Ratings, Ratings, Who's Got the Ratings?

These days, just about everything has an age-appropriate rating on it. Movies, video games, even toys come with a sticker declaring that somebody infinitely more aware than the average consumer has approved that particular product for use by those X-years and up. Now, apparently there aren't enough ratings in the offline world, so the raiders — er, raters — are coming to a download near you, at least if your downloads source from the UK.

The BBFC — that's British Board of Film Classification — has decided that internet video and games need to be age-rated, and by the end of this month, more than 1,000 will have the digital equivalent of parental advisory stickers stuck to their virtual cases. The system is "voluntary" — a happy-sounding euphemism for "do it or we'll get the government involved" — and has already garnered Disney, Warner, and Fox among it's "volunteer" hostages.

According to the BBFC, independent research shows 74% of parents are "concerned" about the lack of ratings on internet content, though other independent research has shown that as many as 90% of parents pay no attention whatsoever to video game ratings.

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