Thursday, February 05, 2009

Dutch Parliament wants age classification for online gaming

Gaming is fun, usually. Most of us gamers have our favorites we like to play, wheter it be racing, shootem ups, role playing or strategy. To me it's pretty obvious I play different games than my 4 year old daughter. She doesn't have the foggiest idea of how Civilisation V or Ceasar IV works, whereas I get bored with Dora the Explorer. But what if your child is 10, would you let it play World of Warcraft or Command and Conquer, or even bloodier games?

As with films (movies if you like), there is an age classification for games. This classification now has caused the largest political faction in the Dutch Parliament, the CDA, to inquire about age classification for internet games on several gaming portals. Member of Parliament Mirjam Sterk is convinced the government has a role to play in giving attention to this issue and has questioned minister André Rouvoet (Youth and Family) and minister Ronald Plasterk (Education, Culture and Science) according to Dutch newssite Emerce:

Parents must be able to see when a game is suited for children of various age groups. The member of parliament asks if there have been talks with the Dutch Institute for Classification of Audiovisual Media (Nicam) about the promotion of a European guide for internet games. The organisation My Child Online concluded earlier that gameportals should introduce an age classification for violent or harmful games. The foundation also concluded that gameportals often hold a lot of games which receive a Pan European Gam Information (PEGI) classification of 16+ without notifying the visitors.

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