The social impact of video and computer games, and in particular its potential negative effect on children exposed to adult content is major concern for some stakeholders. In previous entries on DISCONTENTS (see October 8 entry), this issue can dramatically influence public policy, manifested in both policies to restrict the distribution of particular games, and a reluctance to give the industry public support such as investment incentives.

In the UK, a review of the influence violent and graphic R-rated games have on children has sparked a vocal response from the games industry. Some support the need for a review but criticise its focus and its singling out of games as separate from films. Industry players are pushing for better education of parents (e.g. “these games are not for kids”). See BBC News for reactions from various industry stakeholders.

We are a very important British industry and we are very responsible keen to ensure that our products are only played by those who they are designed for.
PAUL JACKSON, CHAIRMAN OF ELSPA

Historically there has always been in government a Luddite sentiment – whatever the new industry trends to take the blame of the latest ailment of society. This is an industry which often does not answer back.
DAVID BRABEN, FOUNDER FRONTIER GAMES

We need to educate parents – and if that is what this government review does, then I am very happy about that.
PHILIP OLIVER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE BLITZ GAMES

The games industry is holding itself to higher standards than the film industry.
MARGARET ROBERTSON, FORMER EDITOR OF EDGE MAGAZINE

In Australia, R18+ games are not able to be sold, which the Australian games industry is appealing to the government on, considering that the main demographic of core gamers is 18-35 year olds.