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MPAA Revises its Rating System in the US

Check the Box to Save the Youth

Film fans that are capable to evaluate what is suitable for their own kids often don't like stricter censorship measures since it mostly affects them and their hobby, as well. On the other hand, the counterarguments can be understood because there are lots of people that don't have the required knowledge and want to know clearly what a film contains and for which age category it is appropriate. In parts, that can be connected to the German institution for age ratings, FSK, which introduced large age labels on the front cover of every DVD and Blu-ray. They invade the official artwork and are therefore hated by most collectors. But such aesthetic alterations are probably better than stricter age ratings.

After the shootings in the US, many people demanded a change in the age rating guidelines for movies. Especially the PG-13 was a thorn in their side since it showed much more violence recently, compared to the 90s. It shouldn't be ignored, however, that the former PG rating was much more liberal before the PG-13 was introduced. Nonetheless, a new evaluation was demanded as to what can be shown in the commercially crucial PG-13 segment and what can't.

Still, no alterations were made. That comes as no surprise since the age ratings are done by the MPAA and this institution is supported by all big Hollywood studios. And they are not interested that it gets harder to get a PG-13 or that only harmless films are granted this rating. Teens don't like too harmless films because they think it's children material.

But since something had to be done, a way similar to the German practice from 2008 was chosen. They position and the design of the age ratings on media has been altered. "Check the Box" is this system's name and it incorporates a clearer display of a film's content. The reasoning has always existed but wasn't always attached to the rating symbol.

Even more than the Germans had to with their big "18" logos, the US have to ask themselves whether some brandwords don't work the opposite way. Yes, the internet is everywhere, but maybe some young adolescents might find a film attractive because it contains "nudity" or other aspects that the MPAA logo "warns" about (check Forbidden Fruit Effect for a deeper unterstanding of the matter). But maybe, the MPAA is so kind and distinguishes between "female" and "male nudity" in the future.

Release: Apr 25, 2013 - Author: Bob - Translator: Mike Lowrey

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