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Tuesday, November 15, 2005 

Which is more dangerous in television, video games and movies?




Entry By Shaw Israel Izikson

Just to be cranky:

1. I do not believe sex to be dangerous (welcome to the libertarian mindset, eh?).

2. That said, I do not believe that this question is answerable as a "yes/no." Video Games are interactive; interacting does have some effect on behavior; as such, acting out violence can be shown (and has been shown) to have some impact on behavior, and as such I believe violence in gaming to be actually dangerous, while I believe sex in gaming to be a kind of play.

TV and Movies, however, are not interactive. As such, watching them creates immunity -- one gets used to violence outside of the self as a normative thing through watching, which IS dangerous, I suppose, but -- despite many unfounded claims to the contrary -- cannot be tied to actual acts of violence. But because sex is a more immersive, more thoughtful, more personal, and longer-lasting thing than acting out violence, watching sex does indeed imapct behavior, and as such creates all sorts of problems: voyerism as normative, body image issues which lead to self-image issues and lack of confidence in sex, and, more importantly, a too-narrow sense of what sex is supposed to be, and how it supposed to be framed, which in turn creates far too much stress in society.

As such, in summary:

On TV and in the movies, I believe "too much" sex to be more dangerous.

In video games, however, I believe violence to be more dangerous.

Incidentally, GreenSmile, this is what happens when you go to that college: you learn to reject and reframe questions, rather than just giving a damn answer. Hint, too, to The_Lex: a Plan that does so, even if it provides few-to-no answers, is a successful Plan.

I don't like violence, but I like sex.

As for the remarks about Plan. . .I'm too tired to think about it seriously. Don't think I've worked on re-framing questions for years. Nonetheless, some kind of answer is still needed, even if it's to find a re-framed question that hurts.

Maybe that's why my friends get annoyed when I talk in length about something.

I don't know if 'too much' sex is a problem, but that sex is too often portrayed as purely recreational and without consequences.

Same with violence. The Iliad is one of the most violent books I know, but it is a depiction violence that engages fully with the conseqences of each act.

Dangerous is a funny word. I don't know if irresponsible sex and violence in the media lead to direct imitations in life (that is, not every 'Doom' playing teen goes on to shoot up his or her school), but when we cease to take these things seriously, when we stop empathizing with the bouncy breasted porn stars and the bullet-riddled action extras, hasn't something been lost?

Did I mention I have a fever? Something tells me I'm making no sense.

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