Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Examples of media violence

The following clip is a compilation of violent scenes in cartoons! Cartoons are very attractive to children, and less likely to be detected for their unsuitable content by parents than are blatantly violent movies. Have a look at the clip and see how bad some of the messages they are sending are! All comments welcome!


Clare said...

Hey Loz!
Wow it's crazy seeing all those cartoons with such strong violence. I actually found those scenes to be really horrible- What a terrible message to send to children watching. The thing that bothers me most about cartoon violence is that fact that once the characters have had their heads blown off or after they fall off a sky scrapper they always “come back to life”… it teaches children that violence and maybe even death are not serious or permanent. Very scary when children may believe they could do these things without any negative consequences. All this media violence also desensitizes people to these violent images, and so it is not at all surprising that violent acts are increasing! Very interesting topic, Clare.

Mark said...

Hi Loz!
I am quite the fan of Family Guy, and i have seen all those episodes that were on that clip, but as i watch them at home i don't take as much notice of the actual amount of violence in those shows. It shows how I have been so desensitized to the violence exposed in the media today, though I'm sure i am not the only one!

Dave Douglas said...

Hey Loz,

That clip of cartoon violence is pretty intense. Like Clare and Mark I didn't really notice how violent 'family guy' and 'drawn together' were. I'd always been aware that they pushed a lot of social boundaries, which is often their appeal, but seeing a compilation like that was an eye-opener.

I agree with Clare that a mixed message about death is being sent to children, when cartoon characters die and come back to life, however i think it should be remembered that the cartoons in that video are aimed at an adult audience. The Loony Tunes' Coyote in Roadrunner also died and came back several times each episode, in a program aimed at kids. I'm not sure if there was outrage when these cartoons began, but it has certainly ceased and these cartoons are now seen as family favourites. Is this an idication of society as a whole being desensitised? Or was that compilation just really effective in highlighting the extreme violence in those cartoons.

I think the more important issue with violence in the media, is not so much content, but like the second video says, who sees it.
There is no disputing that violence in the media affects children in a number of ways, by desensitising them, and setting them an example. I'll always remember being banned from Teenage MutantNinja Turtles for fly kicking everybody I saw. It's probably lucky I hadn't seen Drawn Together and had access to a big knife or my sister might have been a bit sore...

If TV shows, movies and computer games aren't meant for children, then more needs to be done to prevent children from getting access to them. Drawn Together aired at around 9pm on SBS. This is late to prevent most children, but surely not all. And I believe Foxtel has a parent lock out system, we can only hope and assume parents are using it.

Then again, kids can always watch the news... and to quote Alicia Silverstone's ‘Cher’ in all her brilliance in Clueless.

"even if you took out all the violent shows, you could still see the news. So, until mankind is peaceful enough not to have violence on the news, there's no point in taking it out of shows that need it for entertainment value..."

Who knew that movie could be so insightful?

Very interesting videos and topic in general Loz. Should be fun exploring it.


Fiona said...

Hi Lauren,

It's really interesting looking at all of those clips and that report. It's amazing how cartoons can include so much violence. My opinions on the subject are quite torn though.

On the one side, it makes me think how cartoons are maybe not so real to life and are exaggerated and for purely entertainment purposes as Cher/Dave pointed out. And in this way children could differentiate what they saw on TV or played in video games to real life. The relatively light hearted approach that cartoons take doesn't seem like it would convince a child to act on that violence. Plus, at the same time, where would you draw the line as to what is harmful to children. I’m sure when Captain Planet or the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers ‘killed’ the baddies and saved the day, there was a moral to the story that may have been more potent than the encouragement of violence itself.

Then, on the other side, I think that it’s awful what is included in some of the cartoons. I don’t know whether it’s to broaden its age appeal, but a lot of cartoons, thought to be aimed at children, can be so violent. I’m sure that it is so difficult for parents, unless they sit down and watch the cartoons with the children, to monitor what is really in the cartoons that the children are watching.

As psychologists, we know from Bandura’s work on social learning and imitation, media violence does affect children. It makes me wonder whether the Columbine shootings (said to have been related to violent video games) would not have occurred if there was less violence, or more restrictions. But then again, violence has occurred through history, maybe it’s just evolutionary?

This is a tricky topic! I’ll be interested in reading your take on it.
Good luck
- Fi