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Give a Little Love and It All Comes Back to You

October 19, 2008

So I was watching TV tonight and I saw a commercial for a new video game coming out called “Saints Row 2”. The commercial was a bunch of clips from the new video game where, from my understanding, you can play as a gangster. Looks like you can shoot people, steal cars, and other gang type things. Maybe it’s me getting old, but I think the violent influences in our soiety today are extremely disturbing. Many video game company executives claim that their products offer no more influence than violent movies and television programs. Two thoughts on this:

A) Violence in movies can be just as bad. And it’s not something I completely condone either.
B) Media (TV, film, web) is a passive media. You watch and absorb, your mind shuts off. In video games you’re an active participant in the violence you’re creating. 
I remember last year I was at a Christmas exhibit back near my home town. They had a small collection of old toys. I remember looking at them and noticing they were just a little more than metal with paint. Nothing shot sparks, no glowing eyes, and hardly any moving parts. In order to play with those toys you had to exercise your imagination. Use your brain to play. I worry for today’s children and the effect that all of the over-stimulation and adult themed media is having on them. In film school I had a professor who once told our production class to be wary of what we want to put into this world because it will manifest itself. The more violent content we create the more violence we propagate in our society. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I think the entertainment industry at large needs to take a good hard look at itself, and be a little bit more responsible with the “art” they are supplying our society with. 
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