Media Language

Essay Plan

  • Introduction
    • What is Media Language?
    • What is the film itsself?

Apply the concept of Media Language to one of your coursework productions.

The film “Criminal Interests”, which I made and produced for my second year of A-Level media, communicates meaning with the audience in multiple different ways. The film uses different tec hniques of media language, to convey different meanings at different strengths.

The film begins with suspenseful music played over credits, which appear on a black screen. The credits obviously denote the author and producers of the film, and the music in the background helps to denote the upcoming suspense.

We begin to see the main character of the film walk down a driveway, in trackies and a hoodie. The trackies and hoodie are semiotic signs of what a British viewer would interpret as a “chav” styled character, and this sets up how the viewer will interpret the character for the rest of the film.

This allows for the viewer to understand what happens later in the film, as we see the main character brush against another member of the public. This anchorage allows for the viewer to easily determine that this member of the public has been pickpocketed, and further it allows this to be understood for viewers who haven’t fully grasped both ideas, when the camera shows the denotative wallet in the thief’s hands.

The later part after this scene shows the pickpocket do the same maneuver again, which is anchored in the mind of the viewer, from the previous signs displaying this. We see the signs that the victim has noticed the crime, as the victim pats his pockets. As the victim runs for the thief, we see the thief run from a shoulder-and-below shot. This displays the intententions and willingness of the thief attempting to escape.

As we see the chase take place, we see the chaser and the chasee running only from below head height, this reinforces the idea of the two attempting to flee, and attempting to catch.

We see the fear and suspense from the chaser as he looses the thief, and is seen walking from a high angled shot. The angled shot shows how the world is ontop of him, and the incoming traffic signifies the immediate danger to the victim.

Throughout the film, the shots and pace of the music are fast times and consistent with each other. As the music times up, the shots begin to time up, along with the pace of the film’s content. This symbolised the suspense and the danger that the thief receives.

Contemporary Media Regulation – June, 2015 (B)

Assess the arguments for the regulation of media in 2015

Essay Plan

  • History of the BBFC
    • Founded 1913 as the British Board of Film Censors
      • Non Governmental
      • Backed by legislation
    • Founded by the film industry, as they wanted to be able to censor their own films, not leaving it to local authorities.
    • The board would pass films with a U(niversal) or A(dult) certificate, or would refuse to pass films at all.
    • In 1982, the board began to classify films into the U(niversal), P(arental)G(uidence), 15, 18 or R(estricted)18.
    • In 1984 the board was renamed to the British Board of Film Classification, and changed it’s focus from censoring films, to classifying them.
  • History of PEGI
    • Founded in 2003 as the Pan European Game Information
      • Non Governmental
      • Backed by legislation in some EU states, although not mandatory.
    • PEGI responds to a variety of factors, such as Violence, Bad Language, Drug Use, Gambling, Fear, Sex and Discrimination.
    • PEGI does not manually rate games the same way as the BBFC would. Instead, they rate based on results of a publisher-submitted survey. Publishers of games are therefore only honour bound to declare the contents.
  • Will Cornick 2012
    • Blamed for


Regulation of media is an important administrative procedure, to protect vulnerable individuals, and as a way of preventing copy-cat crime. In the UK, the first major example of film regulation comes from the BBFC, setup in 1912 as the British Board of Film Censors.

This board was setup by the film industry, as a method of censoring their own films and preventing the government from dictating the content of films. The board was setup as a non-governmental, non-profit organisation, and provided the rating Universal (U) or Adult (A). The board is well known in 20th Century for refusing to pass films with a certificate at all.

In 1971 the BBFC initially rejected Ken Russel’s film The Devils, showing various scenes of sex and blasphemy. The film was later passed as an X certificate, following cuts and with it, the film sparked controversy, and was subsequently banned by several local authorities.

Later in 1971, the BBFC allowed Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange be passed at an X rating, uncut. There was a strong outcry from the public, that the criminal and anti-social behaviours would be copied by young people within the UK. Later in the year, the prosecutor of a 14-year-old boy, on trial for manslaughter, referenced the film, which caused more uproar from the public, and from newspapers. Again in 1971, the film was blamed for the murder of an elderly man, from which the prosecuting QC said the “link between [the] crime and sensational literature, particularly A Clockwork Orange, is established beyond reasonable doubt”. In 1973, at the request of Kubrick, the film was pulled from circulation within the UK after threats towards his family, and himself.

In 1982, the BBFC expanded its film ratings, into a more recognisable structure, Universal (U) Parental Guidance (PG), 15, 18 and Restricted 18 (R18). Two years following, in 1984 the BBFC was renamed to the British Board of Film Classification, which better identified it by its developed role – classification not censorship.

In 1993, 3-year-old James Bulger was murdered and tortured by two 10-year-old boys. During the initial uproar, Child’s Play 3 was blamed by the media for the killing. The director, Jack Bender, defended the film, making the statement that to be affected, they must have already been mentally unstable. It was argued that one of the boy’s father had rented the film the week before, which had then been passed onto the children. This is an example of the media making a moral panic from one of the most exploitable parts of film media regulation – a gatekeeper only exists at a point of sale.

PEGI is the Pan European Game Information, a system founded in 2003 by the video games industry. Like the BBFC, PEGI is a non-governmental organisation, although it has legislative backing in many European Union states. PEGI provides the ratings 3, 7, 12, 16 and 18 based from violence, bad language, fear, gambling, discrimination and factors regarding sex.

When films are rated by PEGI, they are initially given a temporary license based from a publisher-based self-assessment, which is submitted to PEGI. When the video game is released to the public, the Video Standards Council (VSC) will often review the candidate against the license it received.

In 2012, school student William Cornick plotted and executed the fatal stabbing of his Spanish teacher Ann Maguire. The media reported that Cornick played multiple violent video games such as Dark Souls II, rated 16 by PEGI’s standards. The video games Grand Theft Auto 5 and Hatred were also blamed by the media for the killing, which created further controversy for the video game Hatred.  Cornick, at the time, was 15 years old, whereas these video games were rated 16, 18 and 18 again. This was again, another attempt by the media of creating a moral panic regarding the lack of a gatekeeper.

With regards to video games, they follow the same system of how in-store, video games must be bought by a person who is of the licensed age, but however when bought over digital media, they may be bought by anyone – there are, for the most part, no age checks. Furthermore, video games may be purchased online with the use of gift-cards or debit-cards, allowing for children under the age of 18 to be able to purchase the video games without any checks.

The video game Grand Theft Auto 5, the 15th video game in the Grant Theft Auto series, is a major source of moral panics. Released in 2013 by Rockstar Games, the game revolves around three players in an open, sandboxed world. The player is in full control of the game, and may decide to kill people, hire sex workers, kill police and take drugs. The video game revolves around a very realistic imitation of Los Angeles, named in the game “Los Santos”. The video game was rated 18 in the UK. In April 2015, the video game was released for PC, which brought in a new issue for the public – immersions. The changes to the PC version of the video game allowed players to play in a first-person rendition of the game, and even to play with virtual-reality gear, which allows for the line between reality and fantasy to easily be blurred.

In future, it wouldn’t be hard to be a future time whereby films and video games go unregulated, with the expansion and growth of the internet. At the moment, film and video game regulation are not as effective as they were back in 1912 when the BBFC was first formed, or in 2003 when PEGI first began to license games. Although regulation of video games and media is often a thing that people regard to be against the rights of free speech, it does hold a strong and important place in today’s society.

When video games and film was first being regulated, there was a major need for regulation – the country was much more conservative, and religious and moral ethos were a strong, important point. Regulation protects the venerable, which we often forget includes those who don’t realise it. Children, filmmakers and other such venerable people are those who we’ve seen through past time be affected by the uncontrolled distribution of regulated material, and it’s an important task that these people be continued to be protected.

Video Games | Hatred (Destructive Creations, 2015)

Hatred is a video game produced by Destructive Creations. It was rated by PEGI as a 18 video game, and is provided with two content descriptors: strong sustained violence, and bad language.

Daily Mail

  • People play as a maniac unleashing genocide and killing innocent people
  • It features close range execution mode where player stamp victim to death

A new ultra-violent video game in which players play as a genocidal maniac who shoots and stabs a vast number of victims to death is to go on sale in Britain.

Hatred is believed to be the most violent game ever produced and has now been certified by the Games Rating Agency to go on sale with an 18 rating.

just look at the lunatics in the USA who went on mass killing sprees………………..blamed it on a video game he saw. and then dreamed about the slaughter……………………………………History doesnt lie.

No wonder IS have no trouble recruiting idiots! This dehumanises players and really shouldn’t be allowed. No good saying it is only a game, so is war, it gives participants licence to do what they like with no fear of retribution other than being shot!

There’s no doubt this, drugs and lack of discipline cause the kind of senseless violence we commonly see now. All three culprits (game supporters, drug supporters and anti-discipline types) say today’s violence has nothing to do with them. Funny how it came along just when they did.

Video Games | Hotline Miami 2 (Devolver Digital, 2015)

Hotline Miami 2 is the second in the series of Hotline Miami games, published by Devolver Digital in 2015. Hotline Miami 2 is a top-down shooter video game, and was released for PC, Playstation, and Android. It was not published for XBOX 360 or One. Hotline Miami 2 was rated by PEGI as a 18 rating. PEGI gave the game a content descriptors for sexual violence, and strong language.


In the opening stage, a man can be seen attacking a woman, getting on top of her while she’s down, and pulling down his pants. This scene, however, is cut-short when a near-by director tells the man to stop (this is the reason HM2 was banned in Australia).

Throughout the game, players are given the object to shoot, stab, and otherwise, attack enemies with several weapons. This causes allot of Blood & Gore to splat out of the enemies, and, in the cases where you die, the player character. Players are also given the option to execute knocked out enemies. Executions range from painting a floor with blood (slamming an enemies head into the floor hard, and repeatedly until death), kneeling down and shooting them in the head (it is not really shown at what part of the head the gun is pointed, though), finishing them off in a bloody fashion by beating them to death with a melee weapon, slitting their throats with a knife, cutting their heads/guts off/out with a chainsaw, etc. Evan, a writer looking for information on a book, tries to enter a building full of mobsters to interview the owner, but, upon being punched, is forced to knock the man blocking the entrance out.

Incredibly excessive amounts of violence, a rape reference (though, the game actually asks you if you want to skip in it both in the options and when you start it up  for the first time with a newer update), strong language, and references/use of drugs and alcohol. This said, Hotline Miami 2 is also over the top and stylised in a way that leaves details up to the imagination.

Video Games | Grand Theft Auto V (Take2 Interactive, 2013)

Grand Theft Auto V is the fifth video-game published by Take2 Interactive, in the Grant Theft Auto (GTA) series. The game was published initially in 2013, although versions for different platforms were released in subsequent years.

The Grand Theft Auto V video game was rated by the Pan-European Game Information S.A. as a 18 rating, with content descriptors for strong violence, to bad language.



Despite technical qualities, the game fails at a very basic level. While a lot of games handle some level of violence, GTA V does so in a mindless way. The worst part is that less than halfway through the game you need to control one of your characters to torture a suspect and extract information (by pulling teeth in a graphic and gruesome way nonetheless) which is the first time we have seen this on a console game. Sorry but torturing someone is not something I consider entertaining, in any way shape or form. And since there is no way of skipping this mission, it’s game over for me. It’s a new low in video gaming. I am not even goin to resell the game, binned it.


This game is the probably the most realistically violent sandbox on the market full of sex and drug use and you are purchasing it for a just turned 13 year old.
I played violent games when I was that age but there is a BIG difference between realism in streets of rage and alien storm compared to games of today and i wouldn’t let my kid play anything like a modern GTA whether you think he / she is mature enough to handle it or not. It is rated 18 for a reason and people really need to research what they are buying for their children.


Carrying an “18” certificate in the UK, the game has come under fire for its depictions of torture and portrayal of strippers and prostitutes. In a review, Edge magazine noted that “every female in the game exists solely to be sneered, leered or laughed at”.