Tag Archives: violence

Media effects theories

It’s thought that Media can effect certain people of certain ages in ways that are never fully figured out, teenagers can be middle of the road since they get influenced by certain media but during the first 8 years of their lives, children develop certain skills in their way of growing up  since they will be learning certain things.

It’s easy to say that video games can be a way of children learning to be violent though games have rating on them showing what the right age for them to play the game is, if children are playing a game they shouldn’t then that could be the parents problem since they got them the game and they let them play it in the first place since some games such as Yakuza and Grand Theft Auto (GTA) tend to be too realistic for younger audience’s that they will either develop those skills or be scared from those actions but at the same time their are games intended to younger players for kids as young as 3 to 12 which limits the violence, bad moments and nasty habits on what happens. However that can also be the opposite since the Norway shooter admitted that he played Modern Warfare 2 just to get the ideas of going on his shooting spree, because of that Norway has banned most first person shooter games. This tends to be a trend with certain countries banning certain games for what there is in violence and content, many counties banning GTA, Call of Duty and other games in those lines for violence, things that might offend cultures, moments that happen and   people won’t like and others like, nudity, gambling, sex or racism.

However a lot of TV and Music video’s can come into play since shows like Power Rangers and Teenage mutant ninja turtles while being kids shows tend to have a lot of violence to them dispite those shows being good vs evil however shows like World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) which used to be extremely violent for older viewers turned into a Parental guidance (PG) based show which would mean family based yet the violence can be over the top at times dispite those shows telling them to never try what they see at home for their safety, yet there can still be complaints about those shows for the violence, nasty bits of the shows or certain characters being too scary like Lord Zedd, Krang and Mark Henry. TV shows do try and make good with their target audience doing the right things but still get hammered in complaints. one example would be Tom and Jerry since while it’s more slapstick there tends to be more violence than any other show dispite being marketed for kids. As far as music video’s there can be moments that can be over the top moments such as characters doing nasty acts like fingering someone, alcohol drinking, women not wearing not much clothing and lip synching words that were censored in the song. swearing in music can be an issue at times since CD and download’s of the songs will go uncensored meaning if younger people are listening then a child just heard a nasty word though most CD’s do have a label saying what nasty’s there would be in the songs.

Film however also gets a lot of the issues, It was said that the 2 child murders of 1993 were influenced to kill just by watching child’s play 3 and a lot of backlash came to the developers who said that the kids must of been unstable to begin with. A lot of movies get the same treatment, some being banned in certain countries for portrayal of certain races, a lot of violence that can be brutal and at times unwatchable, fear of imitation of certain actions, scenes of rape and sexual abuse, heavy uses of blood and unwanted imagery. A good example is a film from Serbia called a Serbian film or as its called there Srpski Film in which has a heavy pornography based story which leads to a lot of violence, rape, murder and unknown amount of blood and Serbian swearing. At least 6 countries banned the movie with some versions being edited in others dispite the negative reception. Another example was a Clockwork Orange where director Stanley Kubrick who was British had a lot of angry fans on him saying his movie was too violent and gory and the film became banned in the UK until his death, the USA showed the movie but rated X and having to cut certain scenes and censor some moments for the films gory nature. Many people would assume this would be a copycat effect in that someone of a certain ages watches something and because of what goes on in the film their would be a slight chance that she or He’d go and start acting the way a character would and start doing the actions. In reality parents should limit what a child should watch or play and ensure that the child does the right things, learn what they would need to learn and don’t do the bad thing which could make them become a nasty child if not careful.

To say that video games and Movies are the truth to all violence in society is saying that God is the police, Parents should do the right things and teach their kids not to do certain acts, schools should teach them what’s right and wrong with the media and kids should be aware of what the right way in life is. copying something because they saw it on TV should not be a factor in their behaviour and they should be fully controlable for their actions.

Violence in video games. Does it create violence in society?

Does violence in media create violence in society?

There are always on going battles whether or not violence should remain in many different media products, one of the biggest problems/battle is violence in video games and if it is if not one of the biggest problems that creates violence in society.

One of the biggest gaming titles that would mainly represent this problem is the Grand theft auto series. The series of games all feature the same repetitive content such as killing for money, revenge or even just to help someone out. The latest GTA (GTA 4) has relations to immigration of foreigners coming over to America and to find the ‘American dream’ which is then portrayed through means of violence. This video game reality takes the player and places them in a world where anything is possible and where the player can use behaviour they wouldn’t usually undergo or even consider doing in real life due to horrific consequences. The game also features mini games that are not revolved around violence such as hanging out with the in game characters which become friends with the main character. These are based around real life every day activities families and friends would enjoy such as playing pool, bowling and darts.

The hypodermic needle theory is a linear communication theory and suggests that a media message can be ‘injected’ directly into the brain of a homogenous audience (An audience that all think and react the same). The theory suggests that being surrounded by certain topics will change the mood, how the audience reacts, thinks and behaves. E.g. being surrounded by a topic that represents and features sadness or depression will change the audience to becoming upset in a sad or even an angry way. A lot of people think that this is what happens when violence is involved, the violence becomes embedded within the viewer’s brain and then they subconsciously think that violence is the way to act in order to achieve goals easily and quickly.

The producers of the GTA series have based some of their characters around some of the behaviours and characteristics of their target audience, two good examples of this are GTA 4’s game side stories that cross over with GTA 4 these are, The Ballad of gay Tony and The lost and damned show both sides of the different life styles of two different characters that chose two different paths. One is the night life of the game, the fame and glamour of being a wealthy night club owner. The second is the choice of a rebel and not caring for the expensive things in life but caring about respect, brotherhood and making a statement against others that oppose the characters way of life.

The Ballad of Gay Tony features content that involves the games night life and the people that are attracted to bright lights, heavy drinking, drugs, fast cars, expensive clothing, the lives of the rich and famous and the sleaziness of life.
The lost and damned features content that involves rebellion against all things that are out lawed such as drugs, alcohol and weapons and shows the gritty and poor side of life.

Votes Average
10391 9.4
456 9.6
Aged under 18
296 9.6
Males under 18
282 9.6
Females under 18
14 9.6
Aged 18-29
7690 9.4
Males Aged 18-29
7402 9.4
Females Aged 18-29
288 9.7
Aged 30-44
2578 9.2
Males Aged 30-44
2455 9.2
Females Aged 30-44
123 9.6
Aged 45+
232 8.7
Males Aged 45+
210 8.8
Females Aged 45+
22 8.5
Top 1000 voters
93 8.7
US users
3217 9.5
Non-US users
7630 9.3

IMDb users 13634 9.4

This demographic graph from IMDB shows that the main audience for this specific content is aimed at a male audience as over ten thousand voted and is specifically aimed at 18-29 year old males which nearly reach eight thousand. Whereas votes from a female audience are massively lower at all age groups, this shows that the content within in the game does not appeal to a female audience. This could be due to the overall games character and its consistent violence which sometimes is inappropriate or senseless. The game is a more male dominant based game and shows characters that are unkind towards women and treat them with disrespect, the game also shows that women are not trust worthy and can manipulate men into giving information or secrets by means of a sexual behaviour.

In researching about violence in video games that affect society I found an article which suggests that violence in society isn’t always based on the game being violent but the competitiveness of the video game. This features players competing against each other to complete an objective such as online gameplay or two player gameplay. Games that are very popular and have a very popular online competitive gameplay are the Call of duty series, which puts players in teams where they must compete against each other to win the round/game. This is done by selecting a specific weapon class which the player can use in online gameplay to try and defeat the opponent. Not only is video game violence a specific and major concern that is usually blamed for right away and sometimes the cause of violence in society but it is not always the case, there are many other reasons why people act violent or have a violent nature/behaviour in society. Some of these are believed to be the way some people are brought up as a child and has affected them over time, mixing with the wrong group of people at a young age and enter a state of mind that they think is ok when in reality it is against the law and is therefore hard to break out of because it is a constant habit, such as smokers finding it hard to quit because they have been doing it for years.

Link to article about video game violence and it’s affects: http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolpinchefsky/2013/05/08/yet-more-proof-that-violent-videogames-dont-cause-aggression/

Censorship Questionnaire Results


17 18 19 20
4 3 2 1


Female Male
6 4

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Censorship Questionnaire

Censorship Questionnaire


Age…………..       Gender…………..


Q1. Do you purposely watch films or television shows with violent or sexual content?


Yes              No





Q2. Do you think that films and shows with violence can affect the viewer?


Yes              No

Continue reading

Censorship Debate

There are certain types of censorship that have been the subject of debate for many years, the main ones being violence and sexual content. Although we as a society have mainly become desensitised to violence, there are still instances where it is deemed unsuitable. There have been debates over whether to censor TV because of certain programs that feature violence and sexual content, and how children may come across it and watch it. This is often spoken out against by those who claim that parents should have control over what their children watch, and that it is down to the parents responsibility rather than the government or censorship organisations to decide what is and isn’t suitable to be broadcast.

There are certain measurements in place to make sure that there is some control over how certain kinds of programs are broadcast, such as the watershed, in which after 9pm, programs that feature adult content can be broadcast.


Censorship is important in certain cases because material that is deemed sensitive, e.g. political, military, religious has to be covered up to protect either the public or those involved in the footage.

“Video Nasty” is a term coined by Mary Whitehouse in a campaign to ban and censor violent films and television programs in order to protect children from watching them. Many films and TV programs banned and heavily censored  due to the rise in VHS tapes that featured extreme violent content.  At the time, video cassettes weren’t classified, meaning that young children were able to rent out the ultra violent films and watch them. Mary Whitehouse and many supporters wanted a censorship ban on all violent videos, and for censorship organisations to start putting certifications on films in order to stop young children from being exposed to them. Many raids were carried out and arrests were made on video rental shops that provided these “video nasties” to children. Even though many of these films were banned, since then they have been re-submitted to classification boards for reviewal, and eventually, for re-release.

Does Violent Media Content Cause A Violent Society?

I conducted some research to find out how students behaviour may have been impacted by media and more closely by violent content.  The research found online suggests that violent media has a greater impact on males and coincidentally the random group selected to fill out the questionnaire included more males.  All students that took the questionnaire watch or play violent content, and over half said they do copy actions seen within the content.  These actions refer to uses and gratification, people copying content seen, this time not in a positive way.  The survey disproved cultivation theory; some have found similar situations to the media they watch but the majority don’t come across them stating that the fictitious world remains exactly that, fictitious.  The content of the media products is seen to be subjective where the students have questioned what is happening and relating it to their own lives with the majority opting for a violent approach should the situation be real in their own lives.

The questionnaire response from students that watch or play violent media content provides evidence supporting the theory that violent media content can affect violence in society!

Results From the Student Questionnaire – Does Violent Media Content Cause A Violent Society?

Watch/Play Violent Content Examples of situations similar to films or games
Gender Hollyoaks student behave like real college students
Male 10 Robbing a bank
Female 5 Abuse
Watch/Play Violent Content Stealing a car/hit and run
Yes 15
No 0
Copy Elements Seen?
Yes 8
No 7
Find Situations Similar to Content?
Yes 4
No 11
Act Aggressively Similar to Content?
Yes 7
No 8
Think What You Would Do in Similar Situation
Yes 12
No 3
If Yes – What would you do?
Fight 6
Flight 4
Depends 2

Violence Within Society, Does it Link to Gaming?

To find out a little more about the way media may affect young people I have created a short survey, I have kept it anonymous and easy to answer as talking about violent behaviour can be something people try to hide, as they feel ashamed.  This is to determine a little more information about violence and society and see whether the secondary research supports this or if another avenue to debate will arise.


Below is the questionnaire that will be handed out to collect data:

Violence Within Society, Does it Link to Gaming?


Gender                                     Male                                                 Female


Do you watch films or play games with violent content?







Have you ever tried to copy something you’ve seen on television, in a film or in a game?






Do you ever find yourself coming across situations similar to those you watch on films or TV?


Yes – (Please give an example)







Have you ever been in a fight or acted aggressively towards someone in a similar way to the aggressive/violent content you watch?







When watching or playing action/violent content do you ever think about what you would do in the real life situation?








–       If you answered yes, was your response a FIGHT or FLIGHT response?





If Games Were Real – Violence

This is a video I found when looking through some debates about violence in reality and the connection to games.  The style of the video is not important here, but you will notice with most of their game examples violence or extreme panic is used, being incorporated into the elements of the game changing the way we then look on society.

Do Video Games Influence Real Life Violence?


Debates into whether video games affect behaviour and violence in society have been around for a while.  There appears to be more than just games affecting people’s attitudes but it is implied that games do have a lot to do with it.  Cultivation theory states that when an audience spends a lot of time immersed in a media product they begin to believe that it is a true reflection on the world.  When the first episode of the popular US series ‘Friends’ was broadcast many woman began to copy Jennifer Aniston’s hairstyle.  This copycat behaviour could also be applied to violent games, copying the action seen onscreen.  The game promotes violence by rewarding the player when they murder in the game by advancing them to the next level.  This is then seen as a good thing and being able to do it in a ‘cool’ way then may attract them to do it in real life and the real life consequences are never shown in the game and the reality of right and wrong have become clouded based on cultivation theory.  Some however argue that games are used a stress relief, as a means to do the things we never would or could in real life.


Studies have shown that after playing shooter games players become desensitised to violence and killing removing the emotional impact of brutal acts making violence more like a game to be achieved.  This fuels the mind and urges people to test their gamer skills on a bigger level, in real life.  The nature of the game also effects how people react with others, Call of Duty is a game based around war but more than that patriotism, serving and protecting your country.  GTA4 is about a foreigner coming to America and murdering people and stealing cars so way people interpret the games will also vary.  Games act like an experience so you can live out another life without actually doing those things.  Some argue that they teach teenagers about violence so they can see that it is a horrible thing when done in real life and can discourage people from doing it as they know the results of their actions.


Fifia is a game that allows the player to play as a professional footballer; those that play the game have an active interest in the sport and some play the game in reality.  This can be related to shooter/fighting games where players enjoy it so much they want to experience it in real life.  Being a creative outlet or stress reliever appears to be the common counter argument to these statements but still on either side of the argument video games alone don’t seem to affect people behaviour there must be another variable or even a few at work beyond the blame of games.