From movies like Alien; to hit TV shows like The Walking Dead; to video games like Grand Theft Auto; to books like Game of Thrones, our world of entertainment strives off the depiction of ultra-violence. We can appreciate the art and creativity that went into such works, but there is no denying the obvious: we are living in a world saturated with graphic violence. This is a very important matter to discuss. With the entertainment industry bigger and more widespread than ever, the implications of our near constant exposure to violence could affect the entire American psyche. The atrocious acts of lone gunmen in Las Vegas, Texas, Orlando, and Newtown have captured national attention and hysteria. While most people would immediately point fingers to obvious scapegoats, I wondered if there was deeper underlying cause to such an epidemic of death. Perhaps our addiction to gory, sensational forms of entertainment has conditioned us to become less empathetic and more used to violence. Does the media glorify violence? Not really, but it certainly loves to use graphic imagery for shock value. I will focus on a vast array of information and perspectives to find some sort of truth in this quandary. There are numerous things I am curious about: the percentage of entertainment media that is considered graphically violent, the statistics on violent crime in America and the world, the rising issue of teenage anxiety and depression, the effect of news reporting on the national psyche, socioeconomic factors, and even how the definition of graphic violence has changed over the course of the half-century. To find such information I will have to research through various fields: psychology papers, Pew polls, magazine and newspaper articles, FBI crime statistics, gun statistics, and perhaps even neurological studies. We live in troubled times, and people are truly trying to fix the problem of violence in well intentioned ways. But instead of blaming guns, minorities, and mental health we must first consider the harrowing idea that we live in a culture addicted to violence.
I would like if people can give me ideas and potential research sources. Feedback is appreciated!
Image Credit: American Psychological Association