Let's state the obvious: there is no connection between the presence of violent video games or movies in a culture and actual, real world violence. In the same way that the overwhelming majority of gun owners understand that "gun control" means hitting your target and not firing willy-nilly, the overwhelming majority of gamers understand the difference between reality and playing a game. The difference is all in what happens when this breaks down. If someone gets drunk and decide to take it out on some n00bs by playing Halo 4, the worst thing that happens is they spew some racist/misogynist/homophobic stuff in voice chat. More people than ever are playing video games, the summer blockbusters have gotten bigger and more explosive, and yet violent crime is down since the days of Space Invaders. Likewise, if I end up channeling my pent-up rage into Call of Duty, no one dies except in a virtual world (NOTE: I don't have any pent-up rage and I suck at FPS's so I don't even play Call of Duty, making me approximately the only gamer who doesn't own a copy). What's more, as the production of media products has been democratized more generally, the need for all content to be produce child-appropriate has declined. In an era where your media options are network TV and the movie theater, it makes a little more sense to have the government set some standards so that everyone can watch what you produce. But today cheap cameras, cable, and the internet have made it easier than ever to produce and distribute video. Why bother requiring network TV to skimp on sex, violence, and foul language, when no one is watching them anyway?
|When released to theaters, this farce|
was rated PG-13. But there are
two F-bombs and naked lady parts in it,
so today it's R.
Now, I don't want to cast too much judgement on this cultural shift. It simply is what it is. But surely our resident utilitarian-hedonist has an opinion on whether a high violence/low sex versus low violence/high sex media environment is better for humanity.
At the risk of playing devil's advocate, why does the ratio of sex to violence matter if there is no connection between media and real-world behavior?
(Obviously I don't believe that that's true, but let's stipulate to it for the moment.)
Wait, no, I mean, even if it doesn't, if I have an aesthetic preference for more sex and less violence, I've gotten screwed (nyuk nyuk) over the past generation.
I wonder if Amanda Marcotte has anything to say about how this lines up with the shift towards movies being things that nerdy teenage boys watch.
Indeed, I would recommend a higher Fun:Death ratio.
I'd also note that total consumption of sex-filled media has definitely gone up since the 1980s, no matter how they're rating movies. The internet is for porn.
Sure, but these leaves those who prefer something with a level of sex/nudity between "none" and "porn" out in the cold.
Anyway, if culture is the air that we breathe, I definitely don't believe that media has no effect on real-world violence. Now whether violent movies have a greater effect than violent video games, who knows.
My preference would be for hardcore porn levels of sex / nudity in a story with interesting characters and dialogue. This also is difficult to find.
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