Violence in the Media Essay

Submitted By bigfun96
Words: 1292
Pages: 6

In 1999 at the fateful Columbine High School, thirteen students were massacred and another twenty-four were injured. Two friends, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, opened fire at their school with the pure intent of killing fellow students abruptly and violently. It was revealed after the massacre that the two boys enjoyed playing violent video games such as Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Mortal Kombat. Not only did they play violent games, but they also watched a movie called The Basketball Diaries in which the main character shoots up his high school with a shotgun. In December of 2012, a similar shooting happened at Sandy Hook Elementary which left twenty-six people dead, twenty of them being children. The shooter was video game obsessed Adam Lanza who played Call of Duty constantly. More extremely was the 2011 attacks in Norway which left seventy-seven people dead. Anders Behring Breivik, the shooter, bombed government buildings in Oslo and carried out a mass shooting at the camp of the Workers’ Youth League. Breivik admitted that he played World of Warcraft and Call of Duty to train for these attacks. All these brutal attacks seemingly linked with violent video games and violence in movies raises the question if these video games are the cause of this violence and if so, should the government restrict and censure this? Although it may seem that these violent video games are the main culprit in making people aggressive, this is false. A very high majority of people who play these games or watch violence on television do not develop belligerence and it is actually very rare that people do, in fact. Because violence in games and in the media does not have any real effects on people or society, the government should not be allowed to restrict this content as it is a violation on the first amendment of the United States Constitution. Dylan Klebold, Eric Harris, Adam Lanza, and Anders Behring Breivik were all very aggressive people who committed extremely violent massacres and were very detached from reality. Another thing they all have in common is that they all played violent video games and watched violent movies. Psychologists suggest that younger teens and children who play these video games are exposed to classical conditioning (Layton howstuffworks.com). This is the repetition of being rewarded in game for killing people, shooting things, and etcetera. They say that children will begin to associate being violent with reward and thus will act upon it. It is also said that long hours of watching violent television shows and movies will desensitize people to violence and make them believe that violent behavior is not a big deal. It is actually shown in a study that violent video games have no real long-term effects. While playing a video game with blood or shooting, a child’s heart rate increases and so does hostile behavior. These effects are very short term though and the child’s heart rate and behavior returns to normal only after four minutes of stopping the game (Barlett Aggressive Behavior). In April of 2007, a shooter named Seung-hui Cho killed thirty-two people and injured seventeen others at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. This is similar to Dylan Klebold, Eric Harris, Adam Lanza, and Anders Behring Breivik, yet there is one thing that Cho does not have in common with the these four men; he did not play video games. It is a common assumption today because of past events that people who commit mass shootings are violent video game players. This proves to be false. Shootings occur every day along with domestic violence, animal abuse, armed robberies, kidnappings, and murders. These acts are usually very violent and they have been going on since before violent video games were invented. Some people are violent, either born that way or raised. It seems that we are experiencing a cultural lag, which is when society is in the process of changing everyday technology, trends, and social morals. When…