Essay Plan 2

June 2011:

A) To what extent are contemporary media regulated adequately?


  • Contemporary media regulated less strictly when first introduced due to the lack of offensive material
  • Past media was regulated as adequately as necessary for its time

Main Body:

  1. BBFC:
    • Certificates granted by the BBFC are adequate in store and in cinemas because there is a physical gatekeeper to judge the age of the viewer
      • Inadequate: Still a margin of error within that judgement, unless proof of identification is provided
      • Straw Dogs (remake)
        • Removed the controversial rape content from the 1971 edition because it was rejected from the BBFC
        • In some countries was only released on DVD because it was considered  unsuitable for cinema
          • Inadequate because it was still able to be bought on DVD in those countries
        • Released 18 uncut when requested a 15 but didn’t want to make it shorter
    • On VOD and pirating sites under aged citizens can gain access to whatever content they wish – inadequate
      • most pirating sites require no payment at all, only to sign up – can lie about age and need no proof
      • VOD sites only need a card, as young as 11 years old can own a debit card and can get access to anything
        • Alternative: can use parents card etc.
        • Hate Crime
          • Rejected by the BBFC and it was never allowed in cinemas in the UK or sold on DVD
            • Physical and sexual abuse
            • Racism (neonazis)
          • but still accessible online if desperately wanted to find it
    • Used to only have 2 categories :
      • Universal and Adults only (no restrictive categories)
      • Then included X and AA which were changed to 15 and 18, and 12A was added after The Bourne Identity.
        • Adequate: Evidence of a steady change, keeping up with the needs of film by changing to be more appropriate for the time
  2. PEGI:
    •  Before PEGI the BBFC rated video games with the same system as films
      • Early video games didn’t appear to have the capability to need harsh regulation because of the low quality visual effects and the simplicity of the gameplay
      • PEGI replaced the BBFC in video game rating because they struggled to keep up with it
      • Indequate: Harsh advancements in tech with video games so it isn’t able to keep up as well as BBFC
    • Video games have much fewer platforms to get them on and so regulation is less adequate because most of it is online
    • Online streaming (Steam) that require an account and a payment card, need no ID to prove age of buyer
      • Children an easily fake it
      • Hatred
        • Released on Steam 1st June 2015
        • No hard copy of it
        • One of the first Adult Only ratings to be granted to a video game
    • In store:
      • Inadequate: Most likely that it’ll be parents buying for their children because games are viewed as a gift or a toy etc.
      • GTA 5
        • Given an 18 rating and accepted it
        • Advertised and sold to 15 year-olds despite the rating because they knew that if a teenage boy would want to play the game their parents/guardians would buy it for them
          • Allowed teenage boys to be able to see the portrayal of women that was seen as bad
          • “treatment of women were a relic from the current generation” and were constructed on stereotypes ~ Polygon
          • “Every female in the game exists solely to be sneered, leered or laughed at”
          • Men were portrayed to have a stereotyped tendency towards violence
            • Walter Lippman: “absolute necessity for and usefulness of stereotypes”
              • Express our value and beliefs, used as a short cut.



  1. Future media regulation may become looser:
    • Due to desensitisation
    • Due to an increase in media viewing platform, meaning that more people are able to watch and therefore, targeted audiences may broaden
  2. Future media regulation may become tighter:
    • With the increasing enhancements of graphics
    • Parents and supervisors becoming more aware of the material online, with advertisements etc
      • When the current generation of children become parents they will be aware of how to access films and games because they did it themselves
        • May prevent children viewing inappropriate things

Essay Draft:

The intensity of media regulation has gradually changed in clear correlation with the media content itself. It has been demonstrated through both films, and video games, that regulatory systems have become more elaborate, as more unprecedented material has been developed. The methods used to regulate media has had to ‘adequately’ have changed in accordance with the material because of the demand of the general public. For regulation to be considered adequate, it could be said that it has to restrict and prevent younger, or more vulnerable members of the audience, from seeing content that may be considered harmful or easily impressionable. The modern day media regulation attempts to do so, however, there appear to be some holes within the system that often means anyone can gain access to material that is considered inappropriate. For example, the internet allows for the majority of the public to access films only released in other countries, or video games released with no hard copy available. Past media regulation was adequate for its time, in the way that very few controversial films were being produced, and there was no internet to act as a loophole within the rules of regulation. Very little restrictions were necessary to keep up with the production of films and video games, but innovation caused a need for an increase in complexity. The regulation devised by the British Board of Film Classification is one that has been structurally sound for platforms such as cinema and DVD, however, with to video on demand, and pirating websites, such as 123 movies and Putlocker, the BBFC’s rules are harder to abide by. For video games, the Pan European Game Information system is the regulation that is set up for protection, but it is only really effective in store, as there is no ‘cinema’ for gaming.



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