CAN ENTERTAINMENT REALLY INFLUENCE VIOLENCE?

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Celia Bonnet

Society is saying that people are more susceptible to being aggressive due to the entertainment industry; that makes me want to punch something.

Natalie Lambert, Reporter

Following the Aurora, Colorado shooting, many Americans have been trying to piece together what caused it. Though it hasn’t been proven, some U.S. citizens have blamed violent or dark entertainment (similar to the new Batman)—such as movies, music, and video games—for the tragedy.

Even in past years when violent crimes have been committed, others point fingers at the entertainment that the people who committed the violent acts were subject too. Violent music with vulgar language and messages, movies with gory topics, and video games with shooting or fighting are often looked upon as a bad influence on people, specifically teenagers.

“Violence actually sticks in your head, because it’s more thought-provoking then comedy. The violence that they [people] see inspires action at school or in lives,” said an anonymous sophomore.

Is it honestly possible that a song, game, or movie can cause aggression? Would it be more fair to assume violence is caused by the mindset of the human beings who are capable of being influenced by entertainment? Should society not be held accountable for their actions, or should the blame be shuffled elsewhere?

“Ignorance to certain topics makes people angry. Debatable topics, politics, religion, other people’s point of view, and things that are difficult,” said senior Jerome Berthome, on why Americans are so prone to violence.

To date, Japan makes the most graphic horror movies and video games. Many American horror movies that are considered inappropriate are remakes of Japanese versions. However, despite the more violent nature of Japanese entertainment, the violent crime rate in America more than double that of the crimes in Japan.

Regarding violent or graphic music, there could be some truth to support the claim.  In a test experiment on 500 different people, results showed that aggressive lyrics can cause aggressive thoughts. Is it safe for America to assume that every violent, horrific act was merely the product of an angry song and not the results of a mentally unstable individual who thought of the act in the first place?

Could it be possible that we need to start holding each person accountable for their actions? Instead of looking at entertainment, an insubstantial source for violence, we should instead look at the lives and minds of the culprits. Many people listen to and view violent entertainment and don’t commit crimes or acts of aggression. It‘s possible that the hype on violent entertainment causes violence be a rumor.

Junior Chelsea Torregrosa doesn’t blame the media, but society itself. “We’re making kids grow up too fast. Childhood is ceasing to exist.”