A World of Violence

I watched a documentary this weekend called “This Film Has Not Yet Been Rated.” It focused on the rating system in the US and how films get their ratings.

One thing stuck in my mind…violence.

Violence without blood gets a PG rating. Violence with blood gets an R; and extreme violence gets an NC-17 (or the former X).

Violence without blood: beatings, shooting ala Arnold and James Bond and Tom Cruise. The violence is presented as a joke. Tom Arnold hides behind a lamp-post as a guy fires an uzi at him, hitting the lamp post and not him. He shrugs it off.

This is what most kids watch. Or it’s violence with or to monsters ala Lord of the Rings.

I am worried about this, as the violence in video games, the graphics are simply awful (for kids). Bits of brain on the walls kind of things.

Also, being a rainy Sunday, I watched a quasi-documentary called Hooligans and Thugs: Football’s Most Violent Fan Fights.

This was real violence. Men beating on men; kicking them in the head; hitting them with sticks etc.

It was incredibly disturbing, but it was real. It was SUPPOSED to be upsetting.

So, if I am to teach my kid to NOT be obsessed with violence, I should, monitor his video game time (almost nil, as we do not own an Xbox or PS2); and be choosey about the movies he watches: this will be harder, but Ghost Rider falls into the “fantasy violence” and there wasn’t much blood in it (Superman had a guy shooting superman in the eyeball, much more violent than GR IMO).

However, I am tempted to show him some of the Hooligans dvd. I want him to see the real effect of the real violence: people being led away to ambulances; people unconscious.

We don’t have guns in our house, not even a ray gun. I hate them. But the amount of GD violence on TV these days is extraordinary. I do not want my kid thinking a movie about The Rock beating down a bunch of guys in a casino is “Cool.” I want him to think it’s stupid and boring.

Have any of you tried to put some boundaries on the violence in your kids’ lives?

There are many organizations that try to blame t.v., movies, music and video games for their lack of parenting and education. There are so many factors that play a role in a “troubled” child’s mind that media barley plays a factor at all.

You watch all these violent movies, are you more violent because of it?

If you play a video game where you shoot people, would you go shoot people after you played that video game?

In my opinion, what you are saying is very ignorant and Hypocritical. You (like many) are trying to find an answer for their own mistakes (for lack of better words). Give your child some credit. They know what is wrong and what is right. A video game is not going to change that.

I’ve watch documentaries about Hitler and at the time (grade school) made me so angry I wanted to hurt Germans. I mean really hurt them. No video game made me feel anger as much as the documentary I saw on public television back in the 80’s.

In high school’s chemistry class in the early 90’s, they showed us how the drug dealers made Methamphetamine to better educate us on the dangers. We didn’t make the actual meth in the class, but a classmate took that knowledge and made it in their backyard. No video game ever taught me how to make or use drugs.

For me, it is our responsibility as parents to educate our children on the dangers this world has to offer. If you take something away from your child, they will use more energy to find it.

On a slightly different subject, it is proven that people tend to drive faster right after playing a racing game. Something to keep in mind.

This is exactly what I am trying to do. I would prefer my son not become desensitized to violence. I would prefer that he abhor it.

[quote]
You watch all these violent movies, are you more violent because of it? [/quote]
I’m not seven years old either.

I wonder if gangbangers find shooting people easier if they play lots of shootemup games on their PS2.[quote]
In my opinion, what you are saying is very ignorant and Hypocritical. You (like many) are trying to find an answer for their own mistakes (for lack of better words).[/quote]
Ok, but I never said MY kid was violent because of anything. However the boys in Columbine were into violent video games and movies, weren’t they? Clips of them shooting up the cafeteria were in the first documentary I mentioned btw.

This is what I am talking about. So, you do think it would be better if I showed him the real violence of the Hooligans dvd to contrast with the fake violence of movies and video games?

I am not trying to make excuses for violence, but to see if other parents have tried to prevent their kids from getting overly exposed to violence (this is easier, turn off the TV) and teaching them about violence in a way that doesn’t desensitize them.

You said,” I’m not seven years old either.” This is one of the points I am trying to make. For me, when you say that, means you do not trust your child’s ability to decipher what is right or wrong.

Your logic could also suggest that A doctor that plays video games and is use to seeing gunshot wounds in a video game could treat a patient with gunshot wounds better then a doctor the does not play video games. Does this mean doctors are decentralized when it comes to violence as well?

You also brought up “gangbangers” shooting people because of video games. You forget to mention their parents and teachers if they played a roll in the shootings. You also failed to mention the high percentile that members of gangs are users of drugs and a very small percentile are actually runners. I can go into more detail about the inner workings of gangs, drug trafficking and the actions drug users on any given substance, but I can assure you that video games do not play even the smallest part in that world.

You and I are on the same team. We want the best for our children. The only difference between me and you is that one of us is chasing shadows.

I do not want to make a suggestion on what you should or should not do as far as raising your child. I just want to expand on this conversation to help us both think about it more and maybe we both can benifit from it and raise our children better together.

jd,

I never really prevented my boy from watching violence on TV or at the movies. He saw Private Ryan when it came out, and other such movies and it doesn’t seem to have affected him in a way that causes him to be or want to be violent. He’s actually a fairly gentle soul. I did however make an effort to explain to him the difference between real violence and its effects and much of the nonsense shown on TV and the movies/cartoons.

I think its important to help children understand the difference between reality and fantasy, and to understand that real violence is unacceptable in most cases and should be refrained from and or avoided whenever and wherever possible.

I’m not a parent, so perhaps I’m not qualified to spout off.

My questions are:

  1. Why are mediums such as TV and video games presumed to “desensitize” individuals more than print media such as books? Even the bible is filled with many gory, violent scenes, rape scenes, assassinations, etc. So’s the Irish folk music I was raised on. Why pick on one medium?

  2. Isn’t it possible for humans to be fascinated by violence without participating in it? I doubt whether JDS or any parent will be able to train his or her child to think that “beating down some guy in a casino” is “stupid and boring.” Violence is exciting for both children and adults. Some kids just watch it and think about it, others act out.

  3. Stylized violence may have a cathartic effect: by watching a piece of entertainment, one may learn from the story surrounding it that violence itself is not a valid answer to problems, and participate vicariously in the violent acts, which will remove the desire to actually become violent in real life. Some say that this is why the Greeks watched such violent tragedies (although the violence happened offstage).

I guess the key things at stake are the age of the child involved, and the environment he/she grows up in. If I may say so, jds’ child seems to have a well-educated and thoughtful parent, and I doubt that those virtues will not be passed on. I believe the child will learn more from jds’ example than from those of some violent fictional hero.

jd,

I think its important to help children understand the difference between reality and fantasy, and to understand that real violence is unacceptable in most cases and should be refrained from and or avoided whenever and wherever possible.[/quote]

Again, this is what I was curious about. Would you show a “Faces of death” kind of video about soccer fans beating the shit out of one another to your boy to show the reality of violence, I guess, in a way that is better than saying, “Spiderman doesn’t really hurt anybody bud.”

[quote]
You said,” I’m not seven years old either.” This is one of the points I am trying to make. For me, when you say that, means you do not trust your child’s ability to decipher what is right or wrong. [/quote]
Dude, my kid is seven.

[quote]
You and I are on the same team. We want the best for our children. The only difference between me and you is that one of us is chasing shadows. [/quote]
I really find that hard to believe. :laughing:

I am simply trying to find an appropriate method to educate my son about violence. And I do not think that by not playing video games will bother him much. We play cards and chess and lots of other family-oriented games. :smiley:

[quote]
If I may say so, jds’ child seems to have a well-educated and thoughtful parent,[/quote]
Oh you may! You may! :laughing:

I hear you, JD. But like I said, I was listening to violent music (irish folk music) and reading violent books (the bible) when I was seven. And I turned out OK. I guess. I do live in Taiwan.

Have you ever read Rimbaud’s “The 7 Year Old Poets”?

It’s one of the few pieces of writing I know that gives 7-yr-old kids their full due. He was older than 7 when he wrote it, but not so much older that he’d forgotten what being 7 was like.

I could only find the French version on the web…

mag4.net/Rimbaud/poesies/Poetes.html

True, and as the visual media is the biggest purveyor of violence IMHO, reading it doesn’t bug me as much; that said, there are comic books I don’t allow my son to read.

I hear you about the Bible, but you never had to watch totally enthralled as King Herod used John the Baptists bloody head as soccer ball…unless you are British and Monty Python may have covered it.

Seven is too young to be exposed to the harsh realities. Kids shouldn’t have to think about adult things. If they want to play cops and robbers - “Bang! You’re Dead! Ooh, you got me!” That’s fine. There’s no need to show them what real violence is. At that age, all violence should be in the cartoon realm of anvils falling out of sky.

I believe that everything is in properly educating your kid. My son looks movies without checking if it’s violence rating or not, he also plays violent video games on the computer but he never had an argument with another person. We also have guns at home end even thought he plays personal shooting games he never thought about touching one of the gun or sward we have on the wall. He is like tigerman’s son “a fairly gentle soul”. I believe though that the most violent and disturbing action a kid can see is parents having violent arguments or the father beating his wife frequently, or himself being beaten-up!!! It is even more troublesome for a kid that is for natural reason over reactive, he will certainly become violent.

In today’s society we don’t educate kids anymore, at least not at school or in public, we forbid, condemn and punish :loco: That is the answer from our politicians to our kids and of course our self. It’s obvious all around us, don’t smoke because you disturb the other, don’t do this don’t do that or you will be punished, don’t trespass, don’t don’t don’t !!! :frowning: It’s not going to help people, it’s just an easy and cheap way for the society to keep order. Add some cops and the loop is closed.

We should start educating people to respect the others and think before acting and that from school when kids are listening to others.

At ANY age that should be enough!

volcan wrote:[quote]
In today’s society we don’t educate kids anymore[/quote]
Can’t argue with that. 'Nuff said.

Serious violence is an evolutionary process–no one just snaps. CHildren are empty vessels so the question remains, what are they filling themselves with?

There are many factors that contribute to a person committing serious violent acts. I’ve done the Threat Risk Assessment Training–although not to the same level as the FBI/RCMP–but the beginning level of the same training as they would take and let me tell you that no one contributing factor can be found. However one thing is true. Violence is evolutionary and is based on a base line of what is a person’s “normal” behaviour.

If, for example, a child is to watch a lot of violent television but not exposed to any other violence then their base line of violent behaviour is fantasy/visually watching. However, if that same child begins to exhibit some aggression then they have moved up the evolutionary line and is more proned to violent behaviours then that of a child who just watches violent stuff.

There are four prongs to the process of violent occurances. The first prong is personality traits and behaviours. What type of person are they? There are Four typologies of a high risk offender. The Traditional behavioural–they use violence to get needs met, the Mixed type–wears their emotions on their sleves and their violence is usually emotionally charged, the Non-Traditional who has no history of violence, they are thinkers/planners–this is where most school shooters fall into, and the Traditional cognitive-they are okay with violence but wont do it themselves, they are the puppet masters and the most dangerous.

The second prong is family dynamics. What are the behavioural baselines in the family dynamics. What are the beliefs, tradtions, customs and values that exhist int he family? Most importantly what is the role in the family. Are they the parent or are they the child? If they are the child what is their significance in the family? Are they important or not?

The third prong is school dynamics. Is the school Naturally open or naturally closed? Is the school traumatically open or traumatically closed? What are the school’s customs, traditions, roles, values, beliefs and culture? What are the levels of interaction between students and teachers? What about the administrators and teachers? or administrators and students?

Finally the forth prong is the social dynamics. This is the larger community context. What are the communities customs, traditions, roles, values, beliefs and culture? How does one percieve themselves in the context of their community?

There are two types of violent offenders, the Inovators and the Imitators. Inovators are the ones who commit the violent act that no one has done–i.e. Columbine shooters and the Imitators are the ones who follow suit–i.e. Taber shooter.

There is much more to be said about violence in our society and what our baseline is now versus what it was post WW2. What we would have considered absurd in the 50’s and 60’s is now our ‘baseline’ for what is normal behaviour. A scary thought if you ask me. :help:

I have tried to teach my children what is real, and then everything else. I would posit that this basic application of father-hood has increased exponentially in diffficulty all down the line in the last few generations. I try my best, but am oft overwhelmed. Facing twice the rate of bullshite infiltration that my father did, and no doubt, 5x what his father had to deal with.
Perimeter duty is getting to be one bumpy hump… :saywhat:

Very true…yet we continue to eat it right up.

[quote]
I would posit that this basic application of father-hood has increased exponentially in diffficulty all down the line in the last few generations. [/quote]
I would not argue with you here. Maybe it’s not such a bad thing that I get to spend most of nearly everyday with my son in my sight…literally.

What gets me about violence, in kids especially, is that their “reasons” for being violent are so, hhmmm, stupid.

When I was a kid,I got in a fight in the school cafeteria. Out of boredom I was dragging a plastic fork over a styrofoam plate. It was squeaking. Some other boy my age said, “Quit it!” I said, “Why? Is it hurting your sensitive little ears?”

I went back to my chatting and kept dragging the fork. Then the kid smacked me in the back of the head…hard. I stood, pressed him over my head and threw him into the ceiling fan where he was diced in a dozen bits.

But at least there was a “reason” for the fight. A stupid reason, sure, but there was a buildup, and there was a possible way out (that I didn’t take).

I hear stories these days of kids beating the shit out of other kids because they look at them funny; or hitting a teacher because the teacher fails them’ or simply lashing out because they are emotionally out of control, like Jimmy who elbowed a door in our school leaving a nice hole. :fume:

To think that movies and TV do not teach kids how to “problem solve” is silly. The “baseline” that you guys mention, has dropped. No doubt.