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The Appeal of Small-Screen Violence

Given the nature of children and given the nature of adults, we can imagine - although we have no direct evidence for it - that parents worried over the effect of such violent tales as the Iliad and the Odyssey on their children. While a great deal has changed in the millennia that has passed since Homer composed those timeless tales, one thing that has not changed is that parents still worry about the effects of being exposed to violence (either real or fictitious) on their children. Those concerns have been made even sharper today by the fact that the violence that children are exposed to is far more realistic than anything one might glean from listening to even the bloodiest parts of an ancient saga. Moreover, with each new generation of computer games, the ability of video players - including children - to put themselves in the position of those who commit violent acts has become ever greater. This paper examines some of the issues that arise over the increasing popularity (and increasing bloodthirstiness) of video games.

Given the real bloodshed that is occurring in the world right now, it might seem to be an intellectual waste of time to focus on what goes on on the small video screens that so many teenagers and children (as well as adults) spend so many hours glued to. But at least some researchers believe that many of today's real-world problems arise from the psychological license granted to people by the games that they play. A number of scholarly studies have suggested that there are significant and demonstrable connections between an individual's inclination to act violently and the permissive messages about the acceptability of violence that that individual receives from contemporary media, including video games.

"Violent video games provide a forum for learning and practicing aggressive solutions to conflict situations," said Dr. Anderson. "In the short run, playing a violent video game appears to affect aggression ...

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The Appeal of Small-Screen Violence. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 00:44, September 20, 2020, from