Lesley M. Kinzel and Dennis C. Scimeca (linkwork@gateway.net)
Fri, 08 Sep 2000 22:25:49 -0400


BlazeEagle@aol.com wrote:

> Exactly. If one cannot tell reality from fantasy, then they are insane.

    It's not a matter of telling fantasy from reality. It is a matter of the
constant buildup of media images in the psyche of the viewer. In the case of
young children, who cannot truly understand concepts like morality, these violent
images have a lasting effect. They cultivate the idea that violence is
acceptable. This is not to say that someone who sees violent imagery goes out and
kills a bunch of people, but it does create a society in which violence is viewed
as an acceptable means for solving problems.

> One shouldn't blame a media for a person's actions or behaviors.

    To say that an image-based media has no effect on a person's action or
behavior is in complete disagreement with a host of scientific studies on the
influence of media on psychology. Take the example of the Fiji islands/eating
disorders study done that showed no presence of skinny-deal-body-image and
anorexia in the islands before the introduction of television, and the existence
of these phenomena no less that 5 years after the mainstream introduction of
television.

> That's why I get so sick of some in the media and parent's groups blame Video
> Games for teen and child violence.

    Well, I agree that you cannot lay sole blame on video games and movies and
television for child violence, but we have to acknowledge that these media are
having some effect. How anyone can say otherwise after Columbine and the other 17
or so school shootings over the past several years, considering the type of media
consistently reported as being viewed by these assailants.

> It's up to the parent's to see that their kids turn outright, not the
> government, not "Child Protection Groups," etc. If a child is taught at the
> apporite age, what is real and what is fantasy, the stuff like Looney Toons, Tom
> and Jerry, will not "warp" a kids mind, if he/she is taught properly.

    The fact of the matter is, as any child developmental psychologist could tell
you, children cannot make a crystal-clearly discern fantasy from reality until the
ages of 9-10, but it varies based on the child. Nonetheless, I can say with a
large degree of certainty that children below these ages are watching Looney Toons
and Tom and Jerry long before these ages. You cannot "teach the child properly"
before the media has impacted on the psyche.
    And this certainly contributes to the "warping" of a child's mind.

    Just a commentary from the Ivory Tower...

    -Dennis



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