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The Byron Review


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The games industry has welcomed the recommendations of the Byron Review but concerns have been raised that ratings still need to be future proofed.

An important report on how to protect children from harm when using the internet and video games was released today. It was prepared for the British Government by Dr. Tanya Byron, a TV celebrity psychologist. Surprisingly perhaps, it seems quite balanced and reasonable, putting most of the reponsibility on parents to parent properly.

 

Key recommendations:

 

1. Simplify the ratings system for games, mainly using the BBFC age ratings similar to film classification.

2. Legally enforce age ratings, and punish retailers who sell to underage kids.

3. Focus internet efforts on getting the most popular sites like Youtube to follow strict codes of conduct, rather than trying to police the entire internet.

4. Bombard parents with information about how internet security and the game ratings systems work.

 

The government is saying it will largely do what she wants. Most people seem to be welcoming the report, but it

"An electric puddle is not what I need right now." (Nina Kalenkov)

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Websites like YouTube cater more than just the British isles. I don't see how the British government can force a website whose origins aren't even in its borders to a certain code of conduct. If the British government is in such a uproar about a certain site have their native internet providers try to block it.

Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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Websites like YouTube cater more than just the British isles. I don't see how the British government can force a website whose origins aren't even in its borders to a certain code of conduct. If the British government is in such a uproar about a certain site have their native internet providers try to block it.

I imagine the government will just ask Youtube, and Youtube will agree rather than face the wrath of parents and the Daily Mail. Technologically, it shouldn't be too hard, right? For example, I think they want to have the Youtube homepage feature a prominent link to a child-friendly "How to Surf the Internet Safely" guide. So Youtube detects where users are connecting from, and those in the UK get a slightly modified page with the link. Easy as pie. :brows:

"An electric puddle is not what I need right now." (Nina Kalenkov)

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If parents were actually watching their kids and being parents a great deal of this mess wouldn't be a problem. Its not the job of the media, the government, or even YouTube to raise kids.

Edited by Sand

Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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Parents aren't doing so well, it seems, and don't feel in control. The government, the media and Youtube can all help to give parents and children information so that children can develop safely and parents can parent effectively, so why shouldn't they?

 

I think it was a generally reasonable report, though as always, the devil will be in the details. One of the recommendations was that computers and consoles be in family rooms, not in bedrooms, so parents can monitor more easily, but apparently this has been recommended for a long time but parents either don't know or choose to ignore it. Bombarding parents with information and advice sounds like a good idea to me, even if it does have a slight scent of nanny-state about it.

"An electric puddle is not what I need right now." (Nina Kalenkov)

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I have to disagree. It is not the job of the government or media to raise children, nor is it the responsibility of YouTube to censure material just to make it "kid" safe. YouTube most certainly has the option to do so, but its parent company, Google, is in the business to make money and not raise kids.

Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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You're certainly not alone. The author of the report, Tanya Byron, is one of these TV parenting experts that are around so much these days, and they seem to believe that parents can be educated to become better parents. The report was praised in some media for its 'can-do' attitude. I'd like to think she's right, and I broadly approve of education, but we'll have to wait and see if it has any effect.

 

I only hope the government's information adverts aren't as lame as some of the ones I remember from my childhood.

"An electric puddle is not what I need right now." (Nina Kalenkov)

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Also wouldn't this require money that could be better spent on educating children (the general age where you are still capable of learning to a high degree unlike adults) or improving healthcare?

I wouldn't be surprised if using money on general education would improve childrens general mental health more than this stuff.

 

What was the reason this report was made? [Halfway joking] Is being tough on crime not enough anymore? [/Halway joking]

 

Also what is the reputation of this Byron girl? Is she respectable or mostly a popular tv-person?

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Also wouldn't this require money that could be better spent on educating children (the general age where you are still capable of learning to a high degree unlike adults) or improving healthcare?

I wouldn't be surprised if using money on general education would improve childrens general mental health more than this stuff.

Perhaps. General education in the UK does seem to be in rather a sorry state, if you believe what you read in the newspapers. But adverts do have an impact, otherwise why would private companies spend so much money on them? If they can distill the message and deliver it properly, it should take hold.

What was the reason this report was made? [Halfway joking] Is being tough on crime not enough anymore? [/Halway joking]

The government asked for it. We have our share of anti-game scaremongers, and they get newspaper column inches, so I guess the government wanted to be seen to be doing something. Whether this will satisfy them...

Also what is the reputation of this Byron girl? Is she respectable or mostly a popular tv-person?

This I don't know. I'd heard of her, but not being resident in the UK now, I've never seen her programme and don't know so much about her. Someone else on the boards might know more.

"An electric puddle is not what I need right now." (Nina Kalenkov)

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But adverts do have an impact, otherwise why would private companies spend so much money on them? If they can distill the message and deliver it properly, it should take hold.

The problem with goverment adverts are that they usually involve learning and paying attention to a larger degree than regular "buy this" adverts, and many people are unlikely to turn their brain on after work even if you tell them that their childs mental health is at stake (which really is blowing things out of proportion, as these things (goverment wanting to do stuff) usually involve).

 

Isn't it much more cost effective to build a house properly than repairing it when it falls apart?

 

Anyway I really should go to bed now... nah.

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They should just let market forces determine what games are made and what content shows on the web. If these parents actually took a look what they are getting for their kids and letting them have access to maybe this wouldn't be a problem. If parents took an active role in their kids lives and actually do the work to raise them just maybe there wouldn't be this problem of kids getting "adult" or questionable material.

Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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Am I the only one who doubt the effect of stuff like this one peoples ability to parent properly? Bad parents will always be bad parents, and believe it or not, some of the worst parents i've seen are the ones that do stuff like putting consoles and computers in the living room.

 

But measures like this are designed exactly for this reason; as a kind of back-up measure where the parents fail.

 

Something Sand seems incapable of understanding. How can you claim that parenting is solely up to the parents when society influences us so dramatically? It's ludicrous. I don't excuse bad parenting, but Sand is essentially claiming kids with bad parents should just suffer because it's not society's responsibility to monitor content (when it clearly is - e.g. rating systems on television, the legal system, etc)

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The Daily Telegraph agrees with you, Sand:

 

Unknown unknowns are the least efficient things on which to spend government money. You might as well burn

Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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Is that a good thing?

They're a conservative newspaper, judge for yourself.

 

 

Am I the only one who doubt the effect of stuff like this one peoples ability to parent properly? Bad parents will always be bad parents, and believe it or not, some of the worst parents i've seen are the ones that do stuff like putting consoles and computers in the living room.

 

But measures like this are designed exactly for this reason; as a kind of back-up measure where the parents fail.

 

Something Sand seems incapable of understanding. How can you claim that parenting is solely up to the parents when society influences us so dramatically? It's ludicrous. I don't excuse bad parenting, but Sand is essentially claiming kids with bad parents should just suffer because it's not society's responsibility to monitor content (when it clearly is - e.g. rating systems on television, the legal system, etc)

You clearly hate America and freedom everywhere.

 

Serious now, this isn't a backup-measure for when parents fail (or at least most if it isn't, the youtube stuff could probably be), it is to help parents not to fail and it won't help because parents who fail without it will still fail with it. Bear with me for here comes some economic liberalist ranting: The primary reason for parents failing in modern societies is that the goverment has removed most obstacles that would require people to learn new stuff and when they then meet a generational divide as large as the computer and the internet the parents are helpless.

 

I would make a longer answer but ecofreaks have decided that I should turn of all the light soon and I have stuff to take care of.

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Bwahaha, that serves you right

How can it be a no ob build. It has PROVEN effective. I dare you to show your builds and I will tear you apart in an arugment about how these builds will won them.

- OverPowered Godzilla (OPG)

 

 

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The primary reason for parents failing in modern societies is that the goverment has removed most obstacles that would require people to learn new stuff and when they then meet a generational divide as large as the computer and the internet the parents are helpless.

 

Then, as I said, better to have some measure of protection built in than none at all.

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I disagree, Krezy. Parents need to step and learn. Show some god damn initiative on their part.

Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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I would make a longer answer but ecofreaks have decided that I should turn of all the light soon and I have stuff to take care of.

 

This serves you right for your attitude :)

How can it be a no ob build. It has PROVEN effective. I dare you to show your builds and I will tear you apart in an arugment about how these builds will won them.

- OverPowered Godzilla (OPG)

 

 

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I disagree, Krezy. Parents need to step and learn. Show some god damn initiative on their part.

 

As I said, you can't really legislate good parenting. In light of this it is important to have state-mandated protections for children. You keep falling back to a "if their parents are ****e, let the kids fend for themselves" argument, which seems a bit barbaric to me.

 

It's the same reason Occupational Health and Safety legislation exists; you can't rely on the employer, so you have to make legal requirements and guidelines.

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Information is free and the Internet is a major provider of that. Parents should not spoil their kids and warp their world view into a Disney-movie. If the parent/child can't deal on what's going on the real world, they shouldn't be on the 'Net. Besides, most "harmful" information to children have to be actively searched, it's not something that you just stumble upon.

 

Information wants to be free [/hippiepost]

"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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