Desensitization to Violence

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Before trying to determine whether desensitization to violence and video games are correlated in any way, we should mention first what is usually meant by ‘desensitization to violence’. Young people becoming desensitized to violence means that "they gradually come to not be aroused by violent scenes and to not be bothered by violence in general". The dominant argument in this respect is that because children perceive screen violence as play or spectacle, they somehow become "immune to the horror of violence, which makes them as a result less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others, or even aggressive towards others". It seems that there is no controversy concerning the effects of violence viewing on young people. Most scientists agree that there are negative effects from exposure to media violence and one such effect is desensitizing to violence. However nobody ever distinguishes between actual violence and fictional or simulated one, as is the case with video games. Do those scientists really believe that the teenager, who laughs while seeing a game character being relentlessly beaten, is equally insensitive when he sees his mother, for example, being beaten by his father? Is there some kind of selective insensitivity then? There is also a tendency for oversimplification of a very complex issue: the building of personality. In my view, sensitivity is an integral part of an individual’s character and not something that can be added to their character by means of an external influence. It cannot be removed either. Being or not being sensitive depends on the same numerous factors that condition the building of personality. It takes therefore more than exposing oneself to violent material in order to become insensitive to anything or even aggressive and violent. After all, the kind of violence we are talking about, fictional or simulated, is everywhere and has always been. Literature, poetry, films, tv movies, games, every form of art, all are full of violent...
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