ia play

the good life in a digital age

the Byron child safety review

I wrote in October about the announcement of Tanya Byron’s review into the impact of violent video games on children.

Mind Hacks were recently a good deal more generous than me about Tanya Byron heading up the review:

“Tanya Byron is great. She came to prominence as the resident psychologist on several UK TV parenting programmes but used evidence-based interventions, essentially demonstrating what a clinical psychologist would do if your child got referred for behaviour problems.

Most notably, she obviously knew her shit and is widely respected among clinical psychologists. Despite often being described as a ‘TV psychologist’ she remained working in the NHS at the coal face of clinical work.”

The report is out now and is mostly sensible and balanced which makes me feel like I was unnecessarily skeptical, for example the report says:

Just like in the offline world, no amount of effort to reduce potential risks to children will
eliminate those risks completely. We cannot make the internet completely safe. Because of
this, we must also build children’s resilience to the material to which they may be exposed
so that they have the confidence and skills to navigate these new media waters more


There are new risks presented in online gaming, many of which are similar to the potential
risks to children of other internet use. These games offer new opportunities for social
interaction between children and there are a number of potential benefits for children and
young people from playing video games, including cognitive and educational gains and
simply having fun. Interestingly the evidence to prove these benefits can be as contested
as the evidence of negative effects.

Full report: Safer Children in a Digital World

Written by Karen

April 5th, 2008 at 1:35 pm