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BBFC: Who are they rating for?

Comparing the BBFC's attitude to film and videogames.

Eurogamer TV editor Johnny Minkley writes;

-In short, controversial movie director David Cronenberg's latest sick-flick, Eastern Promises, has been awarded an '18' certificate by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) in its original form. The film may, we're told, shock some viewers with its graphic depictions of violence; in particular, the story notes, a scene "in which a knife is twisted repeatedly and gleefully into a man's eye". Popcorn with that?

Now, whether or not you care for Cronenberg's methods or content is beside the point. The sane reaction to this news is surely to praise the BBFC for its robust defence of lawful artistic expression and sober faith in a stringent regulatory system designed to prevent minors from accessing inappropriate material, while allowing everyone else to make up their own minds like proper grown-ups. Jolly good show; now what's going on in the Grand Prix?

But hang about: what's this got to do with video games? Well, as you're probably aware, this is the same lot that has now twice refused to classify Manhunt 2, effectively banning it from sale in the UK. BBFC director David Cooke highlighted the game's "unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone... which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing." Right up Cronenberg's street, then.-

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aggh im on fire3546d ago

Although i agree with a lot of points here and i am generally against censorship i think a lot of it is still down to parents leeting kids play these games. Until people realise that games rated 18 are for adults only and not for little johnny to play the BBFC will continue to enforce cuts or bans. Parents have to realise that just because it is a videogame its not neccesairly for children, the BBFC im sure would free up games like manhunt if they knew only adults were playing it. Cinemas can enforce the age ristriction but unfortunatly many game shops still sell to underage kids.
Hopefully in time games will be considered seriously and age restrictions more enforced. This will allow for more mature content to be released for the rest of us. Go play with your lego little johnny im going to carve up some sucker.

andy0013546d ago

I agree about the cinema and their age restriction policies, but what about when that movie is released on DVD? It will be offered in the same stores that sell video games, and therefore has the same opportunity to be sold to minors.

aggh im on fire3546d ago

Yeah, that is a problem. Maybe we will just have to wait for another new media to evolve to be a scapegoat.
I think a lot of it is also that the people censoring these games never grew up with them, it's not really something they understand so they immediatly fear and censor it.
I think age restrictions should be inforced but game developer's like film makers and writers should be allowed to express their creativity.