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Gonzales the Cheetah — An exciting choice

Gonzales the Cheetah

Hi there! I’m Gonzales the Cheetah. I’m 7 years old and I go to preschool. Higgy Hedgehog and the squirrel twins go there too. But I’m faster than them. I’m the fastest on Gadget Island. I am! I’ve won every single race held here. Some of you might be wondering why I’m seven years old and sill going to preschool. And it’s true that such a fast seven-year-old could already be in second or third grade. But my Mum and Dad want me to have more time to play. Together we agreed that I would start school a bit later. So, next year. I’ve been a bit concerned about school anyway, since you have to sit quietly in your place. I can only manage to stay still if I’m watching programmes. But I like loads of different kinds of programmes, and of course, profiteroles too!

Profiteroles are my favourite food. Even though my Mum says that they’re not food. My Mum is a doctor. She thinks that you can’t eat profiteroles every day, because they’re unhealthy. By the way, my Mum’s name is Lina Cheetah. My dad is called Lo-growl Cheetah, although we call him Logan. And you’d never guess it, but he owns a profiterole shop! The adults say that it’s actually a grocery shop, but because they sell profiteroles, it must be a profiterole shop. Mum is pretty fast, but Dad isn’t. But he can doze off for a nap really quickly. Dad came to the island from somewhere far away. The adults call it the Other World. Dad says that in the Other World a cat’s job is to sleep. My Mum has always lived here, and so did her Dad and his parents. Mum inherited her profession from them. But I have to say; being a doctor is way more boring than being a profiterole shop owner.

There’s another kid in our family too. His name is Marv. His name is actually Marvain von Purr, but because it takes so long to say, I’ve shortened it. Marv is 12 years old, and he loves looking at himself in the mirror. He doesn’t really like much else. We never play together. But we watch films, and that’s fun. Marv is allowed to use an online video rental shop. Occasionally, when I’ve gone to sleep, Marv and Dad use it to watch film made for older people. I think it’s really unfair!

Seven’s a pretty important age. Do you know why? Because when you’re seven you can start to watch programmes other than just those with the S-rating. But in some families children can watch whatever they want. The parents don’t monitor it at all. My family isn’t like that. Because I choose my programmes by myself, Mum and Dad have taught me all the ratings. I know them pretty well now. Quite a few times I’ve ended up accidentally seeing something a bit too wild.

7-year-old Gonzales the Cheetah downloads films and games from the Internet with his brother Marvain. The films and games have different kinds of labels. Marvain can watch and play films and games intended for older people, because he is 12 years old. Help Gonzales the Cheetah to decide whether the films they can download from the Internet are suitable for him.

  1. Look at the content symbols. The children can explain what the symbols might mean.
  2. Gonzales has found four films online. Think about how suitable the films Gonzales has found are for 7-year-olds, using the age ratings and content symbols.
    1. The film has the age rating 12 and the symbol for anxiety.
    2. The film has the age rating 7 and the symbols for violence and sex.
    3. The film has the symbol S.
    4. The film has the age rating 16 and the symbols for violence and anxiety.

To help the conversation you can use the attached age ratings and content symbols. In Finland the age ratings for films and television programmes are S, 7, 12, 16 and 18, and the content symbols are: ‘Contains violence’, ‘Contains sex scenes’, ‘May cause anxiety’ and ‘Contains drug use’. The age ratings for games (PEGI) are: 3, 7, 12, 16 and 18, and the content symbols are: ‘Game contains depictions of violence’, ‘Game contains bad language’, ‘Game may be frightening or scary for young children’, ‘Game depicts nudity and/or sexual behaviour or sexual references’, ‘Game refers to or depicts the use of drugs’, ‘Game contains depictions of, or material which may encourage, discrimination’, ‘Games that encourage or teach gambling’ and ‘Game can be played online’. Use this session to encourage familiarisation with some film and television programme symbols. More information about age ratings is available here: www.ikä

Violence: This symbol means that there may be deliberate harm to others in the game or video. This may take the form of pushing, hitting or threats thereof, for example.
Every child and adult has the right to inviolability, which means that no one may be harmed.
Sex: This symbol means that there is a lot of intimacy in the programme. The intimacy may take the form of kissing or petting without clothes on.
Intimacy between adults is a good and natural part of life. However, sex is not something that belongs in children’s lives.
Anxiety: This symbol means that a game or film contains scary elements or elements that may make viewers nervous. These can include frightening sounds and darkness or aberrations.
The events of a film or game are not real. A scary atmosphere is added to events through the use of different sounds, for example.

When planning and carrying out the session it is important to take note of the child’s age and development level. It is good to discuss with children who they should tell if they have encountered something confusing in a game or film. The aim of the session is that the child learns the age ratings and content symbols for audiovisual programmes.