 4 year old. She also suggests printing the rating on the front and back of the box, something that we have had in America for years. I think it’s a solid suggestion.

She, unlike some American naysayers, thinks if kids want to play video games they should, but they should also do other things. "Let children play their video games, but then have a meal as a family, read a book, maybe go out for a walk together." Balancing a child’s life is important. I would be concerned about a kid who spent all day inside playing video games and not talking to anyone. I would be just as concerned by the kid who spent all day inside reading a book and not talking to anyone.

While I have yet to find a complete version of The Byron Review, I am certain the Internet will drum it up eventually. I would really like to read more details about what she thinks. I’m hoping more governments acknowledge the "not all games are bad but not all games are for kids" stance and quit with the attempt of banning the ones they deem violent.

[via Times Online]


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Author: Creighton DeSimone View all posts by

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