Does Violent Media Cause Violence?

Do you do this when you see something violent? Source: Shutterstock

Do you do this when you see something violent? Source: Shutterstock

Check out what’s new on our boards! Right now, girls are talking about if violent media causes violence:

scuzza said:

Now the “news” story was more specifically talking about violent video games. Though it also made mention to violence in all modern media (TV, movies, and music). The news story was talking about a group or whatever who is collecting/destroying violent media in return for gift cards. (Which I also think is stupid because I doubt it is changing anyones mind who plays violent video games to stop. It just gives them no longer wanted video games which just pile up in landfills or otherwise pollute our earth.)

I personally agree that our generation and those below us and to come are and will be more desensitized in part because of these things. Though I don’t believe violent media causes violence.

Most people who snap have either mental problems or family issues and issues in real life or a combination of the following. I myself was raised in what I would say is a good house hold with good parents and got a good education all of which I think made me the person I am today. The media I saw doesn’t have that deep of an impact on me to effect my morals. I treat others the way I would want to be treated. I know I don’t want to hurt especially physically so therefore I wouldn’t do it to others. I know it is wrong to hurt others so I don’t do it. Simple as that haha.

Also just wanted to add even though violent media doesn’t make me violent it does tend to make me paranoid. Which I think is the more common reaction of people. Mostly when you hear all the horrible things on the news it makes it sound like everyone in the world either wants to rob you, rape you, hurt you, kill you etc. It makes us lose trust in humanity. Though in reality the percentage of the people doing these bad things to the percentage of people in the world is low.

Do you think violent media causes violence? Or do you think violent people are going to be violent regardless of media? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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  • Wilfred

    One more issue is that video games are generally serious naturally with the major focus on knowing things rather than fun. Although, we have an entertainment aspect to keep the kids engaged, every game is generally designed to work towards a specific experience or area, such as numbers or scientific disciplines. Thanks for your posting.

  • LittleRedWolfGirl

    I agree that violent movies, tv shows, and video games are not the cause of things like the Newtown shootings. My brother and I, and plenty of people who I know, have played violent video games and seen violence in other media for basically our whole lives, and we’d never do anything like that. The people who try and blame video games are often gun rights activists and don’t want their precious guns to have any of the blame. Yes, the games can have an impact on people who are already prone to violence, and if this person is living under the care of someone else, it is up to the guardians to keep those things out of their hands. However, for every person who was influenced by games to act out violently, there are a thousand more who play the same games and would never hurt anyone.

  • Butch Deadlift

    Violent video games are not the cause of violence in people who can make their own decisions. There’s a reason we have a ratings system, so that minors aren’t exposed to content that they might not be able to process.

    Of course, the ability to make decisions varies from person to person, minors included. Slapping an age rating on a product might exclude minors who are better equipped to process disturbing content than some adults — but that’s infinitely better than censoring content for people who are legally able to view it.

    In the end, it’s up to us how we act. Absorb all the gory stuff you want, but the second you try inflicting it on someone else, you’re crossing the line between fiction and reality. Educating ourselves about that line is the only way we can avoid censorship and still behave like decent human beings.


    Jhonen Vasquez said this is a comic once;
    “Any pile of stunted growth unaware that entertainment is just that and nothing more, deserves to doom themselves to some dank cell, somewhere, for having been so stupid!! Movies, books, T.V., music – They’re all just entertainment, not guidebooks for damning yourself!”

  • Jessie

    I don’t think that media causes violence in average people. Media does not make healthy people want to react in violence. Violent media is amplifying the problems of mental health. People who aren’t healthy are distorting the messages of the media to condone and glorify violence. This causes them to react in more drastic ways. They think that horrible acts of violence are an appropriate response to their pain because the media puts out messages of revenge and violence. As a culture we joke about violence and murder and we are becoming less capable of telling what is a healthy response to violence and what is not. This is because a healthy persons view of ad response to violence seems almost exactly like an unhealthy persons response to violence detached maybe even amused. It’s not until a major act of violence like a mass shooting that the healthy and unhealthy response to violence become distinct. The question is not whether or not the media is condoning violence or encouraging it, because it really isn’t. Mass violence at least is always portrayed as crazy, evil, or at best misguided. The media is skewing the healthy response to looking more like the unhealthy response. So the question is how can we change our response to violence to distinguish between the healthy and unhealthy so we can single out the unhealthy response and get help for those people who need it.