Byron Review is set to instigate computer game regulation overhaul

Radical changes in the way computer games are regulated could be ushered in on Thursday (March 27) when the Government unveils the Byron Review, a study of the impact of films and games on children.

The report, by psychologist and TV presenter Dr Tanya Byron (pictured), is expected to result in an overhaul of the British Board of Film Classifications (BBFC), which could be handed responsibility for approving new games.

The gaming industry hopes that the review will help “legitimise” the sector by making it appear better regulated, although some observers have expressed fears that the Government may present the findings as a “them and us” battle against the industry.

A majority of computer games are exempt from BBFC classification although those depicting violence require approval. Other titles are governed by the Pan European Games Information system, known as PEGI.

There is some feeling in the industry that a beefed up PEGI as a body dedicated to game would be preferable to using the BBFC, which some insiders may struggle to handle the extra workload.

The report will be published on March 27, just days after developer Rockstar was given permission to release the game Manhunt 2, which had previously been banned by the BBFC, with an 18 certificate following a nine-month dispute.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here