The British Board of Film Classification, which published its new guidelines yesterday, canvassed the views of 11,000 people in its efforts to update movie ratings to reflect issues of public concern.
The issues that worried the public were drug-taking, violence and sexual activity in films and computer games. Some themes have been added to the list of concerns or given greater emphasis since the last guidelines were issued in 2000. They include incitement to racial hatred or violence, expletives with a racial association, language that affects vulnerable minorities, and emphasis on easy access to weapons.
Suicide and self-harm were among the subjects of most concern to filmgoers. Last year, the BBFC awarded Tracey Emin's semi-autobiographical film Top Spot an 18 certificate because of its portrayal of a suicide attempt.