Monday, January 30, 2006


My big idea is roommate watches ER and Law and Order, fairly obsessively. As most of you know he is a little crazy, but that is neither here nor there. More importantly he constantly jokes about how he could walk into either an emergency room or a courtroom and be able to hold his own. But I am sure there are a number of people who feel that the knowledge they have gained from TV over the years has given them the knowledge to do these kinds of things. As a matter of fact, I would be willing to lay money that a number of people standing around the watercooler have given free legal advice that they lifted right off Law and Order.

It is my contention that these legal "scholars" are not consciously passing along information from television as the God's honest truth, but they are passing it on as part of their general base of knowledge. Maybe the legal tip they are citing is from an episode of Law and Order from three years ago and they don't remember where the tip is from.* They just know that the tip helped one of their friends, be it a parasocial friends or not, out of a jam at some point.

Penny's argument seems to stress that body movement and blah, blah, blah...leads to people reacting to the interactivity of the video game and responding likewise in the real world as one would in the video game. On the other hand, my big idea argues or states that people carry over their behaviors from various media.** It also argues that people don't carry over some behaviors. There is a lot of murdering on Law and Order, but my roommate, to my knowledge, hasn't killed anyone. The news is chalk full of death and although I may be cynical, I am not killing anyone. My big idea is simple there are crazy people out there and maybe some are set-off by playing Quake, but I think they would have been set-off when their neighbor's dog started talking to them anyway.***

*I cite West Wing way too much in regular conversations.
**This all dates back to how I wanted to be a pilot after watching Top Gun. Unfortunately they wouldn't let a six year-old enlist in the Air Force.
***Son of Sam reference


At 11:33 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

First, I just must say -- the footnotes are amazing!
Alright, that being said ... I completely agree with Nick. I believe that various forms of media can contribute to people's attitudes/behavior. Take, for example, Gerbner's well-known studies in which he links watching television to viewers' ideas of what the everyday world is like.
However, Penny answers us by saying:
"Passive observation may be shown to have some effect on the beliefs or even the actions of an observer, but an enacted training regime must be a more powerful technique."
So... I think that Penny is saying that although CSI may or may not compel someone to go commit murder, a simulation game in which participants are actually "practicing" committing murder is a much stronger impetus. Any thoughts?

At 8:32 AM, Blogger flook said...

I don't know. It is logical to think that violent games might cause violent behavior. I'd be curious to see what the statistics are or if studies exist to say either way.

At 11:36 AM, Blogger Yildiz said...

probably, it depends on the persons mental state, age and exposure to violence..

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Betsy said...

does media have a big effect on people or person' behavoirs? a question that comes up all the time. some people are crazy, some are not. some people can refect on themselves and their actions, some can not.

I'm going to quote 'canned heat' by jamiroquai:
"Stuck between hell and high water
Need a cure to make it through.

Hey- dancing nothing left for me to do but dance
Off these bad times I’m going through just dance,
Hey got canned heat in my heals tonight baby"

basically, the world sucks, some people suck, but we can still dance!

At 5:22 PM, Blogger Curtisgeist said...

Penny purposefully confuses the ideas of (A) video game violence affecting aggressive attitudes , with (B) video game violence affecting aggressive behavior. Again, this paper is an unabashed tirade. The author links his "evil" antagonistical idea with everything from drugs (electronic acid) to porn and sexual violence. Be skeptical.


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