With videogame violence seemingly the root cause of almost every gun-related crime around the world these days â€“ conveniently discounting the possible effects of Hollywood atrocities such as Hostel and Saw â€“ the UK government has this week called for a new study into the effects of interactive violence on vulnerable knee-high consumers.
Focusing in on a school in London, the review study, which will cover computer/videogame violence and how to better protect children from online content, will be led by Dr. Tanya Byron alongside Schools Secretary Ed Balls and Culture Secretary James Purnell.
The Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishersâ€™ Association (ELSPA) has also offered its support to the government regarding the study:
â€śWe feel quite positively about this review,â€ť commented the ELSPAâ€™s Paul Jackson in a BBC News report. â€śItâ€™s clear the review is about making sure parents are properly informed about what their youngsters are playing and what they are accessing on the internet.â€ť
However, while the ELSPA is to willingly throw its weight behind the official study, Jackson has also outlined that the games industry and its interactive content is all-too often blamed â€śfor everything from obesity to youth violence,â€ť which he states is â€śnot trueâ€ť and â€śnot appropriate.â€ť
â€śVideo gaming and the internet themselves are a very positive and important part of children’s and young children’s growing up and learning and development. But it is also about saying where are the risks?â€ť outlined Dr. Byron at the six-month studyâ€™s official launch. â€śThe study will be about what industry is doing already to protect children and what more could be done to ensure they have a positive experience on the internet and with games.â€ť
The CEO of Blitz Games, Philip Oliver, offers that the review will likely provide better education for those parents that ignore the age certificates issued by the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) due to â€śa distorted image of gamesâ€ť insofar as they are either â€śharmless or totally evil.â€ť
The governmental review has been launched hot on the heels of the BBFC once again refusing to grant retail certification to Rockstar Gamesâ€™ hugely contentious Manhunt 2, which Oliver described as evidence â€śthe system is working.â€ť