Laethem 1 Burgess
25 March 2014
“What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish”(Auden). Mass media plays a huge role in American society today. Whether mass media has any direct correlation to the violence we see today is up for discussion. The only data which shows a clear relationship between mass media and aggressive behavior occurs when the impression of aggression is permissible. Research suggests that filmed violence must be accompanied by a complex set of personal and social circumstances in order to produce aggression. There is some evidence that portrays mass media to have influences on public taste, values, and passivity, although more research is needed. The opinions of the mass audience do not seem to be formed by the media. Rather, the interested segment the audience receives from media, which serves in the role of interpersonal communicator, which influences the remainder of the community. Therefore research shows no direct correlation between violent behavior and mass media.
In one article there appears to be a clear link between media consumption and aggression. In the article they believe that, “within the past century media violence has only increased” (In Debate). They say there is mounting evidence for an increased
risk of attentional, behavioral, and educational problems with extended exposure to TV and computer games. Lab experiments are condemned for not showing lasting effects. Brain imaging studies are derided for being too small and can not be connected to the real world. This ultimately leads to the conclusion that there is just not enough data. Factors like these are probably more dominant then media, however are still complex issues. People can still avoid any potential risk to violence through mass media by simply monitoring children's use of video games and television. This problem could arise only under the circumstances such as if the child had a harsh upbringing, with no immediate family.
Children have a set gender role. They are told as an infant from day one how they should portray ourselves or who they should be as an individual. Sometimes people are not given the opportunity to grow and in some cases are abused. People become a victim to bullying and can get rejected from family or peer groups. If they are neglected in their childhood it can have an immediate impact on your future. For example, In 1923 there was a girl by the name of “Sybil” who perceived to have sixteen different personalities. In her upbringing she was subjected to many years of astonishing sexual and sadistic abuse. The abuse was so harsh that she had to attend physiotherapy due to her emotional breakdowns and violent outbursts. Fortunately she was medicated with immediate help.
In one article it describes a teenager that got convicted for stealing something that “doesn’t exist” (Weiss). Although this isn’t physical violence, cyber bullying can still be traumatizing. The child stole two virtual items while playing the game Runescape, a
free multiplayer game online. His attorney argued against the court saying that the stolen items were neither tangible nor material and had no economic value. The court saw no sympathy and out ruled them saying that the time the thirteen year old victim spent in the game trying to earn the objects gave them great value. Video games, even violent ones, are not compensated for the violence we see but are “escapism's” (Weiss). Some video games such as Runescape, actually encourage players to use real money to purchase in-game currency. In return this money is used to build highly desirable objects in the virtual world. One can’t fathom how this teenager is being punished from a real-world court system through the behavior of a video game. It seems unfair to...
Bibliography: "W.H. Auden." Goodreads. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.
"The 16 Personalities of Sybil." The 16 Personalities of Sybil. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.
"Should Video Gamers Be Prosecuted for Stealing Virtual Objects?" Slate Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.
"Result Filters." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.
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