we are talking about media influence. I would like you to think more deeply about this discussion by interacting with a TV show, movie or video game that you believe contains significant violence. I then want you to reflect on the experience and answer some questions.
Here are the rules: If you choose a TV show or movie, I want you to watch the entire work, so you are able to consider the content in proper context. If you choose a video game, you should play for at least an hour, both for context and so you get a feel for the play.
Note: I am not trying to traumatize you or force you to watch something that you find horribly distasteful, so pick something that you believe you will be comfortable with. Violence can be defined in many different ways. For instance, I consider movies that focus on boxing to be violent … even though the fighters are participating in a sporting event. The one thing I ask is that you watch (or play) something new to you. That way, you can approach the material without predefined ideas.
Once you have watched the programming or played the game, answer the following questions in a thoughtful manner. This assignment is graded credit/no credit, but some students have fallen into the practice of giving responses so short that it’s difficult for me to tell if they actually completed the work. Because of this, I will deduct points if I don’t believe you have given this exercise your full effort. I’m looking for at least 300 words.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
- How is violence used in the movie, show or game? Is it celebrated or presented as a last resort?
- Does the show, movie or game portray consequences for the use of violence? For instance, does the use of violence lead to an arrest or psychological trauma. Does one violent act lead to an escalation?
- Do you feel that the violence in this media had a direct impact on you? Did it make you feel aggressive or change your world view?
- Do you believe the violence in the movie, show or video game could have a negative impact on children or others who are easily traumatized? If so, what impact can you imagine?
- What are your thoughts on study findings that indicate links between mediated violence and actual violence? For more on that, check out this short article by Vasilis K. Pozios, Praveen R. Kambam and H. Eric Bender.