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What do researchers define as 'media violence'? What kind of assumptions do they make and social positions do they come from? How convincing is the evidence presented in terms of the effects of violence on audiences?

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Introduction

What do researchers define as 'media violence'? What kind of assumptions do they make and social positions do they come from? How convincing is the evidence presented in terms of the effects of violence on audiences? Moral panics have occurred in relation to cinema, radio, comics, music, television and videos and video games. Media coverage can be very powerful. There is widespread agreement that when the state controls the media, censorship and propaganda can take the place of accurate information and can be used to a very dangerous effect. Censorship Censorship is the control of the context and presentation of films - responsibility of the British Board of Film Classification, run by the film industry, gives each film a rating. Ensures that a proper national standard is maintained in films offered for cinema exhibition and in video works supplied to the public primarily for viewing at home. U (Universal) - suitable for all; Uc (Universal) - particularly suitable for young children (videos only); PG (Parental Guidence) - general viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children; 12 - suitable only for persons of 12 years and over (film only) 15 - suitable only for persons of 15 years and over; 18 - suitable only for persons of 18 years and over; R18 (Restricted) ...read more.

Middle

Television, cinema, music...etc. can be more decisive in our lives than friends, family, school, religion or our own personality. It has more effect and impact. People who want to blame media for real life violence usually use this theory. Uses and Gratifications (violence for pleasure) - means that people use the media for pleasure of information. But we're in control and we choose whether to experience the media or not. Political Economy - which means those violent images attract audiences. Profiles are better with higher audience figures. Therefore, violent images are important to make money for the television and film companies. We control the media, and it's not the media's fault if we've created Gladiators or Power rangers. Case Studies * Texas police is studying Marilyn Manson's music after a teenager stabbed a friend after watching one of the singer's videos. * The James Bulger murder in 1993, where the film 'Child's Play' was said by some newspapers to have been viewed by the killers before their act. * In the spring of 1996, a gunman killed sixteen children and their teacher in a primary school in Dunblane, Scotland. A few weeks later, a similar gun attack took place in Tasmania, Australia. There was speculation that media coverage of the Scottish killings had prompted the second massacre. ...read more.

Conclusion

as games become increasingly sophisticated, they are beginning to depict violence in ever more graphical and realistic terms. Consequently, it's more important that it ever has been to keep a close eye on the age classifications that all but the most inoffensive games are required to carry. Games are all about providing their players with the ability to carry out fantasy activities that simply wouldn't be possible in real-life. And that includes activities that are far beyond the boundaries of the law. Computer games that stirred up trouble * Space Invaders drew calls for a blanket ban and early day motions from MPs when it appeared - that youngsters would become hooked on it, play truant and indulge in petty crime to fuel their alien-blasting habits. * Mortal Kombat - first beat-em-up game to depict blood. As a result, most such games now let parents input codes that ensure the proceeding of blood-free. * BMG Interactive's Grand Theft Auto, in which you play a petty criminal performing increasingly major crimes, awards points for stealing cars, shooting pedestrians & even blowing up bus-loads of nuns, prompted outrage. * Postal (American game) seemed to exist to generate controversy. Heavily armed serial killer with the sole aim of killing as many bystanders as possible & evading the police - offended everybody, the US Postal Service threatened to go on strike. ...read more.

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