|The Elf ½ (elfwreck) wrote in metametameta,|
@ 2008-06-24 23:35:00
Ratings: Worksafe, Standard, Mature, Explicit
I've ranted about the evils of movie ratings for fic in the past. Aside from the psychosis that invades the MPAA so that eviscerations onscreen are PG, female nipples are R, and a penis is an automatic NC-17 (because of course nobody under 18 has seen one before, right?), I don't like rating the reader rather than the content. I want fics (and arts and vids) rated by what's inside them, not by who's expected to find that most appealing.
The most common non-MPAA ratings suggested are age-based, which has several problems. Rating a story "teen" can be taken to mean "intended readers are teenagers; so this is probably not interesting to anyone over 21," rather than "intended readers should be at least 14 years of age." And who's deciding what's appropriate for a 14-year-old to read? Whose standards are being used? The author's? The host site's? Certainly not mine; I know what I was reading at 14, and a lot of it's not allowed at ff.net. Is anyone enforcing those ratings? Or is "15-and-up" fic being read by 12-year-olds, and we're all pretending that labeling it "15+" is somehow "protecting" those kids who are honest enough to stay away from stuff labeled Too Old For You?
Also, in some circles, it creates a stigma for writers & readers of less-explicit content; in others, because it's assumed that "adult" means "explicit sexual content," rather than "complex and mature themes," readers can be disappointed by stories rated "adult" that don't contain what they want to read. (Death, insanity, and torture are all potential themes in adult non-sexual stories.) And readers who would like complex or dark themes—but not sex—have trouble finding those stories.
So I've been considering how to rate fic (and art, vid & whatever) content. I like the idea of four ratings, which is what most sites use, and the options of individual warnings in addition to the ratings. (Ratings are the overall "level;" warnings are for specific contents—like sexual activity, character death, or incest, which could be included in any rating level.)
My Four Content Ratings:
Not intended to be absolute or definitive; this is how I'd sort these. Some are borderline, and someone else might nudge them into a different column. Certainly, I welcome examples & discussion, or claims that I've got some parts just wrong.
Elf's Table O Ratings, version 0.9
|Sci-Fi Authors||Asimov||Clarke||Heinlein (later works)||Richard Morgan|
|Vampire stories||Bunnicula||I Am Legend||Interview With The Vampire||Incubus Dreams|
|Sex/ Reproduction||N/A||Where Did I Come From?||Our Bodies,Ourselves||The Joy of Sex|
|Vampire Hunter D
Beavis and Butthead
|Bible||Psalm 23||Genesis 23||Luke 23||Ezekiel 23|
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