Front Page







World Summary

On Air


Talking Point


Text Only


Site Map

Friday, December 12, 1997 Published at 15:10 GMT


Race games safety warning
image: [ Harmless or harmful? Driving games face safety warnings ]
Harmless or harmful? Driving games face safety warnings

Britain is considering slapping warnings on car race computer games, telling motorists to calm down when they get behind the wheel in real life.

Proposals are being considered as a controversial game featuring car-hijacks hits the market.

[ image: Controversy over Grand Theft Auto]
Controversy over Grand Theft Auto
Grand Theft Auto is one of the games expected to be among this year's big sellers.

It has attracted criticism for its violent content but after several months of delay it has been officially classified as suitable for 18-year-olds and over.

However, under proposals being considered by the Home Office, all car racing games would have to include a safety warning on the screen at the start.

The idea came from a member of the public who wrote a letter which was passed to the Home Secretary, Jack Straw. It said video games encouraged dangerous driving and that a warning might be a deterrent.

The games industry opposes the plan saying there is no evidence games encourage dangerous driving.

Grand Theft Auto's manufacturer, BMG Interactive, says a warning would be pointless.

Spokesman Simon Butler added: "By the time someone has bought a game they've made the decision that they want to play it and enjoy it.

"Grand Theft Auto has an 18 certificate which means if you're under 18 you shouldn't be buying it or playing it."

But some pressure groups believe a warning is not enough.

[ image: Jonathan Bartley: Violence should be controlled]
Jonathan Bartley: Violence should be controlled
Jonathan Bartley, from the Movement for Christian Democracy, said: "We're in the very early stages of development of video games and we will have to see the effects fully assessed.

"But every indication is that violence needs to be controlled and we need to have restrictions and guidelines for parents and those using the games."


Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage


  Relevant Stories

20 Nov 97 | Sci/Tech
Sony targets Lara Croft in games war

09 Nov 97 | Sci/Tech
A masters in Space Invaders?

04 Nov 97 | Sci/Tech
Carmageddon smashes British censor ban

  Internet Links

BMG Interactive: Information on Grand Theft Auto

Movement for Christian Democracy

British Home Office

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online

UK Contents

Northern Ireland