Blip on the screen

By Han Bingbin ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-05-07 07:40:50

Rating system

In the West, thanks to a mature rating system, animation content is strictly supervised to cater to only appropriate age groups, Chen says. She doesn't recall Japan having a similar system.

"But TV makers there are very self-conscious and show a great deal of social responsibility. For example, paid animation channels usually indicate the varied content scales of their shows by running them in strictly differentiated time periods.

"Chinese (video websites) seem to lack social responsibility and only want viewership numbers."

An industry debate over whether China needs to apply a rating system for children's cartoon shows is still ongoing, without any clear outcome in sight.

Lu Yufei, a psychologist from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and also a mother of a 9-year-old, worked out with her team last year a mechanism to rate children's films and cartoons, by referring to such rating systems in the West.

Lu classified current made-for-children TV content in China, cartoons especially, into five categories by age groups and planned for it to become a guidance handbook for Chinese parents. She tried to address her own concerns over the high degree of violence shown in Chinese cartoons.

"Many parents don't yet have such awareness because they grow up watching inappropriate content themselves," she says. "Though we can't make it an official thing, the industry will turn to the good if all parents start to firmly resist what's bad for their children."

But some like Chen believe that a rating system will emerge sometime in the future after the industry evolves further.

"Maybe when the children of the post-2000 generation start to watch animation, then we can say practically every Chinese generation has had some contact with animation.

"When animation for different ages start to appear, there will naturally come a need for rating."

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