Violence in the Media
Do You Believe That The Media Promotes Violence?
I do not believe that the media promotes violence. I believe that most people are intelligent enough to differentiate between violence that they see in a media text such as a movie or a videogame and violence in reality. Often the violence in a media text is so over the top and ridiculous that people natural instincts will tell them that what they see on screen is not possible in reality, an example of this over the top nature would be the movie ‘Crank’ which is intentionally written and directed to be as ridiculous as possible with excessive use of car crashes, blood and gore. The film is so silly that people would likely view it as what it is; an over the top action blockbuster with no real meaning. Tests have been conducted such as the 1961 ‘Bobo Doll Experiment’ that allegedly prove that children will act violently when they regularly view violent media. Personally, I believe that this is normal human behaviour, the children in the experiment were left in a room with nothing but the doll, they really had no other option than to start beating the doll since there was nothing else for them to do in the room, when confronted with such an odd situation they just carried out the only action that they could do in that situation. I would argue that it would be extremely counter-productive for the media to encourage violence. The companies and corporations who make violent media texts (i.e. video game developers such as Capcom and Rockstar Games) are ultimately producing these media texts to make money not stir up controversy. In the past creators of violent media texts have removed excessive violence from their texts so that it doesn’t anger the public; in 2001 Rockstar Games removed the ability to kill children in their game Grand Theft Auto 3 because some game retailers were refusing to stock the game, this is just one example that shows ultimately, providers of violent media want a steady source of income, they don’t want to infuriate people as this could easily get the media texts that they produce banned.
Does the Media Promote Violence in Young People?
I definitely do not believe that the media promotes violence in young people. Violence in media texts appeal to young people because it is fake violence that does not harm anybody; you get the joy of defeating an enemy in a videogame or watching a villain get killed in a movie all the while knowing that nobody was actually harmed. All DVD’s, Blu-Ray’s and videogames carry an ESRB warning that warns parents of the explicit contents that a media text contains. A child cannot buy certain media texts without the approval of their parents, for example a 12 year old child would not be able to buy an 18 rated movie without at least one of their parents in the store to approve the purchase. This shows that media content providers are cautious about who they market certain texts to. I would argue that if a parent complains about a violent videogame influencing their children to be violent then it is the parents fault for buying the game in the first place, the content provider gave plenty of warning as to the violent nature of the media text, the parent(s) should have had the insight to see that this could influence their child.
Why Do People Play Videogames?
I believe that the main reason that people play videogames is escapism, videogames are a great way to relieve stress and get away from the daily tedium that life often offers. When people immerse themselves in these fictional worlds there is a huge variation of possibilities, for example they can be a famous musician in ‘Guitar Hero’ or a street racer in ‘Need For Speed’, things that they would probably never attempt in reality. People argue that media texts influence people to carry out what they see on screen in real life but I would argue that the opposite is true, people know that they could never win a street race or kill someone in real life because they are not a sociopath or an expert driver but they could carry out these actions in a fictional world and have the satisfaction of winning a street race or carrying out an assassination without the repercussions such as prison or death.