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Office of Film & Literature Classification

A series of videos about talking to young people, part of our 'Minds Over Media' campaign.

An online version of Challenging Media, our Parents' Guide.

Our featured decision for 13 Reasons Why: Season 2. See our episode-by-episode guide here

A website for NCEA students studying the classification system.

Latest news and blog posts

Blog post - Chief Censor: That "c" word

31 May 2018

Episode guide - 13 Reasons Why Season 2 Episode Guide

18 May 2018

Featured decision - 13 Reasons Why: Season 2

18 May 2018

Featured decision - Deadpool 2

11 May 2018

Blog post - The handy model of brain development

01 May 2018

Video series - Talking to young people

01 May 2018

What do the ratings/classifications mean?

What do the ratings/classifications mean?

All about rating/classification labels and descriptive notes.

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Ratings

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OFLC updates

Including updates on the latest research carried out by the Office of Film & Literature Classification, media releases and other breaking news.

Chief Censor applies RP18 classification to 13 Reasons Why Season 2

16 May 2018

Chief Censor David Shanks warns parents and caregivers of vulnerable children and teenagers to be prepared for the return of 13 Reasons Why Read more

It's not everyone's fiction

09 March 2018

A short film by young filmmakers, part of our 'Minds Over media' campaign. Read more about the short film

Young New Zealanders Viewing Sexual Violence - Stage 3

04 July 2017

Our research into young people's thoughts and experiences on viewing sexual violence in media. Read more about our research on young people viewing sexual violence

Recent classification decisions

These are brief snapshots of recent classification decisions. For more detailed information on selected titles see featured classification decisions

12/10/2018 - M: Violence, offensive language and content that may disturb Read more about Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden

What is it? Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a hybrid turn-based strategy/adventure game that is played from a third-person perspective. Players move freely around the environment until they engage enemies in combat, at which point the game seamlessly transitions into a turn-based tactical strategy game, played out on grids.

The game is set after a nuclear apocalypse occurs. Humans (as we know them) have died out, with those that remain mutated and touched by radiation. The player controls a pair of human-animal hybrids, Bormin and Dux. They live in the Ark, the final bastion of civilisation which is slowly running out of resources. Bormin and Dux are “stalkers”, scavengers who venture out of the Ark in order to collect food, water, and scrap for the town, as well as protect them from Ghouls – aggressive, inhuman wanderers who roam the world. When a veteran stalker goes missing, Bormin and Dux are sent on a mission to find him. They discover that the stalker was searching for the mythical Eden, a paradise where humanity might still remain.

What to expect? Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is an engaging and challenging hybrid turn-based/adventure game set in a post-human society. It contains regular depictions of sci-fi violence and mild elements of horror, however these are unlikely to shock and disturb children to a degree where a legal restriction would be warranted. Outside of this there is the occasional use of highly offensive language; again this is unlikely to harm young viewers and as such restricting on these grounds would be unwarranted.

11/10/2018 - R16: Violence and offensive language Read more about Bad Times at the El Royale

What is it? Bad Times at the El Royale is a mystery thriller film set in 1969. It follows six strangers who find themselves at the El Royale, a rundown hotel on the border of California and Nevada. The characters include Darlene, a struggling singer; Father Flynn, a priest; Laramie, a vacuum cleaner salesman; and Emily, who has just rescued her younger sister Rose from a cult. The guests are looked after by Miles, the hotel’s sole staff member and concierge. However, the hotel has two-way mirrors from which Miles is required to spy through and film his guests. The film follows a non-linear storyline, presenting various events from the perspective of each guest, until Billy Lee, Rose’s dangerous cult-leader boyfriend, shows up at the El Royale.

What to expect? An enthralling mystery film. The film’s treatment of violence is somewhat sensationalised. The realistic, sudden, and bloody deaths depicted are likely to be shocking and disturbing to children and younger teenagers. The use of offensive language also supports a restriction.

Older teenagers and adults are emotionally and intellectually mature enough to distinguish it as fiction.

10/09/2018 - R16: Contains violence, sexual references and offensive language Read more about The Predator

What is it? The Predator is the fourth instalment in the Predator science-fiction film franchise. Captain McKenna, when on an army mission in Mexico, stumbles across an alien spaceship. He finds that the creature from the ship has brutally murdered two of his team. As evidence, he sends a mask and piece of equipment from the vessel back home. Rory, McKenna’s young son, accidentally triggers the tracking devices embedded in the equipment, unintentionally making him the alien’s biggest target. Captain McKenna teams up with other disgraced military men and Dr. Casey Bracket, a biologist, to try and kill the Predator that is after his son.

What to expect? The film is a well-made, exhilarating production from a popular franchise, depicting battles against aliens. The high extent of gruesome violence is likely to be frightening to younger teens and children, who are also likely to be shocked and disturbed by it and the depictions of dead bodies. The level of offensive language and sexual references may be harmful to younger viewers, as the casual and repetitive use may have a normalising effect or encourage young viewers to emulate it.

Older teenagers and adults will be able to place the material into a fictitious context contrived as entertainment.

06/09/2018 - R16: Horror and deals with suicide Read more about The Nun

What is it? The Nun is a supernatural horror film, set in the Conjuring universe. The film explores the origin story of Valak, an evil entity featured in The Conjuring 2. Set in Romania in 1952, the story centres around the remote and sprawling Abbey of St Carta, where two nuns find themselves at the mercy of a dark force that lurks deep within the bowels of the castle. One nun is dragged bloody and screaming into the depths, while the other runs to an upper storey, ties a noose around her neck, and throws herself from the window. News of the suicide reaches Rome, and Father Burke, a priest, and Sister Irene, a young novitiate, are sent to investigate. The two uncover the castle’s dark history and the demonic entity that haunts it.

What to expect? Firmly embedding the horror narrative within a religious context that features the symbolism and iconography of both Catholicism and witchcraft, The Nun maximises the inherent tension between the holy and the profane, to entertainingly creepy effect. Though restrained in its depiction of gore, the scenes of decomposing bodies and reanimated corpses, combined with the jump scares, aggressively evil entities, and overall atmosphere of foreboding, would be shocking and disturbing to children and younger teens. Younger viewers are also likely to be disturbed by the scenes of suicide. Though fantastical in nature, they are dark in tone.

Older audiences are mature enough to adequately contextualise the supernatural imagery without adverse effect.

17/07/2018 - R16: Bloody Violence Read more about Quake Champions

What’s it about? Quake Champions is a multiplayer arena first-person shooter for PC. It collects a pantheon of characters from previous Quake games together in mortal combat, adding abilities and custom stats to differentiate each character’s playstyle. The game is still being actively developed, and currently features familiar competitive multiplayer modes of Free For All, Team Deathmatch and Instagib, as well as a round based version of the series’ renowned Duel. While the game will evolve over time, with more characters, maps, and cosmetic items, as well as an upcoming Capture The Flag mode, the classifiable content is not likely to significantly change from this version examined.

What to expect? Quake Champions is a frenetic and fun multiplayer first person shooter. Its sci-fi setting involves low level horror, and in its near-continuous combat gameplay, there is copious blood and gore. While kills with a lightning gun leave corpses sparking with residual energy, use of explosives and bullets can separate head from shoulders, limbs from torso, and if the opponent is particularly low on health explode in a burst of bleeding chunks and bones. Yet the pace of gameplay means there is rarely time to dwell on the details, indistinctly meaty as they are, with the gore systems primarily used as satisfying feedback for successful play. Nonetheless, this frequent and gory violence is likely to disturb younger players, particularly where recognisably human characters are dismembered and cloven. Quake Champions is therefore restricted to persons who have attained the age of 16 years.

15/06/2018 - R13: Violence, sexual references and content that may disturb Read more about Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition

What’s it about? Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition is a high-fantasy role playing game set in a vibrant world of magic and mystery. From a 3/4 overhead perspective the player controls a party of up to four characters as they complete quests, defeat enemies and collect loot. The turn-based combat is enhanced by a unique system of physical interactions, where elemental spells and environmental effects combine in logical and at times explosive ways.

What to expect? The game is a lengthy and engaging fantasy role playing game which is highly reactive to player choices. It contains frequent depictions of tactical combat, which may result in bloody gore. While this is limited by the overhead perspective and fantasy setting, coupled with scenes of cruelty and horror, these are likely to prove disturbing to younger players. Alongside some flowery but rather suggestive sexual references, the game is clearly intended for a mature audience. All things considered, Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition is best restricted to those aged 13 years and over.

Minds Over Media

Video transcripts

  • TTYP: What do they want to know?

    Video transcript - TTYP: What do they want to know?

    The video clip is a minute long. White background. A small pause button appears on screen before turning into the Minds Over Media logo, which reads "Minds Over Media. Watch carefully. Think critically." Dr Sue Bagshaw's name appears on screen alongside that of the Collaborative Trust. The title of the video, Talking to young people: What do they want to know? appears on screen.

    Sue's voiceover plays over this. Transcript follows below:

    I think it's - again, it's about listening. So it's really important to listen to what actually do they want to know? Because us with our adult minds (dirty, filthy minds that we've got) we go straight to, "Oh, they must be asking about the details of intercourse, or the - they want to know about oral sex, or..." But actually they really don't want that much detail. They just want to know that you're happy to answer. So always - if they ask you a question, you go (gasp) 'Oh, how am I going to answer this?' Just ask them back. "Why do you want to know? What would you like to know about that?" And then clarify, and you might find they don't want to know all that much detail and you go way over the top and totally unnecessarily. So those, "I'm wondering how come you think like that? I'm wondering why you ask that question? I'm just wanting to understand where you're coming from." Rather than listening to think, "Oh help, how am I going to answer that one?"

    White background. Image of Classification Office logo with Massey University logo. Text on screen reads: Office of Film and Literature Classification Te Tari Whakarōpū Tukuata, Tuhituhinga. www.classificationoffice.govt.nz; and Massey University Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa University of New Zealand, College of Humanities and Social Sciences. End of clip.

    With thanks to Drs. Sue Bagshaw of the Collaborative Trust and Claire Henry of Massey University. Ka pai!

  • TTYP: Really listen

    Video transcript - TTYP: Really listen

    The video clip is one minute and two seconds long. White background. A small pause button appears on screen before turning into the Minds Over Media logo, which reads "Minds Over Media. Watch carefully. Think critically." Dr Sue Bagshaw's name appears on screen alongside that of the Collaborative Trust. The title of the video, Talking to young people: Really listen appears on screen.

    Sue's voiceover plays over this. Transcript follows below:

    I mean, for me the biggest message I want to get across to parents is "listen". The biggest feedback I get from kids is "My parents don't listen to me". And parents think they're listening, but kids don't feel heard. And I think it's that difference between listening, but you're still doing something and actually listening and reflecting and actually spending time to not necessarily looking people in the eye, because that’s really embarrassing, but while you’re driving or while you’re doing something automatic so that you’re doing it alongside each other, but really hearing. So I think trying to listen to what the underlying message is what the child is trying to say because they haven’t got the vocabulary. So we really need to listen to the emotion and the need underneath. And that kind of listening, whoa. If we could all do that, our society would be way different. Especially our politicians.

    White background. Image of Classification Office logo with Massey University logo. Text on screen reads: Office of Film and Literature Classification Te Tari Whakarōpū Tukuata, Tuhituhinga. www.classificationoffice.govt.nz; and Massey University Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa University of New Zealand, College of Humanities and Social Sciences. End of clip.

    With thanks to Drs. Sue Bagshaw of the Collaborative Trust and Claire Henry of Massey University. Ka pai!

  • TTYP: Thinking critically

    Video transcript - TTYP: Thinking critically

    The video clip is 42 seconds long. White background. A small pause button appears on screen before turning into the Minds Over Media logo, which reads "Minds Over Media. Watch carefully. Think critically." Dr Sue Bagshaw's name appears on screen alongside that of the Collaborative Trust. The title of the video, Talking to young people: Thinking critically appears on screen.

    I think we kind of need to apply and teach people critical thinking powers to actually see what the underlying assumptions are; actually evaluate them in terms of your own experience and then draw some conclusions about what you're watching, rather than just jumping to conclusions. So I think it's really important that we teach young people right now as they're growing up, even from childhood on, that entertainment is entertainment - it's not reality. Yes we make movies of reality, but at the same time we're doing that for a purpose sometimes to help us reflect and think about ourselves so that we can actually say, "Well are we ok with this?"

    This is intercut with footage from Black Mirror of a young man watching a sexualised music video.

    White background. Image of Classification Office logo with Massey University logo. Text on screen reads: Office of Film and Literature Classification Te Tari Whakarōpū Tukuata, Tuhituhinga. www.classificationoffice.govt.nz; and Massey University Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa University of New Zealand, College of Humanities and Social Sciences. End of clip.

    With thanks to Drs. Sue Bagshaw of the Collaborative Trust and Claire Henry of Massey University. Ka pai!

  • TTYP: Getting started is easy

    Video transcript - TTYP: Getting started is easy

    The video clip is 28 seconds long. White background. A small pause button appears on screen before turning into the Minds Over Media logo, which reads "Minds Over Media. Watch carefully. Think critically." Dr Sue Bagshaw's name appears on screen alongside that of the Collaborative Trust. The title of the video, Talking to young people: Getting started is easy appears on screen.

    Sue's voiceover plays over this. Transcript follows below:

    Watching a movie together is really good, because then you can go, "So what did you think about when that guy kissed her? What do you think about when that guy pushed her over because she wouldn't kiss him? What did you-" and kind of start at that level and kind of have those conversations around something you're watching. It's not the big talk but you pick up on that opportunity of watching something which you know is probably going to touch on those subjects and then you can talk about it.

    This is intercut with footage from 13 Reasons Why of a young woman sliding down a slide and kissing a young man.

    White background. Image of Classification Office logo with Massey University logo. Text on screen reads: Office of Film and Literature Classification Te Tari Whakarōpū Tukuata, Tuhituhinga. www.classificationoffice.govt.nz; and Massey University Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa University of New Zealand, College of Humanities and Social Sciences. End of clip.

    With thanks to Drs. Sue Bagshaw of the Collaborative Trust and Claire Henry of Massey University. Ka pai!

  • TTYP: A handy guide to brain development

    Video transcript - TTYP: A handy guide to brain development

    The video clip is 2 minutes and 15 seconds long. White background. A small pause button appears on screen before turning into the Minds Over Media logo, which reads "Minds Over Media. Watch carefully. Think critically." Dr Sue Bagshaw's name appears on screen alongside that of the Collaborative Trust. The title of the video, Talking to young people: A hnady guide to brain development appears on screen.

    Sue's voiceover plays over this. Transcript follows below:

    I'm so glad you asked because now I can do my handy model of brain development! So brains develop from the bottom up. So this bit here is your spinal cord going down the back of your neck. The base of the thumb is the base of your brain and that controls all your organs without you having to think - the automatic nervous system, I call it - and your noradrenaline-adrenaline production; the bit that reacts to fear - that gets you going basically. That's all linked in online when you're born but not much else.

    So all the structures are there but they're not online. The first five years of life you can actually see it through your eyes, because you can see them learn to walk, talk, and chew gum at the same time, and then this bit in the middle - the thumb - is your limbic system. And that's the bit which deals with emotion and new ways of laying down memory. The amygdala's there and the amygdala's really important because that's the bit that looks for danger and it's really on hyper alert with young people and it's firing up like mad, really coming online so their amygdala is much bigger than an adult's. So they're hyper alert already. If they've had bad experiences growing up, that's hyper alerted them as well - their already developed amygdalas.

    But this bit, which is the bit - the cortex - that brings in your thinking about thinking and your ability to think is only online about 20% of the time for teenagers. So they think with their emotions and that's what you have to be aware of when they're exposed to all this media stuff. Adults have that thinking to critically review it and say, "This isn't real, this is rubbish; this doesn't equate with anything I know" but teenagers haven't got that. So adults need to be the frontal cortex for their teenagers, to be able to help them calm down their amygdalas, which go zooming off with horror stuff. We all like a bit of a noradrenaline buzz, that's why horror movies do so well, but at the same time not overly much.

    Because some young people will have that horror buzz for two years after they've seen something and that's going to affect how they function in their lives. So really important that parents are there to help filter and to help do that critical thinking.

    This is intercut with footage from Black Mirror of a child being taken care of by her caregivers, and seeing other students in a playground watching media.

    White background. Image of Classification Office logo with Massey University logo. Text on screen reads: Office of Film and Literature Classification Te Tari Whakarōpū Tukuata, Tuhituhinga. www.classificationoffice.govt.nz; and Massey University Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa University of New Zealand, College of Humanities and Social Sciences. End of clip.

    With thanks to Drs. Sue Bagshaw of the Collaborative Trust and Claire Henry of Massey University. Ka pai!

  • TTYP: Concrete vs abstract thinkers

    Video transcript - TTYP: Concrete vs abstract thinkers
  • TTYP: Flipping your lid

    Video transcript - TTYP: Flipping your lid
  • TTYP: Suicide

    Video transcript - TTYP: Suicide
  • TTYP: Checking your emotions

    Video transcript - TTYP: Checking your emotions

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