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ALERT: The recent Netflix series, Squid Games has an age rating of 15+.  It features gore and violence, as well as sex scenes, self-harm, suicide and bad language and is not suitable for young children.  The survival drama features contestants who play children’s playground games with a deadly twist – if they don’t succeed, they are killed.

Gooseberry Student

Age ratings on games, films and tv shows are designed to protect younger viewers from content that is unsuitable for their age and to guide viewers of all ages about the type of content they might come across.  Not everyone enjoys watching Halloween horror movies even if they are adults!

What are BBFC ratings?  (British Board of Film Classification – these provide guidance on the suitability of films, DVDs, View on demand films and series.  Netflix uses BBFC classifications).

What are the different BBFC age ratings?  (U – suitable for all, PG – parental guidance but suitable for most over 8s, 12A – cinema release suitable for over 12s – no under 12 may watch unless accompanied by an adult, 12 – video release suitable for 12 and over and no under 12s may buy or rent it, 15 – suitable for only over 15s and no one under 15 may watch or buy a 15 rated film.  18 – only suitable for adults.

Do you know what PEGI ratings are?  (PEGI stands for Pan European Game Information – it provides guidance about online games and which age groups they are suitable for.)

What are the different PEGI age ratings on violence?  PEGI 3 – suitable for all, PEGI 7 – some scenes or sounds could possibly be frightening for young children, PEGI 12 – a game which contains violence of a slightly more graphic nature towards fantasy characters or non-realistic violence towards human-like characters would fall in this age category.  PEGI 16 – violence looks the same as would be expected in real life.  PEGI 18 – adult level – gross violence.

Do you think age ratings are a good idea?   Why?Have you ever been upset by content that you have watched or played online?

Gooseberry Teacher

The 15 rated series, Squid Games, has been a huge success on Netflix.  It has led to clips, amateur videos and online challenges which re-enact the games being shared across social media where young children may come across them.  It has also led to the development of the Squid Game Survival Challenge or K-Games Challenge apps.  As a result, it’s possible that children in your school may have been exposed to inappropriate and upsetting content. 

Children as young as 6 have been seen attempting to re-enact some of the games in schools. This brings the risk of violence within the playground as well as potentially introducing more children to the programme or the apps.

Unless you have an existing problem within your school, we suggest you avoid mentioning Squid Games by name as this may just give children unhelpful ideas.  Instead keep an eye out for inappropriate behaviour in the playground.  Have a conversation with children and parents about the importance of following age ratings and talk about how important it is to tell a trusted adult if children are upset by something they have viewed.

Gooseberry Parent

The Squid Game is a popular Netflix series with an age rating of 15+.  It contains gore and violence and is not suitable for younger children. Age ratings for online games, films and tv shows are there to protect viewers but children can be tempted to watch inappropriate content as a result of peer pressure, or they may stumble across it accidentally.  Unfortunately, scenes from the series have been shared on social media platforms popular with children.  They may initially seem childlike and harmless and but could become shocking and upsetting. 

Because Squid Games is based around a twisted version of children’s playground games, young children may find their peers talking about it or re-enacting it in the playground.  This may potentially involve violence.  Don’t mention it to your child if they have not come across it – this might just encourage them, but try to initiate a general conversation about life in the playground to check if they have any concerns.

You can set Parental Controls directly on your child’s phone, and other apps and streaming services such as Netflix.  All content on Netflix now carries BBFC ratings.  Bear in mind however that controls aren’t always completely effective, or your child may end up watching content on another child’s device. 

It’s a good idea to discuss with your child what they are watching or playing and have a general conversation about how some content can be upsetting.  Encourage them to stop watching as soon as they see anything inappropriate, as images can be graphic and upsetting and linger in the memory for a long time.   Encourage your child to talk to you if they are ever upset about something they have seen and reassure them that you won’t be angry that they have done so.

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