Violence in television programmes and computer games leads to violence in society

One of the notable changes in our social environment in the 20-th century has been the saturation of our daily lives by mass media. Since the early 1960’s research evidence has been accumulating that suggests that exposure to violence in television, movies, computer games and on the internet increases the risk of violent behavior. Unfortunately, the consequences of one particular element of television programmes and PC games has a bad effect on children’s well-being. What does it mean?

These research evidence has accumulated over the past half – century prove that exposure to violence on television, movies, and most recently in computer games increases the risk of violent behavior. These are new venues that break the old boundaries of family and community that have protected youth in the past. The best studies have shown that over 60% of programs contain some violence and 75% of games rated (by the video game industry) as containing violence. Experiments unambiguously show that viewing violent videos, films or playing violent video games cause the risk to go up that the observing child will behave seriously aggressively toward others immediately afterwards. This is true of elementary school children, high school children, college students, and adults. Those who watch the violent clips tend to behave more aggressively than those who view non – violent clips, and they adopt beliefs that are more “accepting of violence”.

Children and adolescents are exposed to violent images every day and the line between reality and fiction is blurred. Essentially, repeated exposure to violence blunts emotional responses to violence and decreases the association of consequences with aggression, leading to more aggressive attitudes and behaviors over time. Furthermore, another examination of adolescents showed that brain activation and emotional responses to violence were similar between healthy, nonaggressive adolescents with high exposure to media violence and adolescents diagnosed with aggressive behavior disorders.

Violence is everywhere. As a society, we are desensitized to viewing aggressive and brutal scenes every day. But, is it as simple as desensitization or does exposure to violence really change who we are? The findings of the neurological studies suggest that brain function is actually altered in response to violence and control their own aggressive behavior. Our choices in entertainment are becoming self - fulfilling prophecies and the more violence we see, the more violent we are.

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