The V-Chip... What is it? What is it used for?
"Bang! Bang! Bang!"
Batman dodges the bullets, unharmed. Swooping behind Two Face, he blows him over from the back. "Ill get you for that!" Two Face struggles to get up after Batmans violent act. "Youll pay...with your life!"Imagine a young child, eyes glued to the television, grinning from ear to ear as they watch their favorite cartoon character killing the enemy. No matter how crazy that seems, kids enjoy violence! Why? Simply because it's entertaining.
Who, you ask yourself, would do this? Many kids who are a lot like you enjoy and are drawn to shows such as The X-Files and Jerry Springer. Nothing could stop young people from seeing or hearing a violent television program if they chose. That is, not until the invention of the V-Chip! The purpose of the chip is to block television shows with inappropriate content or violence. It is meant to be used for children of all ages. When looking for a desired program like Barney or Arthur, they might stumble upon television programs with too much violent content.
The V-Chip was invented for the sole purpose of stopping these young children from watching violent or inappropriate shows on their families television sets. The V-chip, or Violence Chip, gives parents the ability to exclude violence or other objectionable material from their television. It is a new technology, much like any computer chip you might have seen. It reads the rating codes given for television shows, interprets them, and compares it to values preset by the parents. It sends a signal to your television giving it instructions to block shows whose ratings exceed these values. For example, if the rating codes were higher for a particular show than the viewer thought was acceptable for their child to watch, the chip would block the show. The screen would display a message telling the viewer that the show could not be seen. If kids try to break the device or disconnect it, the television screen will show the words, "TAMPER".
The television ratings were created by a committee made up of parents, television broadcasters, television programming producers, cable operators, and public interest groups. The ratings will apply to all television programs except for the news, sports, and premium cable channels. The ratings will appear in the left hand corner of your television screen.
The ratings for childrens programs are:
TV-Y Children of all ages can watch. TV-Y7 Children from the ages of 7 and above. TV-Y7-FV Children from 7 and above, and the show may contain Fantasy Violence. The ratings for all other programs except childrens programs are:
TV-G Programs for children of all ages. TV-PG Programs may contain content unsuitable for younger children. TV-14 Programs contain material that may not be suitable for children under 14. TV-MA Programs designed for adults. Very graphic! By the year 2000 all new television sets that are 13 inches or greater will be required to have a V-Chip. Even now, you can purchase a V-chip device that can be put on your current television and works just like a cable-converter box.
I think that the V-chip is a good answer to the problem of TV violence. Older children will probably be unhappy with the chip but, it keeps all children from watching desired shows that contain too much violence.
Read about the V-Chip controversy here.
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