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jsammons's avatar

Do you think violent games and movies influence the youth?

Asked by jsammons (1128 points ) November 6th, 2009

Do you think that violent movies and games really have that much of an impact on children? I honestly think that it all depends on the maturity of the children and somewhat even the way the parent has raised the child. I’m sure that violence in media has SOME effect on kids but I don’t really think it can constitute a mass shooting or anything like that. In most cases that an event has happened that was the news said was linked to violence, it could be proven that those people has psychological problems already. What’s your take on the subject?
Also, how do you feel about your children seeing violent movies or even movies with sexual content?

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44 Answers

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Everything effects the youth. The effect of violent games and movies is very low, imho, almost negligible.. yet still present. It may only truly effect someone predisposed to violence genetically or otherwise.

My kids won’t watch violent movies or play violent games until they are old enough to filter the garbage from the gold. By that I mean, they need to understand what is cinematic and what is real.

Garbage in, garbage out.

jsammons's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater I agree with you 100%. I think that it’s the parents responsibility to teach their children what’s rubbish and what’s real. As long as the child understands morals, then I think they’ll be just fine ;)

gemiwing's avatar

Can we define ‘youth’ better? Five year olds or fifteen year olds?

I think media has a lot more power over younger children because they don’t typically have the ability to understand satire or multi-layered issues.

Older kids, I feel, are less inclined to act out what they see- yet there is certainly a level of saturation that can make them less likely to care if they witness violence or commit it. (I’m thinking of the recent rape at that prom)

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, they do, but only in combination with other negative factors can this lead to serious problems. Most youngsters do not end up as gunmen on rampage.

jsammons's avatar

@gemiwing Lets say a pre-teen around 11 or 12 years of age. A time when kids are starting to question things and try to make their own decisions.

fundevogel's avatar

It has been shown that watching violent shows instigates rowdy behavior in young children. That’s probably because they are still at the age of learning by emulation. I doubt it has a significant negative impact on the average older youth.

Darwin's avatar

Yes, it does affect and influence the youth. By how much depends on many, many factors.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I think they do to a certain extent but, as others have said, the parents should be taking responsibility in teaching their children right from wrong a making them aware that what they see in movies, games etc should remain make believe and the violence they see in these things should not enter their everyday life and interactions with other people.

I often feel that too much blame is placed on the media and not enough on the people responsible for teaching the child right from wrong.

oratio's avatar

This discussion is the same as that of cartoons in the 60’s. Children are impressionable, but teens do know right and wrong, and it can’t be blamed on multimedia. Just a couple of years ago one 19 yo guy attacked and raped some women in Sk√∂vde, Sweden. They tried to blame it on that he played Counterstrike.

Here is an interesting and informative graph with statistics. [1] [2]

Dominic's avatar

I would pose a question to people who answer your question in the affirmative. Have you ever watched This Old House? Now, have you e er built a porch?

We see lots of stuff in the media, but no one ever asks if television is to blame for children studying hard to be doctors because they saw an episode of ER.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Dominic I wish I could give you more than one GA for that answer.

jsammons's avatar

@Dominic Very good point, GA to you sir.

patg7590's avatar

I saw an army commerical and now I want to go shoot people
zing

Sarcasm's avatar

I don’t believe they do. I think the kid has to have a predisposition to be violent in the first place.

Hell, I’ve been playing violent computer games since I was 5. I’ve never even punched somebody in my life.

Jayne's avatar

They certainly influence my grades :|
I like violent games for a reason, the same reason that most of us like violent movies. You and me, baby, ain’t nothin’ but mammals, and we like to kill things like they do on the Discovery Channel. By default, unless we have been conditioned not to, pretty much everyone has a strong primal store of aggression, and we like to have a nice, simplistic context in which to indulge that aggression. Video games provide that context, together with a forum for competition; it doesn’t create anything that wasn’t there already. Only someone who is mentally ill, or perhaps far too young, would try to extend this forum into real life. I can imagine that if a person is in a position to do violence, and the only thing holding him back is uncertainty about his own ability, then someone who has played a lot of video games and (to a much greater extent, because the gameplay of today’s video games is not very lifelike at all) has seen a lot of Hollywood movies, might think they are more of a badass than they are and get themselves into a mess. But I don’t think they have a real effect on the actual violent urges in a normal person.

jsammons's avatar

@Jayne Hahaha, they have an effect on my grades at times as well :P

justus2's avatar

I believe if you teach them the difference between real stuff and not then they will be fine

SpatzieLover's avatar

Personally, I don’t think there is a direct correlation with violent games and violent behavior.

My son is little. He currently abhors all violence. He can’t even watch some Disney films due to what he deems “meanness”. Even one of the Thomas movies he watches he walks out of the room during a “bullying” scene.

If a four year old knows right from wrong, I’m certain a teen does. If he chooses to play violent games later on I will have no issue with it as long as it doesn’t interfere with his studies.

My husband plays Halo & Doom occasionally and he abhors guns.

DominicX's avatar

It’s one of those things that people like the blow out of a proportion because humans in general do not like to take responsibility for their actions. So instead of blaming it on themselves and instead of the parents blaming it on their kids, “it’s the gory movies!”. I agree with @Jayne: only someone who is mentally ill or too young would carry violent movies and video games into real life. It’s my belief that children that young should be watching violent movies or playing violent video games. To most other people, however, they’re just movies and games. A person that age knows the difference between fantasy and reality. A person with a normal mental state will continuously set them apart as fantasy and reality.

Now, not every claim about violent movies and video games is that they will make your kid a murderer. There is another claim that they will desensitize a person. That certainly could happen. Repeatedly viewing violence on screen could make a person less sensitive to it where it just seems like an every day thing, but hey, you can watch the news and get the same effect. This doesn’t make anyone who is desensitized it decide that murdering is okay; that requires a certain loss of a different part of the mind—the conscience. Watching movies doesn’t make you a psychopath.

@SpatzieLover I still think your son is a “reincarnation” of me or something because I was exactly like that when I was little. I would leave the room when a “mean” scene came on. My brother would leave the room when fire came on; he was terrified of fire. Not anymore though. I’m not a big violence person (and I really don’t like gore), though I did watch “Taken” again the other day—it’s good.

PretentiousArtist's avatar

You can’t be a reincarnation of something if you’re not dead yet, silly!

SpatzieLover's avatar

@DominicX I’m learning a lot from you! You’re the older version of my son. He’s concerned about the feelings of others. He likes to tell us which movie characters are “too rude”, also ;)

RedPowerLady's avatar

I haven’t read all the answers yet.

There have been studies done that show the effect of violent video games on children. It is a reality. On the other hand there have also been studies done that show how video games can improve hand-eye coordination among other things.

jsammons's avatar

@SpatzieLover and @DominicX GA’s both of you :)

StephK's avatar

@RedPowerLady : Liebert & Baron maybe? And then later, in respect to priming, Bushman & Geen and Berkowitz.

I believe these studies also took into account level of realism (the more realistic, the strong the link) and reinforcement (positive reinforcement = more likely to be aggressive, punishment = less likely).

And of course, there’s my roommate’s father who apparently always found himself in an an angrier mood after listening to rap music in the car. :)

Jack_Thompson's avatar

Video games are the cause of the moral corruption of our youth. If it werent for the evils of Doom columbine would have never happened! They used this game to train and learn how to use a gun! And now we have horrors such as GTA. These games must be banned immediately! Else we face all anarchy and the collapse of america as we know it!

Naked_Homer's avatar

@Dominic – I don’t really think that you can fairly compare those to a video game. The attention span of the stated age range is such that no one would expect them to pay attention to those shows. Also, that age range isn’t the target demographic. They are the target demographic, indirectly or not, of the video games, which are designed for the rapidly changing fast paced attention span of those young kids.

My thought is that the responsibility lies with the parents. Like Dennis miller said about music “if your kid is capable of being pushed over the edge by anything Gene Simons has to say, your not doing your job as a f*cking parent.”

jsammons's avatar

@Jack Thompson HAHAHA! Whoever did that, you’re very clever and I salute you. That just made my day :P. Jack Thompson is a joke and a troll imo.

RareDenver's avatar

Not according to this t-shirt of mine

El_Cadejo's avatar

@RareDenver rave anyone? :P

RedPowerLady's avatar

@StephK You know I really can’t remember but you are probably right.

About the rap music. I am guessing that is not his typical genre?

Music studies are a bit different. They have found that if you listen to music that you enjoy (whatever category) then it will calm you down (vs. make you angrier). This is true for those who like hard rock even.

DominicX's avatar

I still disagree with the whole “rap music makes you angry”. Notice how most people who say that dislike rap music in the first place. What about hard rock and metal? Shouldn’t those make you angry? Sometimes I get angry listening to whiny emo rock, but that’s because I hate it so much…

patg7590's avatar

I think people say rap makes some people angry because of how bad it is. Like how you can walk out of a truly terrible film, what do you do when the guy next to you at the stoplight is blaring rap? You shoot him, because at that point you will do anything just to make it stop.

DominicX's avatar

Well, I happen to like rap, so there. :P

SpatzieLover's avatar

@patg7590 ;P That’s just awful “singin” is all!

DominicX's avatar

@patg7590

Rap

One example of bad rap isn’t going to convince anyone that the entire genre is bad. I could post some example of screaming demonic-sounding 12-year-olds and pass it off as a representative of rock.

Yes, that’s me in the recording… :P

RareDenver's avatar

Decent Rap well it’s more breaks and hip-hop I guess

SpatzieLover's avatar

When my husband puts on something like this or this in the car I tell him I think my head will explode, or I will have to kill him unless we switch CD’s so I put on something like this instead :)

Again, I think it depends on knowing right from wrong and has little to do with the what the entertainment is!

RareDenver's avatar

@DominicX I get an access denied message from your link?

DominicX's avatar

@RareDenver

Do you no where else to upload an mp3 file?

StephK's avatar

just for the record, I like a lot of rap And no, it wasn’t his typical genre. I’m thinking he was more of a crooner guy. Haven’t read much about the music studies, but that makes sense.

RareDenver's avatar

@DominicX http://www.zshare.net/

PM me the link when you’ve done as it’s past my bedtime

RedPowerLady's avatar

@DominicX You are correct. If it is something you dislike in the first place that is what makes you angry. According to research. It is not the music genre itself.

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