The Effects of Violence in Entertainment

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Imagine that a gentleman and his wife are walking home after a night out on the town when all of the sudden a dark figure approaches the couple, pulls out a fully loaded revolver, and with the simple twitch of his finger a bullet is engraved into the head of the man; leaving the woman in a paralyzing fear and open to a world of pain and agony, or even worse, sexual abuse and murder. This shouldn’t be too hard of a scene to imagine due to the frequent occurrence of this situation in films, television shows, music, and video games. It is the constant portrayal of violence that today’s “entertainment” carves into the minds of its viewers that can occasionally have an impact on their mentality, and even their actions.

Today’s most heated arguments in the war against violence in media have one key target: video games. Due to the interactive nature of video games – the player is in direct control of most of the violence that occurs on screen – many critics claim that a direct link can be made between this virtual simulation and the thoughts that occur in the brain, and that the brain can not tell the difference between a simulation and real life. Because of shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold’s fascination with games such as Doom, April 20, 1999’s Columbine Shooting gave way for mental tests to be run on children and teenagers as to the effects of violence in video games; with many of these tests leading to a negative outcome that obsession with these forms of media may lead children and troubled teens to have difficulty telling the difference between reality and fantasy.

Violence in films have also been targeted in the past as directly influencing many violent events in history; such as The Hungerford Massacre which occurred in August 19, 1987 in the British village of Hungerford, and involved an individual who dressed up like Rambo and killed sixteen people while wounding fifteen others. The many explosions and other scenes of violence depicted in the movie...
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