The President of the United States of America, having heard that video games and movies sometimes contain violence, proposed an age-based rating system to keep kids from seeing violent entertainment Thursday.
Donald Trump revealed that he is completely oblivious to widely adopted movie and video game ratings systems during a meeting on school safety at the White House Thursday. The president said that violent video games and movies (and also the internet) are affecting young people’s minds and suggested that there should be a rating system for movies.
“I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts,” Trump said at the meeting. “And you go the further step and that’s the movies. You see these movies, they’re so violent… Maybe they have to put a ratings system for that.”
Luckily for today’s youth, there already are restrictive ratings systems for both movies and video games.
Movies have received age-restricting ratings in the U.S. since the 1930s, with the current ratings system from the Motion Picture Association of America being implemented in the ’60s and followed by the two major theater and movie distributing groups in the U.S.
Although the system has changed a bit over the decades, there have long been age restrictions put on movies that depict violence, and it’s recognizable to almost everyone who lives in the country. We all know the difference between a G-rated movie and an R-rated movie.
A similar ratings system has also been implemented and widely adopted for video games, devised by the Entertainment Software Rating Board, with T-rated and M-rated games restricted to people 13 or older and 17 or older respectively.
Both ratings systems include easy-to-identify ratings that suggest appropriate age cut-offs for their respective media, along with content descriptions that explain why it received its rating. The majority of movie theaters and video game outlets in the United States restrict what people can watch or purchase based on these systems, according to both organizations.
So, yes, Trump, it would be a good idea if “they” implemented ratings systems for movies and video games. It’s such a good idea, in fact, that both industries already did that decades ago.
Of course, even with those restrictions, violent, gun-related tragedies continue to happen at an alarming rate in the U.S., so maybe it’s worth looking at a different reason for why these things continue to happen.