Saturday, 24 October 2015

Age ratings? #film #games #pegi #bbfc

With so many different certifications for games and films, do you know what your children should be watching?

I know amongst our group of friends we all have a wide range of tolerances for our children, it’s so varied it can be hard to ensure you keep your own children watching age appropriate programmes!

When I was brought up my parents were very lax with age rating and I can recall watching The Terminator, Childs Play and Robocop; all before I was 10, I even got an 18 rate game at 13 because all the other kids were playing it!  (although looking at the game now it was very tame in standards!)

It can be hard at times when the boys have it set in their heads they want to play games like Battlefield or Skyrim and you have to explain why they aren’t allowed to play them, I currently point them toward CommonSense Media, when we are discussing if a film or game is safe for them to watch.

So what do you know about age ratings and how to they fit in with what you allow your children to watch?

Film ratings:
  • U: This stands for Universal, suitable for child aged four and over (however it states that things can upset children at the lower end of the scale)
  • PG: This is Parental Guidance, suitable in general for children aged 8 or about but can unsettle sensitive or younger children.
  • 12/12A:  Films with this rating means the film is not generally suitable for children under the age of 12, however you can take an under 12 to watch a film in a cinema if accompanied by an adult.
  • 15/18: Simply not suitable for children under the age rating.

Game ratings:
  • Pegi 3: Considered suitable for all age groups, can contain comic violence but the game must remain completely fantasy.
  • Pegi 7: This rating is as above but with some possibly scary scenes or sound.
  • Pegi 12: Shows more graphic violence against fantasy characters, or mild violence against human looking creatures or lifelike animals, can contain nudity and mild non sexual expletives.
  • Pegi 16: Allows the use of criminality, drugs, smoking and stronger violence. It can also contain sexual activity and bad language – all of these can be shown as expected to be in real life.
  • Pegi 18: Allows gross violence

With the pegi ratings you also have eight easy to see descriptors marking: Bad language, discrimination, drugs, fear, gambling, sex, violence and online gameplay.

You can see how the age rating system is quite complex, and when you look back at old films such as Indiana Jones which was a PG, they have some really gross and scary scenes.

So it’s always worth a check at common sense media to ensure you are allowing your children a safe viewing!

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