ABE VR, the new virtual reality experience from UK studio Hammerhead VR, is the first virtual reality experience to be reviewed and
officially certified by the BBFC, under it's digital video classification.
In a first of its kind, the BBFC reviewed the virtual reality experience alongside the original 2D short film, granting both with a 15 age rating. Although both were similar in content, ABE VR was issued it's rating based on the bloody violence and
threat classification criteria.
Alexandra Evans, Policy Director, BBFC, commented:
We were delighted to work with Hammerhead on this project and to be able to compare the VR and linear versions of ABE like for like. Though both versions received the same 15 rating, they raised different classification issues, specifically strong threat
in the linear version, and bloody violence and threat in the VR version. This exercise shows how BBFC Classification Guidelines work for VR content and with this new technology, which offers an intense user experience, it is important that consumers,
parents in particular, can access clear content advice about VR content before they experience it.
Simon Windsor, Joint Managing Director, Hammerhead VR commented:
The classification advice from the BBFC is an important step for Virtual Reality. With ABE VR we wanted to explore the heightened emotional connection that this storytelling medium can deliver, as well as the shear intensity and sense of dread - the
results are powerful. As VR evolves and experiences become ever more believable, it will be increasingly important for VR content to be age rated.
Based on the award winning short film ABE , by Rob McLellan, ABE VR is faithful recreation of on the original story about a misguided robot seeking the unconditional love of humans -- at whatever cost.
ABE VR is available now and free to download on Oculus and SteamVR.
U Music TV Limited (which is in no way related to Universal Music or UMTV), wrongly claimed that all its content had been rated U and PG when in fact none of its content carried a BBFC age rating. It also made unauthorised use of BBFC classification
symbols. On legal advice, the BBFC wrote to the channel to assert its IP rights. The channel has now removed all uses of the BBFC symbols, all references to BBFC Classification Guidelines and all claims to an association with the BBFC. It has also given
undertakings against future breaches of BBFC intellectual property rights.
David Austin Chief Executive, BBFC, said:
The BBFC actively protects its IP and we are pleased to confirm the offending claims and uses of the BBFC Classification symbols have now been removed. Illegitimate use of BBFC age ratings is potentially confusing to consumers, particularly as the BBFC's
symbols are widely licensed for use by online VoD platforms and for certain online music videos submitted to us for classification. Misleading consumers into believing content is classified by the BBFC is potentially damaging to our reputation and to the
high levels of trust the public places in BBFC classifications.
Research carried out by the BBFC in 2015 found that 85% of parents consider it important to have consistent classification online and offline, while online classification checking is now approaching the level of checking undertaken by parents for cinema
films, with 81% checking age ratings for VOD content.
are agreed in advance.
For some reason that is not immediately obvious, a US christian websites has decided to have a rant about the BBFC not taking religious
'profanities, eg 'Jesus!' and 'Goddam' seriously enough. The websites asks:
When is a religious profanity no longer profane ?
Sixty years ago, religious profanities typically were forbidden in Hollywood movies, as the Protestant and Catholic film offices held sway on issues of acceptability in the Golden Age of film.
Today, however, in one Western nation [UK], such profanities fail to register even the slightest concern with the primary movie-rating agency [BBFC], which rarely mentions such expletives in its warning nor takes them into account when determining
In a recent response to a WND reader, a representative of the BBFC, whose tagline is Age ratings you trust, explained the policy:
While we recognize that such terms [profanities] may be offensive to those who hold religious beliefs, our public consultation has found that most respondents found these terms acceptable at 'U' [the rating described as 'suitable for all'].
The focus of the whinge seems to be the 12A rating for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
Concern arose over the BBFC evaluation of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. It included this language warning: There is occasional use of mild bad language, including 'son of a bitch,' 'shit' and 'piss.'
There was no mention, however, of religious profanities in the film, like those cited in the MovieGuide review. Based in Hollywood, MovieGuide reviews films from a Christian perspective. Its analysis of Batman v. Superman warned of five strong
profanities (using Goddam or Jesus) and two light profanities.
The BBFC rated the Batman film 12A, for moderate violence and threat. In the U.S., it is rated PG-13.
WND end with a delightfully ludicrous sound bite with a few choice words about the BBFC:
MovieGuide founder Ted Baehr has followed the BBFC for decades. He told WND the organization is much more anti-Christian than the nation at large:
Added Baehr: The British Board of Film Classifications has often established itself as a pseudo elitist body that ignores the reality of families and the human condition. At least, the BBFC should consist mainly of mothers with children. Better still, as
I argued before the U.K. Parliament years ago, they need to establish standards that prevent the sociological, psychological and religious dangers of movies and entertainment that destroy susceptible youth, as many of the Oxford studies show.