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Old 06-13-2016, 04:46 AM View Post #1 (Link) Violent/Mature Content in Media
AussieNick (Offline)
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At some point in time, every form of media/entertainment/fiction has been accused of contributing to society's moral decline. It's gone from comic books, to rock and roll, and these days it's film, TV, and video games that tend to get put under this spotlight. A lot of studies have been done on the topic over the years, with mixed results. So the main question is this: should there be limits on what can be said in the media or in fiction, and what should those limits be?

The important thing to remember is that for a work of fiction such as a book or film to be compelling is to have a conflict, and compelling media in general is based around emotions, issues, and themes that we as humans can understand and identify with. One of the best ways for media to evoke an emotional reaction from the audience - as an A+ book, film or song should do - is to use issues relevant to the world we live in today.

Just as an example, let's use the book Of Mice and Men. Not only does the book highlight the hopelessness of the Great Depression, it also shows the emotional turmoil many of the characters go through by having their aspirations destroyed by a cruel world. We as humans can understand how these characters are feeling, and our empathy for them is what makes us want to continue reading.

Now let's look at a more recent form of media; video games. Specifically, the Grand Theft Auto series. The latest game (GTA V) attracted criticism for featuring a mission in which you are ordered by a federal agent to torture a man for information. Now let's look at a game from 2014 that caused a similar outcry; Hatred. This game has you playing as an armed gunman who goes on a rage-induced killing spree. Both games are quite explicit in their portrayal of violence, but there's something that makes GTA V's torture scene more shocking then the violence in Hatred; and that is character development. None of the civilians and police officers that you slaughter in Hatred have any character development over than a few recycled lines, and therefore the player will see them as moving targets rather than actual human beings. But in GTA V, the man you torture is given a human face, with enough character development to make the player feel empathetic to his struggle and guilty for torturing him.

This theory was put forward in a video by the youtuber and games critic John Bain (aka Totalbiscuit). Since I'm new here, I can't post a link to his video, so you'll have to search for it yourselves. It's titled, "I will now talk about violence in video game narratives for just under 30 mins.".
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Old 06-13-2016, 05:30 AM View Post #2 (Link)
Dabs (Offline)
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I think violence and other mature content should be allowed to be portrayed freely. In America, I don't think the media, honestly, portrays violence enough. A lot of people complain that the mainstream media, meaning the news, focuses too much on negativity. In truth, I don't think it focuses enough on negativity.

Call me a nihilist, or whatever, but the media does more to obscure and soften the violent nature of the world than it does to expose it. America can bomb the ever loving shit out of a middle-eastern country, but the American people can't even fathom, really, truthfully, what that looks like. That makes it much easier for the American public to be on board for these wars in the future, if you ask me. We can't understand the weight of our actions. What we see are just numbers, figures, stories with limited details spoken by distant, professionalized, overly dignified news anchors.

We even maintain a curtailed distanced from our own dead soldiers. We romanticize them, and so we don't understand the horror of dying in a battlefield, or having a limb, or many limbs, blown off by a grenade or a mine or something else.

I mean, yeah, I get that when it comes to certain things, like serial killers and rapists, no one really wants to see the bloody, horrible evidence of that. I think just talking about that is enough, since I think it's easier for a lot of us to fathom what that kind of violence is. For some reason we, collectively, can't comprehend war in the same light.

As far as fiction goes, and other forms of art, I'll say what I said before: no limitations. If you want to depict violence, you should be allowed to.
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Old 06-13-2016, 06:02 AM View Post #3 (Link)
AussieNick (Offline)
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Originally Posted by Dabs View Post
I think violence and other mature content should be allowed to be portrayed freely. In America, I don't think the media, honestly, portrays violence enough. A lot of people complain that the mainstream media, meaning the news, focuses too much on negativity. In truth, I don't think it focuses enough on negativity.

Call me a nihilist, or whatever, but the media does more to obscure and soften the violent nature of the world than it does to expose it. America can bomb the ever loving shit out of a middle-eastern country, but the American people can't even fathom, really, truthfully, what that looks like. That makes it much easier for the American public to be on board for these wars in the future, if you ask me. We can't understand the weight of our actions. What we see are just numbers, figures, stories with limited details spoken by distant, professionalized, overly dignified news anchors.

We even maintain a curtailed distanced from our own dead soldiers. We romanticize them, and so we don't understand the horror of dying in a battlefield, or having a limb, or many limbs, blown off by a grenade or a mine or something else.

I mean, yeah, I get that when it comes to certain things, like serial killers and rapists, no one really wants to see the bloody, horrible evidence of that. I think just talking about that is enough, since I think it's easier for a lot of us to fathom what that kind of violence is. For some reason we, collectively, can't comprehend war in the same light.

As far as fiction goes, and other forms of art, I'll say what I said before: no limitations. If you want to depict violence, you should be allowed to.
I think I know what you mean, so is your point basically that a lot of Americans don't really understand the bloody consequences of the actions they support?

If that's an accurate summary, then I agree completely. Violence in media, if done right, can be a great way to make people think more about issues that they would willingly ignore. The torture scene in GTA V actually did make me quite uncomfortable, but I think that's a good thing because brutalities just like that do happen in our real world.
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:19 PM View Post #4 (Link) The Media
Emoijah Bridgs (Offline)
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I disagree with the media doesn't portray violence enough. I have had an open eye to both views on this topic. My grandparents are old-fashioned and will not tolerate violence on any show, any movie or even toy-playing in any kind of way. But on the other hand, I've watched a lot of violent movies from PG-13 to Rated R. There is a lot of violence portrayed in the media. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, because some people like watching violence - it interests or fascinates them.

I like watching violence, too - no lie. But I disagree that violence isn't in the media enough. Let's not lie - it's everywhere like pornography. Which just a click you can see violence online - like a youtube video of ISIS cutting off peoples' necks. It's ridiculous because little kids or other people not supposed to be seeing that can be watching violence like that. And let's be honest: Would you want your little 4 year old brother or sister watching Straight' Outta' Compton with you? Exactly. Violence can be portrayed in the media - it's a free country. It's just the problem is the availability to watch violence or any thing in the media not appropriate for the wrong eyes. That's all I'm saying, really.

And, really, playing video games like Grand Theft Auto - I absolutely love that game and spend quite an unhealthy amount of time playing it - sure, there's a lot of violence and inapropriate things in it - but if you're of age or you're grown, so what? Who cares - it's your game. The conflict is just if someone who's not supposed to be watching or playing that game is next to you. Some people like violence and don't mind shooting or running over some fictional woman. The media is just all about being a form of entertainment. It's what you like or want to watch. You may have different tastes from other people who may want more or less violence. The fact is there needs to be more restriction on having access to violence or innapropriate stuff for those sticky hands.
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