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Video Games: Violence

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 17 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what process is to be followed by the online review into the effect of violent video games; (158561)

(2) which groups and organisations have been approached to take part in the review into the effect of violent video games;

(3) when he expects the review into the effect of violent video games will be complete; and when the results will be published;

(4) whether there are any other data collection methods the review into violent video games will use other than the online questionnaire.

The review being carried out by Dr. Tanya Byron will consider the evidence on the risks to children and young people from inappropriate or harmful content in video games and the internet and assess the effectiveness and adequacy of existing measures to protect them and support parents.

An open call for evidence was published by Dr. Byron on 9 October 2007, running until 30 November 2007. It asks respondents to respond online via the Department’s website or to email or post responses to the questions posed in the call for evidence document.

A children and young people’s call for evidence is due out in week commencing 22 October 2007 and will be promoted through a wide range of media platforms (including social networking sites and online debates).

In addition to considering responses to these two open calls for evidence, the Byron Review will draw upon a wide range of existing evidence, including published commentary and research literature, and will undertake some further research in areas where gaps in the literature have been identified.

Since the review was announced on 8 September 2007, the review has met with groups, organisations and individuals representing parents; children and young people; those involved in the welfare, education and safety of children; the academic and research community; the video gaming industry; gamers; the internet industry (including producers, content aggregators, web hosts, internet service providers, search and navigation providers, consumer device manufacturers and retailers); advertising and retail bodies; government agencies; other statutory and non-statutory public bodies and third sector organisations. Dr. Byron and her team will continue to meet with key stakeholders throughout the period of the review, and they welcome input from any interested person or organisation.

The final report (due to be published in March 2008) will make recommendations to the Secretaries of State for Children’s Schools and Families and Culture Media and Sport. This will include a list of individuals and groups that have contributed to the Review.