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What do your parents think of video games?

What do parents think about the classification of video games? A recent poll carried out by YouGov for the BBFC showed British parents were concerned about the content of video games and want independent regulation of games in the UK.

Date 16/03/2009

The research showed around three quarters of British parents are concerned about the content of video games and the same number want independent regulation of their content.  The vast majority also believe that video games affect some children’s behaviour. 

The poll was conducted as the Government prepares to make a decision on whether to allow the games industry to continue to self regulate. It shows parents overwhelmingly in favour of a system which would see video games rated in the same way DVDs and films are rated. 

The Government is currently considering the outcomes of a consultation following the publication of its Review by Tanya Byron last year which recommended that games for people of 12 years and over should come to the BBFC for classification.  The games industry has argued that games should be regulated by their own self regulatory system called PEGI.  For more information about the Byron Review or PEGI click here.

This survey was carried out for the BBFC by a company called YouGov but the respondents were unaware of who commissioned the survey. The key results from the poll can be summarised as follows:


  • 74 per cent of parents are concerned about the content of some video games, with only 7 per cent not concerned
  • 79 per cent of parents think video games may affect the behaviour of some children with only 6 per cent think they do not influence behaviour
  • 74 per cent of parents believe video games should be regulated by an independent regulator with only 5 per cent disagreeing with the statement
  • 77 per cent of parents believe video game ratings should reflect the concerns of UK parents with only 4 per cent disagreeing
  • 82 per cent of parents believe it would help them if video games used the same ratings as films and DVDs


David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said:

“This poll clearly shows parents support a regulatory system for games that is independent of the industry and UK based, reflecting UK sensibilities and sensitivities.  The UK public wants the protection of children to be paramount when regulating games which, of course, reflects the concerns which led to Tanya Byron being asked to produce her report.  The BBFC has been classifying games for over 20 years and our decisions reflect the views of the public.  Our classification systems and symbols are known and trusted by the public and in a converging media world they want to know what their children are playing as well as watching.”

The full research can be downloaded here. All figures were provided by independent pollster YouGov plc. The total sample size was 2143 adults (1329 of whom were parents). The poll was taken between 9–11 February 2009 and the survey was carried out online.   The figures have been weighted and are representative of all British adults (aged 18+).

More information for parents is available on the website. There is also a section on Children's BBFC which offers kids and parents the chance to play games and learn more about games and how they are rated.

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