Violence in the Media

‘It is a bad outlook for the world if violence takes hold of the mass mind. Ultimately, it destroys the race’. ~Gandhi
In May 2010, 20-year-old gamer Julien Barreaux stabbed his rival player who had killed Barreaux’s character in the game Counter-Strike. The judge at his trial called him “a menace to society.”
It may seem unbelievable that a video game would have such an impact on people, but there are many more similarly disturbing and shocking situations which have occurred.
In today’s society, violence has become integrated into the media. Psychologist Craig A. Anderson’s research showed that playing violent video games can increase a person’s aggressive thoughts, feelings and behaviour both in laboratory settings and in daily life. To make matters worse, 97% of adolescents age 12-17 play video games — on a computer, on consoles such as the Wii, PlayStation and Xbox, or on portable devices such as smartphones and tablets. Thus, the violence that is incorporated in video games affects countless youths who play such games.
Violence is also evident in television shows and movies. The United States National Institute of Mental Health identified these major effects of seeing violence on television:
• Children may become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others.
• Children may be more fearful of the world around them.
• Children may be more likely to behave in aggressive or harmful ways toward others.
It is evident that being exposed to violence in media can have a detrimental effect, especially on children who are young and impressionable. Such violence not only encourages even more violence but also desensitizes youths to displays of violence in the real world. Therefore, I am very much against exposing youths to violence in the media.
But what can be done in response to the issue? Rating systems for video games and movies should be implemented in as many countries as possible. The United States and Canada currently have the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) system which has ratings such as M (Mature 17+) or AO (Adults Only 18+). This rating system assigns the age and content ratings for specific video games. In Singapore, there is also the BFC (Board of Film Censors) which have introduced classification ratings for films. The rating system includes ratings such as G (General) and PG (Parental Guidance). I feel that such rating systems should be implemented in more countries, so that youths can avoid being exposed to content that is not appropriate for their age group.
In conclusion, with increased violence in our society, youths, who are impressionable, may learn from the content that they are being exposed to. Therefore, I strongly support the suggestion of imposing stricter ratings on video games and films.

violence in media 1 violence in media 2
-Soh Wen Shuen(2W)


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