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Xbox boss speaks out on ratings issue

Would pick PEGI over BBFC any day.

UK Xbox boss Neil Thompson has said he reckons PEGI would do a better job of rating videogames than the British Board of Film Classification.

There's been much talk about whether the UK should have a single ratings system lately. (Sometimes we talk about it in the office. "Do you think the UK should have a single ratings system?" "I don't care. It's your turn to make the tea.") It's thought that Tanya Byron could make such a recommendation in her forthcoming Government review on violence in games, though nothing has been decided. Two sugars.

"We made it very clear to the Byron Report team, both as an industry and as Microsoft, strongly believe that PEGI has a lot more benefits for customers, parents and for everyone involved in the industry really," Thompson said.

"PEGI has been established for quite a few years now as the industry standard, so the industry has got behind it and invested a lot of time and effort in it, and it offers a level of in-depth information as well as a level of expertise to be honest, that the BBFC doesn't."

According to Thompson, PEGI rated nearly 2000 games last year - while the BBFC managed just 100. That's not including Manhunt 2, which was refused a rating by the BBFC for being likely to turn us all into homicidal maniacs.

"There's just a scale difference in terms of industry knowledge and industry insight that goes into these things," Thomspon observed.

The BBFC has claimed the symbols used by PEGI aren't meaningful enough, but Thompson reckons they help consumers to quickly ascertain which age groups games are suitable for. The key, he argues, is for the industry and Government to educate parents about ratings.

To read the full interview with Thompson, visit GamesIndustry.biz - where freshly squeezed information and organically grown fact are whisked up in the blender of truth to produce piping hot news soup.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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