The front page of the Guardian has an interesting story on the tightening up of the UK's video game rating system. According to the Guardian, only games that display "sex or "gross" violence to humans or animals" currently have any kind of age limit attached to them, leaving a large portion of games unrated that contain "weapons, martial arts and extreme combat." To make sure that large portion doesn't go unchecked, Ministers are proposing a completely overhauled ratings system.
An investigation of violence in video games and the current rating system and its effectiveness is being carried out as we speak, the results of which will guide British Ministers in their reshaping of the guidelines. Some of the findings are expected to effect not only the access of adult games by children but also access to adult content on the web as well. A bill is also expected to come forth that would create a separate body of people to appeal the decisions of the BBFC and its ratings of DVDs and games. While this could potentially be a good thing, it also has a lot of room to be detrimental to sales and ratings of certain games and movies depending on the how conservative this "body" turns out to be. Once the UK system is overhauled, it will be interesting to see how long it takes before the rest of Europe follows suit.