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What the Ratings Mean

March 17, 2006

The rating system for the pipTalk Forums was modeled very loosely on the well known movie rating system initiated by Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) in 1968, not necessarily because it fits really well, but because it IS very well known and widely accepted. Using similar nomenclature is a lot easier than trying to teach everyone a substantially different system. Unlike the system devised by the MPAA, however, who saw the protection of children (and pacification of parents) as their only goal, our rating system in only peripherally concerned with kids.

We think everyone, child and adult alike, should have choices available to them.

"If you don't like it, you don't have to read it," is a very common response when a writer of controversial material is told someone found their piece objectionable. The problem with that, of course, is that without a system of categorization, the only way to know a piece is objectionable is to, indeed, read it. By rating each of our forums, and then moderating to enforce the ratings, we hope that everyone will find it easier and more enjoyable to read and write within their own personal comfort zones.

Ron Carnell

G : General Audience The forum contains nothing most people would consider offensive. The strongest language permitted will be characterized by common expletives like hell, damn, or ass.

PG : Discretion Advised Some material may not be suitable for all people. Explicit sex scenes are absent; scenes of drug use are minimal, peripheral, and responsibly portrayed; violence does not exceed moderate levels. The strongest language permitted will be characterized by common expletives like hell, damn, or ass.

PG-18 : Adults Only (18 and over) Themes are generally of a more adult, grittier nature. Violence may be present but is not gratuitous; drug scenes may be present but must be responsibly portrayed; sexual scenes may be present but are not graphic. The language permitted is much more adult and may offend some, though a handful of the most objectionable words are still prohibited.

R : Adults Only (18 and over) Themes are generally of a sexual or erotic nature. Sexual scenes may be graphic but are not obscene or pornographic. The language permitted is much more adult and may offend some, though a handful of the most objectionable words are still prohibited.

NC-18 : Adults Only (18 and over) While these forums (like all forums at pipTalk) will never contain anything that promotes or glorifies harm to a person, there are virtually no other restrictions applied, either to theme or to language.

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