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Here are our popular website articles written by BBFC staff. Like the Case Studies they delve in to key issues, films, initiatives, historical moments and offer insight into how the BBFC has responded to different events and changes in the film and media landscape.


What do your parents think of video games?


The research showed around three quarters of British parents are concerned about the content of video games and the same number want independent regulation of their content.  The vast majority also believe that video games affect some children’s behaviour. 

Child's Play? How does the BBFC classify children's video games...


Over the last few years the BBFC has been responsible for classifying an increasing number of video games containing high-end issues such as violence and horror which have tended to be classified at 15 and 18.

Good advice...


This CA is an increasingly important aspect of the classification system and is discussed by film, video and game examiners in the same way that category decisions are discussed. Occasionally examiners may even ‘split’ over CA and recommend that the work is viewed by others to ensure the CA is...

The Future of Video Games Ratings


 In 2007, prompted by concerns about child safety in relation to the Internet and video games, Prime Minster Gordon Brown asked clinical psychologist Dr Tanya Byron to carry out an independent review of the risks children face from the Internet and video games.

Tough to Watch - Sexual Violence


Sexual violence is usually taken to mean rape, sexual assault or violence depicted with sexually stimulating imagery. The BBFC defines sexual violence thus:'Sexual violence' is the conflation of sexual images together with violent images in such a way as to create a connection between the two.

Tough to Watch - Extreme Reality


Early in the history of film, audiences were drawn to documentaries which promised to show the extremes of human experience - medical operations, attacks on animals and real life executions became popular even as mainstream cinema shied away from on-screen kisses. Ever since, such films have...

Tough to Watch - Torture Porn


The term ‘Torture Porn’ first appeared in the title of a feature in New York Magazine on 6 February 2006 entitled ‘Now Playing At Your Multiplex: Torture Porn’. It refers to the current horror film subgenre that depicts strong violence, gory images, torture, mutilation, sadism and nudity whilst...

Game On


 Video games are an area of the BBFC's work that often results in confusion. People who don't play games often don't understand them and cannot fathom why they are so attractive to so many of the nation's teens and young adults. This lack of understanding has led to some video games (or even video...

Drawing Comparisons: The History of Manga and Classification


The term ‘manga,’ meaning ‘irresponsible pictures', was first coined by Hokusai, the famous Japanese artist. The production of popular comic books and pictures of everyday life emerged in Japan early in the 19th Century and flourished into the 20th.

The Games We Play: Video Game Classification at the BBFC


Games have often found themselves causing controversy and it isn’t only modern games like Grand Theft Auto that have done that. The first to upset the media (in this case over violence) was the 1976 title, Deathrace. A racing game bearing absolutely no relation to today’s sophisticated equivalents...