The Byron Review

Link to download ORG's final submission to the Byron Review

The Byron Review is an independent review of the risks to children from exposure to potentially harmful or inappropriate material on the internet and in video games. This consultation calls for evidence from all groups and individuals. The Byron Review is an independent review supported by officials from the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Department for Culture Media and Sport.

  • Launched: Tuesday 9 October 2007
  • Deadline for submissions: Friday 30 November 2007
  • Report due: Monday 31 March 2008

We're gathering comments and remarks from the tech community on this consultation over at Consult, our new consultation tool. Please click through to our page on the Byron Review, have a read of the call for evidence and then give us your opinions and links to hard evidence. Here's a flavour of the consultation's concerns:

  • What are the benefits and opportunities that new technologies offer for children, young people, their families, society and the economy?
  • What are the potential or actual risks to children’s safety and wellbeing of going online and playing video games and how do children, young people and parents feel about those risks?
  • To what extent do children, young people and parents understand and manage those risks and how can they be supported to do so?
  • What, if anything, could be changed in order to help children, young people and parents manage the potential or actual risks of going online or playing video games, and what are the pros and cons of different approaches?

If you have a view on these questions, please express it via the page on Consult.



2007-10-26 - Guardian Unlimited - Q&A: Will Wright, creator of the Sims
Author: Bobbie Johnson
Summary: Will Wright is one of the biggest names in gaming: the man behind Sim City and the world's most popular game, The Sims. His next title, Spore, is due out next year. This week Wright was admitted into the fellowship of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Bafta, and we caught up with him in London.
2007-10-25 - The Register - Bubblewrapped kids fall prey to net predators
Author: Joe Fay
Summary: Dr Tanya Byron, former overseer of The House of Tiny Tearaways, said over-protective parents were partly to blame for leaving kids vulnerable to abusers stalking the web. By shying away from any risk, parents ensured that kids would not know to protect themselves from web paedophiles, not to mention all the other demons of the modern popular imagination. Vigilance is important, said Byron: “But we can’t wrap our children in bubblewrap because then we remove the opportunity for them to live life.”
2007-10-25 - bbc news online - Virtual worlds threaten 'values'
Summary: The growing number of toy-themed virtual worlds aimed at young people risks undermining the basic human values we wish to instil in children. So said industry veteran Lord Puttnam opening a London conference devoted to discussing virtual worlds.
2007-04-17 - BBFC Press Release - Playing Video Games - BBFC Publishes Research
Summary: Video games tend to polarise opinions in a way that other entertainment media do not. People who do not play them cannot understand their attraction and that lack of understanding can lead to some games being demonised. While there is research designed to show the short term physical reactions of video games players, there is very little information about why people play video games and what impact they think playing games has on them. The BBFC today published the results of a research project involving video games players ranging from children as young as seven through to players in their early 40s; parents of young games players; games industry representatives; and games reviewers.