Communications & Media Management
BCM1006 Media &
Wong Hui Xuan
Consider how much violence is presented in the media. Can excessive violence in the media desensitize people?
A killer seeks out, gun shots everywhere, dead bodies fill up the streets and the ambulance sirens are only what could be heard. The next morning, murder news hit the headlines and everyone can be seen on the same page on their social media. So what is the constant cycle of violent media doing to us?
Media has always been a part of our daily life, it is a way for families and friends to have fun together, for interesting topics that people are interested in, or to just enjoy alone. However, across all types of media, there is one problem we all face which is violence. Gradually, people start becoming aggressive, antisocial and unfeeling towards violence.
It is true that excessive violence in the media desensitise people as violence is apparent in programmes shown on television, video games also display violent images and lastly the internet which has a galore of violence which are easily accessible.
Firstly, violent television programmes can potentially desensitise people. According to researchers, 5.7 % of those who watched less than an hour of television a day had committed a serious violent act while 25.3 % of those who had committed a serious violent act watched more than three hours of television a day. (Faulkner, 2002). This implies that when people watch more hours of television, it is more likely they will become violent. It has also has been proved that children do mimic the deplorable violence depicted in cartoon shows. It was shown that children who watch a violent show on television got excited and ran around afterwards imitating the aggressive characters than children who watch non-violent shows. (Kleinfeld, 2003). Also, men who watch violent TV programmes in their childhood were convicted of crimes more than three times the rate of other men.
(Kleinfeld, 2003). This shows that tv violence is capable of making people desensitise till a point that they are deluded into thinking that this sort of behaviour is acceptable.
Secondly, video games can potentially desensitise people. Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia found out that people who play violent video games displayed diminished brain responses to images of real-life such as gun attacks. But they did not demonstrate a similar response to other emotionally disturbing images which were not violent. (Mendez, 2005). This shows that they are getting desensitise to violent images. As they have played multiple video games, they might be used to the violence and in the long run, they might not be able to differentiate between reality and the virtual world. Also, violent video games can produce a reaction in children that the world is a cruel and ugly place which in turn will make them feel powerless. (Mendez, 2005). Hence, they will feel that it is f...