Violent Media to Blame…?

Posted: April 4, 2012 by Alan Hardcastle in CMP 10_12, Critical Responses
Tags: , ,

A couple of interesting news articles that directly influence our study. Remember, part of the piint of doing this is not to prove a connection, but examine the possible connection between Media violence and real life violence.

First up – primary school children are copying “video Game Violence” in the playground. It covers a range of issues, but it is important to separate some of the statements. Read The Guardian article.

The teachers fear that by spending hours alone playing the games, children could become anti-social and slow to develop speaking and listening skills. Many pupils arrive at school exhausted having played the games until the early hours of the morning, they said.

Now, are the games directly responsible for effecting children to become anti-social, and retarding basic soft skills? Or is the lack of sleep causing this? Just because we see a correlation, does not mean it is a direct connection.

And coverage from The Sun and The Daily Mail on the 14 year old who murdered his mother. Lots of focus on his love of Violent Games, Videos and Coronation Street. What’s to blame…?

‘It must have had an impact because any normal thinking person wouldn’t have done what he did unless he got something imprinted in his brain from what he watched

Both articles make lists of the films he watched, but tend to skip past naming specific games. Interestingly, The Evil Dead is implicated  – the original film was one of the films classified as a “Video Nasty” in the 80’s, and was only available as an edited version for about 20 years.

Both articles imply a copycat effect – ie people consume the media and then try to act it out. This could be a blurring of the lines between reality and fantasy, but that would be an assumption. If the fantasy world is being confused with the real world, that would be an separate psychological issue.

We also have an implication of desensitization – if children consume lots of violent media, they are more likely to be able to commit it. There are arguments against this, mainly that the desensitization would only apply to media violence – however, if someone is confused about the difference between fact and fiction…?

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