field has gone way past trying to provide objec tive information to parents and

Field has gone way past trying to provide objec tive

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field has gone way past trying to provide objec- tive information to parents and rather into trying to pressure, scare, and shame them into follow- ing a proscribed moral path. So I have no prob- lem with the scholar who says, “There is some evidence to link media violence to aggression, there’s also evidence to suggest media violence may be harmless. It’s my personal opinion that, taken together . . . blah blah blah.” No worries there. But the scholar who says, “All the evi- dence supports my opinion, and there’s no de- bate at all” is being dishonest (after all, here we are debating!) and that’s what I think needs to change in the field. But I think you raise a really interesting question as well . . . do different nations/cultures differ in this respect? I think that would be a great question for the type of sociological analyses of our field I’d like to see people take on in the future. Parenting Children’s Media Lives Elly : You mentioned before that you have a child, an 11-year-old boy. Do you have a “me- dia diet” for him or apply rules and regulations about his media use? How do you cope with the potential for general “overuse” of media by youth? And, how do you discuss possible re- strictions with your child and motivate him to see their value? Chris : Yes, I do have an 11-year-old who is like my best bud. We’re actually a pretty easy- going family when it comes to media, but it’s “informed leniency” . . . we like to know about a movie or game before we allow it. So, for instance, we’ve let our son watch some R-rated movies (Prometheus is one of his favorites) but we watched the movie first. I think people get a little hung upon the ratings categories, which can be useful guidelines, but not all “R” rated movies are the same, nor “M” rated video games. Because of our American cultural hesi- tancy regarding sexual themes, I’d be more hes- itant about a game like “Grand Theft Auto 5” because of the sexual content than I would be about “Modern Warfare 3” even though both are rated M. Even there though, for me, it’s more about morality than “harm” . . . I don’t think GTA5 would change my son’s attitudes toward women or make him hostile, but I just don’t feel that a game like GTA5 represents our family’s values. My son and I play video games together a lot too (indeed, I rarely play video games on my own anymore), and we watch most movies together so I’m very involved in my son’s media life. For me, even where objec- tionable material comes up, it gives us the op- portunity to discuss it which, frankly, I think gives him a leg up on kids who have been “shielded.” So, for example, I don’t worry at all about my son hearing strong language. We’ve been to movies with s-bombs and f-bombs and that just led us to have a discussion about the meaning of those words, how they can be hurt- ful or inappropriate, and how they are not be used at home or at school. I’ve yet to get a single complaint about him using harsh lan- guage at school, and he doesn’t use that lan- guage at home.
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  • Spring '19
  • John Smith
  • The Land, PowerPoint, American Psychological Association, Video game controversy, Media violence research, Elly A. Konijn

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