Extracts from the joint press conference by Viviane Reding and Meglena Kuneva on video games and the protection of minors in the EU
Type: Summary of press conference
End production: 22/04/2008 First transmission: 22/04/2008
The European video games sector is dynamic, with expected revenue of 7.3 billion euro by the end of 2008. However, public concerns that video games can cause aggressive behaviour, heightened by school shootings such as in Helsinki (Finland, November 2007), have led several national authorities to ban or block video games such as "Manhunt 2". In response, the European Commission has surveyed existing measures protecting minors from harmful video games across the 27 EU Member States. 20 EU Member States now apply PEGI (Pan European Games Information), an age-rating system developed by industry, with EU support, since 2003. In the Commission's view, industry must invest more to strengthen and in particular to regularly update the PEGI system so that it becomes a truly effective pan-European tool. Also, industry and public authorities should step up cooperation to make classification and age rating systems better known and to avoid confusion caused by parallel systems. A Code of Conduct for retailers should be drawn up within two years on sales of video games to minors.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the European Parliament in Strasbourg
||Soundbite by Meglena Kuneva, Member of the EC in charge of Consumer Protection, (in ENGLISH): this communication on videogames is coming in a very right moment because it is a vast evolving industry, and we need to think through the consumers point of view; so it is about information, and this is the core of my policy that consumers come of age and we need to take our own responsibility when we are making the choice; but choice without information is based on nothing; of course there is a great responsibility on the shoulder of industry as well; they need to step up their efforts, we back up this self regulation approach, but of course we will monitor it quiet closely and this is not just a blank check.
||Soundbite by Viviane Reding, Member of the EC in charge of Information Society and Media, (in ENGLISH): now the videogames is a very important industry for Europe; we have one third of the world market, roughly 9 billion euro of value; so from the point of the industry it is important; but it is also important from the point of view of the consumers, most of all from the young people, because all over the place we see videogames with very harmful violent content and we have to do something to protect the young people; I'm very glad to say that 23 nations in Europe have a rating system which is also applied by law; 20 of them utilize the PEGI rating system, that's wonderful, but the questions remains: how do we apply this in practice?; if you have a rating system which for instance says that a certain game is forbidden for youngsters under the age of 18 but a 12 year old can buy this in a shop, then we have to do something and I really call on the industry and I call on the retailers to have a code of conduct so that the rating system is also applied in the sales.