U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark Knight

August 5, 2008 -

Labour MP Keith Vaz, long a critic of violent video games, has taken umbrage to the BBFC's rating of new Batman flick The Dark Knight.

As reported by The Register, Vaz and Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith object to the film's 12A rating, which means that under 12s can see The Dark Knight if accompanied by their parents:

...Vaz said: "The BBFC should realise there are scenes of gratuitous violence in The Dark Knight to which I would certainly not take my 11-year-old daughter. It should be a 15 classification."

 

Vaz, who has previously railed against video game violence, wants to get the BBFC before his committee's hearings on knife crime later in the year. Presumably its representatives will be required to explain what they think they're doing fostering violent knifey rages in children...

 

The BBFC has defended its rating, admitting that while it was a "borderline" decision, the violence is in over-the-top comic-book fashion and does adhere to the guidelines for a 12A certificate. With a 15 certificate, said spokeswoman Sue Clark, "Younger teenagers would not have been able to see it, and they are the very people who are going to love it. We would have ended up with far more complaints from people who wanted to see the film and couldn't."

 In light of Vaz'z criticism, it's interesting to note that the BBFC will soon take over video game rating chores if the British government has its way.

 


Comments

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

How about a magic trick?

I'm going to make this pencil disappear...


TA-DAA!!  It's gone!

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

A perfect candidate for the new Academy Award I will invent: Scene Most Likely To Ruin Your Shit.

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

Then maybe The Sith Lords should have been given an R rating also, seeing what happened to Anakin at the end.

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

"The BBFC should realise there are scenes of gratuitous violence in The Dark Knight to which I would certainly not take my 11-year-old daughter"

Protip: DON'T FUCKING TAKE HER TO SEE THE MOVIE IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT!!!!!!

 

COmmon sense, so rare it's a super power

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

Protip? I'd say that's a tip even AMATEURS should be aware of.

COmmon sense, so rare it's a super power

I await the next superhero movie: The Logical Knight

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

Anyway, Vaz's daughter is 11, so she wouldn't be allowed entry in the first place. Moreover, the 'A' stands for "Advisory" so it's precisely this kind of rating that empowers parents by leaving the ultimate decision up to them.

-- teh moominz --

-- teh moominz --

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

"Moreover, the 'A' stands for 'Advisory'"

In the context of the rating 12A?  No, no it doesn't.  It means Adult supervision.  A 12 rating means any 12 year old can walk in and see the film on their own.  12A means that they need an adult with them to be able to see it.

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

The UKs 12 is like the US's PG 13 I see now problem with it getting a 12 rating.

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

Honestly, I think this movie could be a reason that maybe the MPAA should make a new rating, in between PG13 and R. I'd honestly have given this movie a 15, because it was pretty dark and gruesome, but not gory. Definatly not R, but stronger than PG13. Basically, not for those under 13, but shouldn't be rated R

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

You see? This is why we like the BBFC!

Also, there's no way the BBFC will kowtow to as inconsequential an MP as Keith Vaz. He really is a laughing stock, almost as maligned as Julian Brazier. If the BBFC were to be forced to acquiece to his demands (a tricky legal conundrum as it is), there would be a public outrcry not last seen since the BBC was almost shackled by the Hutton Report.

-- teh moominz --

-- teh moominz --

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

"We would have ended up with far more complaints from people who wanted to see the film and couldn't."

So classification is attribbuted based on how many people will complain about it...

You see? This is why I hate the BBFC!

They always come up with stupid reasons to justify their decisions. It's like the Manhunt 2 / Eastern Promises cases: For Manhunt 2 it was distasteful and risky so it had to be banned. For Eastern Promises it was artistic expression and people know it's just a movie.

I wish the games industry would refuse to launch games in the UK and Australia for a few months to see how that would work out.

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

No - classification is partly based upon who the intended audience is supposed to be. Also, this is a rezaction to a complaint, so bringing uip counter-complaints is entirely within context.

So you dislike the BBFC for protecting the interests of people who want to go and watch the movie? WTF are you on?

Manhunt 2 is a) an isolated incident and b) ultimately to do with the murder of Stefan Pakeerah, neither of which have any bearing on this. I think you're just hating on them 'cos they don't neatly fit into your preconceived world view.

-- teh moominz --

-- teh moominz --

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

You pretty much validate my whole comment even though you clearly did not understand it.

"this is a rezaction to a complaint, so bringing uip counter-complaints is entirely within context"

It may be in context but it is not at all admissible. Classification should be a clear process adherent to existing rules and guidelines. It is already subjective enough as is. If you start to consider who might or not complain about it when classifying a game then anything is possible.

"So you dislike the BBFC for protecting the interests of people who want to go and watch the movie? WTF are you on?"

I should like them because they let people go and watch this specific movei? It's not about this specific movie, it's about the BBFC's duties and responsabilities and how they justify their actions in general. I think they do a very poor job in explaining their decisions.

"I think you're just hating on them 'cos they don't neatly fit into your preconceived world view."

I don't mean to be confrontational but I could say the exact same thing about you. I explained my reasoning and of course I could be wrong about it.

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

Can I point out that ratings are inherently ALL about taking the general population's preconceived world view?  When rating they go with the moral majority when drawing the line.  With Manhunt 2, they felt the game had gone beyond that line, but the VAC felt otherwise.  The BBFC have in statements before and since then acknowledged that they have to move that line in accordance to the judgement.

Where ratings are concerned, you cannot appease everyone as going with the view of the 'general' population is merely that.  What they CAN do is follow guidelines and stick to their guns in the face of any criticism if they feel that their decision is the correct one.

It is worth noting that some of those who complained about the BBFC not originally giving a rating to Manhunt 2 citing political pressure are also complaining about the 12A rating being given in the face of such political pressure.  You cannot have it both ways.  I believe these 2 examples, which contradict the conspiracy theories, merely prove the BBFC's worth as an independant body.

Incidently, the 12A rating is relatively new to the cinema ratings.  If it were still 12 or 15, I suspect it would have been given a 15.

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

If The Dark Knight was a game, the BBFC would rate it 15, and that's if we're lucky.

/b

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

Actually, you may be right for the wrong reasons.  I thought much of the violence in Dark Knight was almost classical Greek in its presentation; after the opening sequence, almost all of the major violence was done in an offscreen manner (no blood trails, mangled corpses, or whatnot.)  Take the pencil sequence, for example: the guy just drops out of frame.  It's almost comedic.

On the other hand, a video game would certainly demonstrate the violence onscreen due to most of it being performed by the player.  No fun not being able to see what you're doing, right?  So if the violence is of a level to warrant the higher rating (blood, pummeled enemies, depends what path the designers take) then it would be fair to quantify it as such.

I'd be quicker to condemn the BBFC if they gave the same rating to a game as to the movie simply on the basis of their sharing subject matter.  That'd be a big disservice to the people who are supposed to be relying on the ratings as a guide to what they, or their children, should and shouldn't be playing.

---
The Mammon Industry

---
Fangamer

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

Seems my post was swallowed at some point by GP.  Cant even get a log in at the moment despite using the direct email address asking what is going on and multiple attempts to send password again...

12A is a film only rating that gaming does not have due to cinema being a single showing and games being play when you want therefore if the decision between 12A and 15 was borderline, then an equivilent game would be 15 for sure.

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

Looking at teh alst batman game it would be realistic but minus blood and gore.

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)

 


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

Best comment by far!

 

Holy Logical Batman

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

Hmmm... good point, well made.

-- teh moominz --

-- teh moominz --

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

Oh spare me, what a load of nonsense. Got any proof of that, or are you just assuming that the BBFC are playing a game called "PEGI" the purpose of which is to hand out ratings without looking at the material?

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

mommies/bunchakneejrks

The UK has 12 and 15, its mreo reasonable for the film to be sloted to 15 and if a game was made depending on certain tigns it could be 15 as well and thats befor you add any blood/gore. 

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)

 


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: U.K. Video Game Critic Keith Vaz Has a New Target: The Dark

Evidence? Piss off beemoh, I know you mean well but that's a trollish statement right there.

MASS EFFECT. That is all.

-- teh moominz --

-- teh moominz --
 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

How do you feel about Amazon buying Twitch?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
E. Zachary KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
Andrew EisenAmusingly, these videos aren't saying you can't/shouldn't use tropes or that sexual representations are inherently problematic so those are very silly things to have a problem with and indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the series.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
SleakerDo you think the female community would get extremely angry over a male doing a case study on the negative impact of sex-novels and their unrealistic depiction of males and how widespread they are in american culture?08/29/2014 - 12:25pm
SleakerThe other thing that people might find problematic is that they see no problem with sexual representations of females (or males) in games. And realistically, why is there anything wrong with sexual representations in fiction?08/29/2014 - 12:24pm
SleakerTo even discuss or bring up these issues at a cultural level to begin with. Going straight for games to many probably feels like a huge overstepping given that it's interactive story in many cases, and when you're telling a story why can't you use tropes.08/29/2014 - 12:21pm
SleakerI think a large part of the controversy stems from the idea that games aren't culture setters, but culture reactors, and simply depict what is already in culture. So people don't care that games use tropes or are blind to them because we've failed ...08/29/2014 - 12:20pm
AvalongodBesides, what better way to make her point for her than to respond to her opinion by behaving like a misogynistic asshole. Sure, it may be a troll account, but that doesn't make it "ok"08/29/2014 - 12:19pm
AvalongodWhether Sarkeesian is "right" or "wrong" is not relevant, neither she nor any other woman should have to expect that her opinion will be met with death threats or even just sexist language.08/29/2014 - 12:18pm
Andrew EisenOh, may as well. Zip, I challenge you to cite three specific examples from the TvW videos (use direct quotes and time stamps) and explain how/why they ring hollow or are over exaggerated.08/29/2014 - 11:56am
Andrew EisenZip - Bullies on both sides? What both sides? And of course bullies are worse than people who aren't bullies.08/29/2014 - 11:23am
Neeneko(2) yes, male tropes also have problems and gender studies looks at those too. But this highlights a privilage problem, the idea that if male issues are not brought up too female issues should not be discussed.08/29/2014 - 10:42am
Neeneko@ZippyDSMlee - jumping back (1) one can acknowledge systemic problems without requiring every male be a Neanderthal.08/29/2014 - 10:42am
MaskedPixelanteI don't like the new 3DS, mostly because it means there's a good chance future 3DS games won't be compatible with the current models.08/29/2014 - 9:30am
ConsterI don't get why Amazon decided to buy this "Twitch" fellow, really. It took him ages to beat Pokemon.08/29/2014 - 8:31am
ZippyDSMleeIt goes without saying that we need to et rid of the bullies on both sides that are far worse than Sarkeesian or Quin will ever be.08/29/2014 - 8:24am
ZippyDSMleeI'm talking more about the genreal movement and how silly it is, as for Sarkeesian half of what she is says rings hollw while the other half tend to be over exsagerated.08/29/2014 - 8:22am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician