View Full Version : Appropriate Age Limits?

July 4th, 2013, 7:50 AM
What, in your view, are some appropriate age limits for certain types of content? There are the common ones like violence, sex and sexuality, and profanity, that usually bump up the age you're supposed to be before you see the movie (or television show, etc.), but there's also showing drug use, and my personal favorite: "mild peril." There might be more. Where do you stand?

Purple Materia
July 4th, 2013, 8:42 AM
It depends on the person's maturity. Are you 12, but super mature for your age? Then go ahead and play/watch some 17+ stuff. Are you 16, but you act like a child? No 18+ for you...

July 4th, 2013, 8:55 AM
But what exactly is 17+ material in your view? Nudity? Gore? Lots of swearing?

Nil Nuane
July 4th, 2013, 12:22 PM
What is appropriate for any age group is a very subjective topic. IMO, violence is treated too lightly in our society, and nudity is treated a bit too harshly. But many people will disagree with me on that.

And swearing isn't really a big deal at all imo. Some of the nicest people I know swear a lot, and I also know complete jerks that rarely or never swear. The intent of the swearer, whether benevolent or malicious, is more important than the actual use of the swear words.

July 4th, 2013, 1:20 PM
I personally think most restrictions are a bit harsh. While I can see violence affecting younger children, I don't see why we limit some content to the age of 18 because I don't believe the response to violent content changes much from the age of 12. Therefore content such as games with violence should probably see reduced age restrictions. I'd probably say the same about nudity really.

As for profanities, they're just words. Their offensiveness is largely dependent on how they are expressed. In most of those cases it would be then be a different act that should be punished rather than use of the profanity.

Mr Cat Dog
July 5th, 2013, 2:03 AM
I don't have a concrete answer to what different types of media should be rated for the purposes of age limits. I do think that in certain countries, violence is often rated too harshly (France) and in others not nearly harshly enough (the US). Likewise with sex and swearing and 'mild peril' and other sorts of classifications. Maybe it's just homerism on my part, but I do think that the UK rating agencies have it nearly right. Certainly for swearing and sex... violence they still have a way to work towards.

What's interesting to me is that there are lots of different agencies all throughout the world and for all different types of media. Films, TV, video games, music all have their own separate rating agencies in different countries, and each of those have their own authority (be it government agency or self-regulator). And the differences reflect cultural attitudes to all of these things we should supposedly be keeping our children 'protected' from, and there's no real consistency to it. I know this isn't an 'answer', but just looking at the disparities is really interesting to a media nerd such as myself! :D

July 6th, 2013, 3:06 AM
The UK arrangement for films is:

Universal, Parental Guidence, 12a (not sure if we have a normal '12' now), 15, 18.

12a means you must be 12 to watch alone, but younger children may water with their parents.

I would say that any full on nudity should be reserved for 15/18, and 'suggested' nudity (like there is a towel, or a glass panel in front) should be allowed in 12a.

Similarly, light/suggested violence should be allowed in 12a - whilst it can be more violent at 15. Graphic instances of violence against innocents, as well as things like rape, should be an 18... or banned entirely.

July 23rd, 2013, 11:18 PM
I feel like I'm living proof that physical age is meaningless compared to mental maturity. In the bad way, that only recently am I capable of handling what my peers have (allegedly) been able to handle years before me.

Ultimately, I think a person's guardians should decide what content their guardees can handle. Not with a "you can do this when you're 16" approach, but with the actual knowledge of what they think they can handle. I think there's nothing wrong with a 13 year old playing a super violent video game if they have the maturity to handle it... yes, guardians can be wrong, but they're the ones who have actually gotten to know the person the closest.

August 10th, 2013, 10:17 PM
It depends on overall maturity. I was mature enough to watch South Park when I was in high school. Some guys I knew watched it even younger, though I couldn't handle it when I was younger.

The theory that violence on TV encourages children (especially boys) to act violent is ridiculous and should be discredited. Though it is believable that violence can scare children.

Also, I think we have gotten a little too restrictive for kids' entertainment now. Compare some of the early Nick Jr. shows (like Maya the Bee, Noozles, and Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics) to the Nick Jr. shows today (like Dora the Explorer, Team Umizoomi, The Wonder Pets, and other garbage).

The early shows were much darker than the current ones. Noozles made it clear that Blinky and Pinky's time with Sandy Brown wasn't permanent. GFTC was especially dark for a preschool show. The villains were truly evil and mostly not comical. There were tense scenes too. Friendly characters actually died and stayed dead. When Beauty's father died in the Beauty and the Beast episode, there was no Disney Death - he was gone forever. Same with the talking tree in the Cinderella episode - when the evil stepmother orders it to be cut, the tree dies for good.

The current shows are sugary sweet, lack antagonists (or have joke ones like Swiper), are extremely PC, refuses to acknowledge bad things such as death, use and abuse rote repetition (Sesame Street always did that, but now every other preschool show does it), and have excessive singing that can drive parents nuts (I'm talking to you, Dora). I mean, Mom and Dad can easily teach kids the alphabet or counting. There are tons of kiddie books about those things.

The ones I remember watching were mostly in the middle. I remember that Little Bear and Franklin were very lighthearted, but they told stories (using different plots, unlike Dora) and rarely broke out into song. Though I loved Blue's Clues when I was in preschool, I think it was more because of how weird Steve was.

And it's not even Nick Jr. PBS has gotten more babyish too. They have their own fairy tale show called Super Why. It's basically fairy tales as written by moral guardians. Read a description of their Little Mermaid episode and tell me you're not laughing at how stupid it is. I lament over the fact that a lot of people today won't read fairy tales to their kids. They're much better than buying your kid every bit of Dora or Elmo merchandise because everyone else in preschool has tons of it.

August 11th, 2013, 12:15 PM
Personally I believe we should censor violence way more than sex, but that'd murica. We're a bit backwards here. IMO, movies with a ton of violence should be more restricted that one's with sexual themes. A movie with sex and not violence should be rated lower than a movie with lots of violence but no sex.

August 11th, 2013, 3:17 PM
I'd have to agree with that. After all, people having sex isn't generally going to turn into a national tragedy. Violence on the other hand...