Tanya Byron, author of the 2008 report that called for a unified and detailed classification for video games, has echoed her words in that report once more, saying that parents must be responsible for their children's gaming habits, and that such responsibility cannot be "subcontracted" to the industry itself.
"When I did the review in 2008, I didn’t see a cynical industry that was there to create games just to exploit and make money," said Byron. "The industry has always been very clear with me, in a very genuine way, that adult content is created for adults – it’s not created for kids."
We'll gloss over the bit where EA marketed an 18-rated game to American teens (see the vid above), but Byron's point is rather that her goal has always been about offering clarity regarding the creation of content and spreading consumer understanding.
“This has never been about putting the blame on the gaming industry. It’s actually, I think, to have a very simple, streamlined system which the games industry is working really clearly with to make happen and being really responsible about letting people understand the content they’re making and who it’s for.”
“But the gaming industry is fully supporting and enabling parents to get access to information wherever they can about these issues so fundamentally then it is all about the parents.”
Byron's point is that industry transparency can help to educate and empower parents, and that the industry as a whole should not be held to account for clearly marked adult material falling into the wrong hands.
“We cannot subcontract responsibility for how children play games to the industry,” Byron continued, “but I think now the industry has got a much clearer system what we see is an industry that’s being absolutely transparent about what they’re producing and how parents should be thinking about it when their kids are playing.”
“And now it’s fundamentally about educating and empowering parents because that’s where the regulation really lies when it comes to children and gaming.” [Metro]
Byron's right in a way, but we're a pretty cynical bunch here at Dealspwn. And as much as these new classifications help to create more transparency, which can only be a good thing, we rather hope that certain publishers and their marketing departments take note as well.
How about you guys? Let us know your thoughts on the matter below.