Violent Media Essay

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Gerard Jones is quite a fan of The Hulk and Tarzan comic books. In his essay “Violent Media is Good for Kids” Jones argues that the violence in those and other comics teach valuable lessons that will help children understand difficult emotions. Jones states that in “try (ing) to protect our children from their own feelings and fantasies, we shelter them not against violence but against power and selfhood.” Throughout the essay Jones relies on personal anecdotes that reveal his opinions about violence in comics and other media instead of citing formal research. Jones’ personal experience is that violent media is not generally harmful, and fills an important place in childhood imagination and play.

It is true that as children we find ourselves in a confusing world of constant conflict, and every child takes a different road to self discovery. A child who is biting playmates or siblings at the age of 5 will not respond to media violence in the same way as a child who is still wetting the bed. Do all children need to play Halo and Assassin’s Creed to understand violence in a ‘safe’ manner? Certainly not; however, these games affect the children who play them because they may create more confusion about if and when it is okay to kill, maim or steal in life outside the video world. Throughout Jones’ essay the facts of his personal life as a child and a father are presented as proof that the violence in comic books lead to moral growth and understanding, but his compelling stories constitute no more than one person’s opinion.  There is no research that would provide a secure basis for creating social policy.  

Jones provides a consistent narrative rhythm throughout his essay, filled with personal anecdotes that support his thesis. It is clear to the reader that, in Jones’ case, violent fiction served a positive function; for many readers I would imagine this  brings back nostalgic memories of their own favorite comic book superhero. I think back to which Disney...
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