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Juvenile Violence Due to Media Essay

Depending on the person that is playing the games and watching certain media, it can affect juvenile violence. My parents weren’t too strict on me as a child, so I had the freedom to watch and play anything I wanted to. Where as in my case I do not believe I have been affected to the exposure of violent video games or television violence. But there are others that aren’t as mentally stable and can be affected by violent television and video game. The amount of television violence and video games we are exposed to are greater and more easily accessed to than ever before. Every time I turn on the television I can always find a show about murder or someone dying or getting hurt. I believe as humans we are interested in the idea of death and injury so directors and producers make shows like C.S.I, House, and Law and Order. Shows that have some kind of violence are interesting to us. The most popular video games out there today are first person shooters.

I was first exposed to a shooting game on xbox at the age of 13. It was called Halo, and is still one of the most popular games out there today. Now the game that everyone is playing called Call of Duty. It is a game where you are in the United States military and killing hundreds of enemies. Now the military are using video games to train their troops and if we are exposing are youth to that type of material it has to have some kind of effect on them. According to Adam Thierer on Violent Video Games & Youth Violence, “Such a causal relationship is even more dubious today since all Americans, especially youngsters, are surrounded by a much wider variety of media than ever before. Even though television viewing has gone down slightly in recent years, it has been due to the rise of other media substitutes that command the attention of children, including the Internet, cell phones and video games.

Overall, therefore, it appears that children are “consuming” as much, if not more, media than ever before. “ Our youth has more access to media now a day’s then in then in the past. More and more television shows have some type of sexual or violent plot to them and exposing it to our youth can lead to a monkey see monkey do type effect to them. I know I always wanted to be the Rock, the famous wrestler. I would dress up like him and do his wrestling moves in the living room. Now I was doing these violent moves at my house and pretending to be beating someone up, I never took the pretend wrestling outside my house and used it on another classmate. I watched wrestling a lot, and never got into a fight all of my time in school. So there is some kind of misconnection between violence on television and violent youth.

There were other kids in my 3rd grade class that were bringing these violent wrestling moves to school and acting like they were “Triple H” a famous wrestler at that time. I can remember one kid who got into trouble for fighting and he was the one that was using the wrestling moves on another kid who had no idea that it was coming. That same kid is now in jail for robbery that I saw a few months ago on my local news. So there are some individuals that are influenced by violent television but it depends on the type of person that is watching these shows. I believe it finally ends up with the decision of the juvenile’s parent to let them watch these shows. My parents let me watch them because they knew I wouldn’t be doing these types of things just because I saw it on television.

The kid who I mentioned earlier who is in jail did not have a very stable home life and his parents probably didn’t know if he was watching these shows, and if they did, they probably wouldn’t of let him watch these shows because he was very unstable. Violent video games are widely sold and are easily accessed to. The games that are violent have a “M” for mature a rating made by the surgeon general for the amount of violence and adult content in them. You are suppose to be 18 or older to purchase these items but according to “mystery shopper” studies by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission found that young teens ages 13 to 16 were able to purchase M-rated games 85% of the time. So these ratings are very rarely managed by the retailers selling these games.

According to a 1999 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 83% of children ages 8 to 18 reported having at least one video game console in their home, and 45% had one in their bedroom. In addition, 74% have at least one computer at home. Fifty-five percent of boys and 23% of girls said they played video games on a typical day, with nearly 20%, primarily boys, playing an “action or combat” game. These study was done in 1999, I am sure these numbers have dramatically increased with this now being the digital age, and the easily access we have to this type of material.

Some experimental studies have found that aggressive thoughts or behavior increase after playing a particular video game according to video game research and public policy. So playing these games can lead to aggressive behavior. Exposing our youth to television violence and violent video games can be damaging for certain juveniles. The media does have a rating system on them for a reason. As adults we need to enforce this rating system and supervise our children when they are being exposed to it.

References

Anderson CA: An update on the effects of playing violent video games. J Adolesc 2004; 27:113—122 Federal Trade Commission: Marketing Violent Entertainment to Children: A Review of Self-Regulation in Industry Practices in the Motion Picture, Music Recording & Electronic Game Industries. Washington, DC, FTC, 2000 Roberts DF et al.: Kids & Media @ the New Millennium. Menlo Park, Calif, Kaiser Family Foundation, 1999 Thierer, Adam. Violent Video Games & Youth Violence: What Does Real-World Evidence. February 9, 2010


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