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June 2015 (Question b)

‘Some areas of contemporary media require stricter regulation than others.’ Discuss.

Introduction    

Talk about television – VOD.

Varying degrees of regulation are required for the same film or video game because they can be consumed in different ways, depending on the platform. The BBFC are a independent, non governmental organisation who view films and deem whether or not they are acceptable for public viewing and give each film a certificate to state which age group the film is suitable for. These certificates are effective means of regulation for cinema screenings as there is a physical gate keeper who decides if an audience member is of acceptable age to view the film. The BBFC is also effective as if a film is rejected and refused a certificate, the film cannot be shown in cinema or sold in stores without. Films can be received differently in the cinema and on DVD, as scenes on DVD can be repeated and replayed as many times as the audience wishes, thus taking the content out of context. Therefore, the regulation on DVDs ought to be stricter than that of the cinema exhibition. The regulation of video games can be more difficult as games can be played in many different ways, and can be received differently by each player.

History of BBFC

Stricter regulation is required for DVDs as scenes that include graphic or frightening content can be replayed and taken out of context. For example, The Woman in Black was deemed too psychologically threatening for a 12A certificate without cuts to scenes of a woman hanging herself by noose and a young girl who sets herself on fire. BBFC’s Guidelines at ’12A’/’12’ state that ‘Moderate physical and psychological threat may be permitted, providing disturbing sequences are not frequent or sustained, and therefore would be harmful to younger audiences and requires stricter regulation. When released on DVD, The Woman in Black was given a 15 certificate, this is because the harmful, scenes may be the only thing audiences choose to watch, taking away the plot of the film

Cinema regulation requires less strict regulation than online viewing services and films can only be viewed in cinema if they are awarded a BBFC certificate, meaning that the content will not be harmful to all audiences. For example, Hate Crime was refused a certificate because the presentation of sexual and physical abuse was aggravated by a racist incentive and the BBFC thought the film may risk potential harm, even if only confined to an adult audience. Therefore, this film could not be legally shown in theatre but may still be downloaded on services such as Netflix or iTunes.

History of PEGI

Compare experiences of consuming film and video game.

Video games can be played in different ways (GTA) can be played as a driving game or as a violent attack on prostitutes etc. Video games need stricter regulation as there are so many routes and challenges within games that even by completing the game, PEGI may have missed content. The game appeals to younger teenagers so regulation is in effective. Video games used to be very basic so required less strict regulation, with development of modern technology graphics are much more realistic (become increasingly realistic with time – regulation will always be behind).

Hypodermic needle – Hatred. Games may need stricter regulation as may influence actions of players and can act out violent impulses. Steam removed Hatred suggesting PEGIs regulation was in effective.