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