The nature of human beings is a rather complex subject in that there are a great many differences between one individual to the next. Some claim it is the nature of human beings to be social, to gather together in times of great need and struggle. Others might claim that humans cannot live peacefully together, that there will always be differences that tear the species in different directions. This particular view is one of the leading points of theoretical interest in determining how the media dictates how people assimilate and emulate what they see on television and in various forms of entertainment. Real world violence is independent of the media and is not caused by it.
The old adage that guns don’t kill people, people kill people, has been hotly debated again and again as several human rights groups and individuals seek to either reduce or ban altogether the sale of firearms to underage individuals. Atop this debate however, as of late, the heap of blame has been levied at the media in general as well. There is at this current time however no true causal relationship that can be used to link violent games and movies to violent acts committed by youth. (Beresin, 2012) It is unfortunate at times, but more causality can be laid at the feet of cultural norms than can be leveled at the media. Tales such as Homer’s Odyssey and the sacking of Troy can be just as violent if not more so than many media representations, yet they do not inspire the type of attention that the media is given.
If the media has had any effect upon the general public by depicting violent acts it has been quite the opposite. Though there is little if any real causality between the releasing of violent movies and video games, it has been noted that during such times that violence, particularly amongst younger citizens, has declined throughout the past several decades. (Gutierrez, 2014) The depiction of horrifying images and violent acts that are made to appear
almost too realistic have been shown to have the opposite effect, displaying the true horror and consequence that such violence can bring. While it is still not optimal nor advisable to expose young, impressionable children to such material, it is without much doubt sobering to realize that the reality that is at times depicted in the media is enough to make those who view such programs and play such games think about what can happen in the real world applications of violence.
In light of this it seems that if there is any real danger concerning the viewing of violent movies and the enjoyment of violent video games, it is that those who subject themselves to such media might eventually desensitized to the graphic and extremely violent facets of life. (Strickland, 2015) While there is no real substitute for real life violence, the act of watching Hollywood’s rendition of violent action and drama coupled with the playing of violent and even antisocial video games can in fact dull the sensations that might otherwise be far more pronounced. Reality is still far more visceral and inescapable than fantasy, a fact that those who blame violence on games and movies seem to disregard.
Overall the matter of whether or not video games and movies depicting acts of violence encourage or inspire violence is a scapegoat argument that diverts from the true problem. Violence doesn’t need a great deal of inspiration, as many crimes throughout recent history have been committed without a connection to violent entertainment. While real world violence may very well mirror violent entertainment in some ways, it is nonetheless not overtly responsible for the violence itself. Despite the constant exposure to violent video games and movies, millions upon millions of individuals have yet to display any outward signs that the line between fantasy and reality has been blurred. Violence is its own creation, and stands independent of any media source that might otherwise be blamed.
Beresin, Eugene. M.D., M.A. (2012). Violent Video Games and Movies Causing Violent
Behavior. Psychology Today. Retrieved from
Gutierrez, John Paul. (2014). No link found between movie, video game violence and societal
violence. EurekAlert! Retrieved from
Strickland, Jonathan. (2015). Does violence in movies and video games desensitize us to the real
thing? HowStuffWorks. Retrieved from