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"Grand Theft Auto" Computer Game

Volume 583: debated on Wednesday 3 December 1997

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asked Her Majesty's Government:With reference to the Answers given by Lord Williams of Mostyn on 20 May (H.L. Deb., col. 258), what action they will take in relation to the classification of the computer game "Grand Theft Auto" by the British Board of Film Classification and the likelihood of the game being played by young people.

All computer games which are likely to any significant extent to stimulate or encourage crime (or which depict human sexual activity or acts of gross violence) must be submitted to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) for classification. The game "Grand Theft Auto" was submitted and was recently given an 18 certificate by the board. It is, therefore, considered suitable for supply only to adults. Its supply to anyone under the age of 18 is an illegal act subject to criminal penalties. The maximum penalty for supplying a computer game in breach of its classification is six months' imprisonment, a £5,000 fine, or both.The classification decisions of the BBFC are a matter for the board. However, the Government fully share public concern about violent computer games and are keeping the situation under review.