Television Violence and Children Thanks to the miracle of television the average American child watches 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of violence before finishing elementary school (Early Concerns 113). Television violence is responsible for the increase in childhood violence. Watching violence is a popular form of entertainment, and watching it on television is the number one way that children are exposed to violence. Local news shows provide extensive converage of violent crimes in order to increase their ratings (Felson 96). Violence usually refers to physical aggression and aggression is usually defined as any behavior involving intent to harm another person (Sege 34).
When mortal kombat entered the market in 1993 as the most violent video game ever created, teen violence has been slowly increasing. This shows that sense violent video games entered the market all around teens have been causing more violence. Another example that shows that most teens just play violent video games to have fun with friends or to relieve stress at times is that most teens know how to control themselves so they understand that real violence is not ok at all. This shows that most teenagers just play video games to relax or as a hobby, and not so they learn violence in real life. Even though most teens just play violent videogames to have fun with friends and to relieve stress at times, I think video games lead to violence so they should stop being sold because so teens take violent video games too seriously.
Introduction Violent video games are becoming more popular among children and adolescents of all ages since its debut approximately 30 years ago. This growing popularity is generating an increasing concern that these sometimes very graphic videos and life like characters can have a negative influence on the younger generation. Although never proven, there has been speculation that some of the high school shootings across the country were committed by students who were habitual players of violent video games. Due to these concerns, a non-profit, self-regulatory organization was established in 1994 by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) to appropriately rate all video games from EC (early childhood), E (everyone), E10+ (everyone 10 and over), T (teen), M (mature), and AO (adults only). While assessing the efficacy of violent video game ratings, it is unknown how effective these ratings are for the intended audience (Becker-Olsen & Norberg, 2010).
Children and Violence: An American Media Controversy As censorship of the American media has broken down over the years, the amount of violence allowed to be shown in movies, on television, and in video games has skyrocketed. From coast to coast in our nation, this saturation of hostility in our media has caused many contentious debates between scholars, parents, students and government officials alike. In this controversy, the central argument revolves around the effects violent media has on our society. The question that most researchers strive to answer is this: does watching or participating in violent media cause violent or other harmful behaviors? There are those who would say yes, it does promote destructive behavior in real life.
This paper will also provide some important factors that adults should know about media images and video game violence. It has been researched that media images and video games can be harmful and damaging to children’s minds. Most children watch 21-23 hours of television per week (Media Violence 1). Within the 21-23 hours of watching TV a week children are looking at 3-5 violent acts per hour (Media Violence 1). “By the age of 18, the average American child will have viewed about 200,000 acts of violence on television alone” (American Academy).
The main negative effect being an increase in aggression among youth who are regularly exposed to the media and an increase in violent patterns as they mature into adulthood. If not resolved this problem of violence in the media will continue to push children, youth and adults to acts of aggression such as verbal and physical abuse and other more serious crimes. On average an American child will see 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the age of 18 through the television. Thousands of studies from the 1950s to the present day have all suggested that viewing violent acts will increase violent behavior while only less than 20 have suggested otherwise (Boyse). As our children are exposed to these 16,000 murders and 200,000 violent acts one can only conclude that aggression, crime and violence can only increase in our younger generations from being exposed to the current media.
Perez Daly says, “’... children are likely to see 8,000 murders and at least 100,000 other acts of violence prior to leaving elementary school at age 12 years. ‘” (1). Exposure to media violence leads to aggressive behavior in children. With the right information about media violence, video games violence, and how parents can decrease aggressive behavior, people will understand the major effects violence can have on behavior. Background Children become regular consumers of media around two and three giving them one and an half hours per day of television (Interactive Media and Its Contribution to the Construction and Destruction of Values and Character 7).
"Longitudinal Relations Between Children's Exposure to TV Violence and Their Aggressive and Violent Behavior in Young Adulthood: 1977 - 1992. Developmental Psychology , 202-221. Malamuth, N. M., & Check, J. V. (1981). The Effects of Mass Exposure on acceptance of Violence against Women: A Field Experiment . Journal of Research in Personality , 436-446.
In retrospect, Barclay points out, “I think all of us can remember media-based moral panics from our own childhoods … from rock music … to comic books in the 1950s, to Harry Potter, to rap music, to Dungeons and Dragons, etc.” People want an answer when a tragedy like a mass killing occurs and the media is usually the first to respond. Most Americans probably get their information on video games from the mass media because that is where they turn to for assumingly reliable information. And when people see on Facebook, Twitter, or the internet that the media has made connections between violent video games and a killer who plays them, it causes our society to panic. If parents were educated on the effects of their children playing violent video games, there would not be as much panicking.
In recent years our society has experienced many tragic school shootings in which teens have committed heinous crimes for no apparent reason. The question has become who is to blame or what inspired these attacks on these innocent victims? This question has become an epidemic in our country. We live in a violent world and young people have easy access to it whether it's on television, in music or on the Internet. But with the explosion of media entertainment in recent years, video games have come under scrutiny as to whether or not violence in video games numbs children and teens to the consequences of real-life violence.