Today’s topic in BCM110 covered anxieties in the media and from what I took away as a very interesting and controversial argument in the effect of media on victims, specifically young children. It gave no real definitive answer on whether this is true or not, rather a whole bunch of information to sway opinion one way or the other.
I believe there are valid points for both but I want to focus on the idea that it’s not just the media content and distribution of mediums that can affect a child’s behaviour. Set readings lead me to “Ten things wrong with the ‘effects’ model”, which sort to breakdown the way we cover up these behaviours with the media. I was a child that grew up with the birth of early technologies such as gaming consoles, as well as being a complete nerd for the Starwars Trilogy, Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Transformers movies. Games such as Grand Theft Auto and Need for Speed were among some of my later games and were always put under scrutiny by not just experts and psychologists but also my own mother! Admittedly these games were loaded with creative violence and unrealistic circumstances relating to violence, yet I’ve turned out a fairly calm and easy going guy that couldn’t bear the thought of harming someone else.
“Ten things wrong with the ‘effects’ model” outlines some brilliant points that I want to resonate with my own opinions, whereby they discuss that if a character in a drama or film is to commit any kind of wrong doing or antisocial behaviour, they are almost always punished or as a result face devastating consequence to facilitate a plot (and I’d like to think peace at mind for the viewer). Therefore, how could it be aligned with the actions of individuals and specifically children without branding them complete fools as they assumingly don’t want to get caught in their youthful ways.
Another point I totally agree with and which made me sway my thoughts to is the example we saw in the lecture today with the Bobo doll and how the children test subjects responded to them. Whether it be this example where the simulations of real life are like a game to them, or even a series of questions to ultimately decide how media has effected them, “…all of which are unlike interpersonal interaction, cannot be equated with, and are likely to be associated with the previous viewing experience in the mind of the subject, rendering the study invalid” (Ten things wrong with the ‘effects model, David Gauntlett). These children were put in a room whereby the Bobo doll is a new “toy” and their curious mind is going to be drawn to it. Even if done to older subjects, I presume some would move towards it much like they would a boxing bag, and thus doesn’t necessarily allude to violent natures; it’s an example of curing their boredom with something less common.
I do think the current anxieties about the media draw attention to the fact that there is some widely accessible violent material that children are aware of and could possibly watch, I just can’t see the blame being totally the fault of the productions.
Feel free to voice opinions!