Norah joins Ben this week on a show that is rated V for vague! They are taking about the word rating for about 83 percent of the show, and they hope that your interest, in this specific case, is very high! Get it? After sharing what they have been watching recently, they dive right in to the definition. Ben explores the nature of MPAA movie ratings, examines their relation to censorship, and provides a couple of examples from two of his favorite movies… Galaxy Quest and Robocop. Norah recalls her experiences in advertising, drops some Michelin restaurant knowledge, and relays positive vides on the work of Consumer Reports. Finally, the discussion turns to the US government and how a congressional hearing and the strange game Night Trap helped to shape the ESRB’s video game ratings system.
00:00:21 - Ben tries something new, and Norah saw the “Little Jagged Pill” musical
00:03:00 - Ben’s dad joke about mediocrity, and then he apologizes for getting a name wrong
00:05:10 - Ben buys a movie to repent and tells Norah about the premise for “Be Kind Rewind”
00:09:25 - The definition according to Ox Ford Languages, yachts, and angry reprimands
00:12:45 - Again with the Google N-gram Viewer, and Ben unintentionally tests Norah
00:15:33 - Norah thinks that the definition needs to be simplified, and Ben can’t affords a yacht
00:17:54 - Mild censorship and how ratings can control what you read, view, play, etc.
00:20:56 - The subjective nature and the sliding scale of ratings systems
00:23:07 - From the Hayes Code to the MPAA rating system… is it still censorship?
00:26:28 - Bring your lawyer to the movie theater, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
00:28:56 - Example of how the movie industry uses ratings to stifle creativity: “Galaxy Quest”
00:31:34 - Robocop, Siskel and Ebert, and Ben’s rendition of the “At the Movies” theme
00:36:44 - Norah explains the origin of Michelin star ratings
00:39:28 - Consumer Reports, schools, grades, books, and Neilson Ratings
00:43:40 - Metacritic, Rotten Tomatoes, on a scale of 1 to boring, and Norah’s tiny rebellion
00:46:30 - Ben’s impression… video games are not always completed before they are reviewed
00:49:29 - The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) and their classifications
00:51:14 - Atari 2600 pornographic games, cartoon violence, and congressional hearings
00:53:21 - Ben explains the convoluted narrative and simple gameplay of Night Trap
00:58:43 - The United States 103rd Congress intervenes, and the creation of Night Trap
01:02:28 - Ninja burglars, Vampires, non-reproducible violence, and the 25th Anniversary
01:05:17 - One of the worst ranking systems is one that doesn’t take history in to account
01:09:05 - Final thoughts… subjectivity, parents, tools, subtle neglect, and individuality
01:12:21 - Ben agrees with Norah, a VERY late tangent, and goodbye
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