Tuesday, October 9, 2007

'Luddite' govt to put games and internet under microscope

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dr byron
UK psychologist Tanya Byron (pictured) has been tapped to head a new study on the risks children face when exposed to video game violence and internet porn -- or any relevant combination of either medium and a (un-)healthy dose of adult content. As promised by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the government has delivered initial details of the review, which will use an east London school as its testbed. Stopping short of subjecting the school's youngsters to painfully slow dial-up downloads or redirecting gym class to the computer lab for mandatory deathmatch, Dr. Byron's team will focus on what the industry is doing and what more can be done to protect children from the perverse, but damn-entertaining diversions of the grown-up world.

Frontier games developer David Braben has blamed the government's "Luddite sentiment" for this new probe into the games industry. Thankfully, Dr. Byron does not seem to share this supposed paranoia of technology driven media, calling games and the internet "very positive and [an] important part of children's and young children's growing up and learning and development." Byron has even won the support of the ELSPA (UK games association), which is fed up with the industry's bad rep and has agreed to cooperate with the study -- you can too. The "Byron Review" is scheduled to conclude with a report next March. (Prediction: parents need to do better parenting.)
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[via] Joystiq

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