Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Written Evidence


Supplementary memorandum from ELSPA

  Further to your conversation with Phil Snape please find the attached YouGov survey commissioned on behalf of ELSPA. Please note that this is very important new evidence which ELSPA would like to be given due consideration by the Committee.

  The survey was commissioned in reaction to the view of the "perceived importance" of employing a classification system for video games which the public are familiar with. Indeed Dr Byron cites in her findings that one of the main reasons she sides with the BBFC over PEGI is due to awareness of the BBFC. Furthermore, from reading the transcripts of the Select Committee evidence sessions, it appears that this view may also be shared by some members of the Committee.

  ELSPA and its members have long held the view that the awareness argument is something of a "red herring". That the UK public are perfectly able, when seeing a roundel with a number in it, to reason that this number refers to the age at which one can legally purchase a game and/or the suitability of the game for whom it is intended, regardless of branding or system.

  To enable this view to be independently assessed ELSPA commissioned three surveys via the marketing company "YouGov", which asked the same question to three different sets of people (all of which accurately reflect the demographic of the UK public). Each survey asks the public to look at the "18" roundel on a box game and ask what they think the number refers to. The roundels in question are those of the BBFC, PEGI and another called the United Kingdom Ratings Board (UKRB), which is factious board made up by ELSPA.

  As you can see from the results, regardless of the roundel, the vast majority of the UK public see an age roundel and know that it refers to the legal age at which one can buy a game and/or age suitability—regardless of the branding or classification system employed. Therefore we hope that this goes a long way to address the "awareness" argument and the concerns of the Committee.

  Further to this, you will notice that one of the surveys also discusses that the UK currently employs a hybrid British and Pan European system and asks how important it is that the UK employ a single system which is in line with Europe. As you will see a statistically significant 67% feel that it is either very or quite important that the UK employs a single, Pan European system.

  You will note that the surveys are sent to you in simplified format. Should you wish to see them in their original format then please let me know.

  ELSPA would like to thank the Committee for accepting the above to support its original oral and written evidence to the DCMS Select Committee inquiry into games and the Internet.

YouGov SURVEY RESULTS JUNE 2008

SURVEY 1—UNITED KINGDOM RATINGS BOARD

5-9 JUNE 2008

BASE: ALL GB ADULTS

SAMPLE SIZE—1,968

We would like you to think about video games (ie those games which are played using a games console (Playstation, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy, Wii, etc.) and/or PC) ...

How regularly, if at all, do you play video games?

At least once a day—6%

Six times a week—2%

A few times a week—11%

Twice a week—4%

Once a week—4%

Once a fortnight—4%

Once a month—5%

Less often than once a month—17%

Never—47%

Please look at the picture of a video game shown above. In the bottom left hand corner of the image there is a number. What do you think this number refers to? [Please tick all that apply]

The legal age for purchasing the game—78%

Game suitability—31%

Skill level guidance—1%

Cost of the game—0

None of the above—1%

Don't know—2%

SURVEY 2—BRITISH BOARD OF FILM CLASSIFICATION

5-9 JUNE 2008

BASE: ALL GB ADULTS

SAMPLE SIZE—2,046

We would like you to think about video games (ie those games which are played using a games console (Playstation, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy, Wii, etc) and/or PC) ...

How regularly, if at all, do you play video games?

At least once a day—7%

Six times a week—1%

A few times a week—11%

Twice a week—4%

Once a week—5%

Once a fortnight—3%

Once a month—5%

Less often than once a month—15%

Never—48%

Please look at the picture of a video game shown above. In the bottom left hand corner of the image there is a number. What do you think this number refers to? [Please tick all that apply]

The legal age for purchasing the game— 81%

Game suitability—32%

Skill level guidance—0

Cost of the game—0

None of the above—0

Don't know—2%

Currently there is an age classification system for games, which is used throughout Europe. However, in the UK we use a hybrid system that also involves the British Board of Film Classification.

How important do you think it is that we use a single rating system which is consistent with that of Europe?

Very important—31%

Quite important—36%

Not very important—17%

Not at all important—10%

Don't know—6%

SURVEY 3—PAN EUROPEAN GAMES INFORMATION

5-9 JUNE 2008

BASE: ALL GB ADULTS

We would like you to think about video games (ie those games which are played using a games console (Playstation, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy, Wii, etc) and/or PC) ...

How regularly, if at all, do you play video games?

At least once a day—7%

Six times a week—2%

A few times a week—10%

Twice a week—4%

Once a week—5%

Once a fortnight—4%

Once a month—6%

Less often than once a month—14%

Never—48%

Please look at the picture of a video game shown above. In the bottom left hand corner of the image there is a number. What do you think this number refers to?

Tick all that apply

The legal age for purchasing the game—72%

Game suitability—38%

Skill level guidance—0

Cost of the game—0

None of the above—1%

Don't know—3%

Thinking just about the NUMBER in the BOTTOM LEFT HAND CORNER of the image, and not the game itself ...

Have you ever seen this logo before?

Yes, definitely—43%

Yes, I think so—29%

No—20%

Don't know—8%





 
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