|In the UK, the Department for Children, Schools and Families has published the findings of its Byron Review, a study into the ways Government can help to minimise the risks to children using the Internet and computer games.|
The six-month study into online safety proposed the creation of a new agency, the UK Council for Child Internet Safety, reporting directly to the Prime Minister along with reforming and extending current games ratings standards. It also recommended improving the control of user-generated content to ensure that some materials never get online.
'The Internet and video games are very much a part of growing up and offer unprecedented opportunities to learn, develop and have fun,” said Tanya Byron, a clinical psychologist who prepared the Review.
“But with new opportunities come potential risks. My recommendations will help children and young people make the most of digital and interactive technologies while enabling them and their parents to navigate all these new media waters safely. They will also have the knowledge that more is being done by Government and the Internet and video game industries to help and support them.'
Byron stated that ratings for video games will be brought closer to those for film in order to make them easier to understand along with an examiniation into how and where games may be advertised.
'I am committed to working with the Internet and games industries to build on existing safeguards,” said Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families.
“We want to empower young people and allow them to enjoy the educational, social and entertainment potential of the digital age.”
Balls said that he would now be working closely with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport along with other key Departments to take the Review’s recommendations forward.