Screen Violence…

As I mentioned yesterday, I was involved in my students’ parent/teacher interviews last night.

One parent mentioned that she really limited the amount of screen/video game time her son had, as she found an increase in aggressive behaviour following this access. I have very strong opinions about the types of computer games that are available these days and many are widely played by children much too young for the content. There is research that suggests a whole gamut of negative side effects to these games/TV shows and I’m sure there is loads more that argue to the contrary.

I hate the thought of games that involve shooting and killing, kicking and punching. I don’t see the necessity of this kind of violence. Even for children who are old enough to understand that it is all make believe, why does this constitute entertainment?

But here is where I get hypocritical.

We are all in love with “Despicable Me” and the minions at the moment. Any minion mini-movie we can find on YouTube is watched over and over again, by me in particular (seriously, check them out here, they’re hilarious!) I love them, they are adorable. And yet, they are violent. We have watched the “Banana Song” clip more times than I can count and cackle each and every time, and yet it ends with one minion punching another for simply being annoying…and I laugh!

How can I teach the kids that violence against others is wrong and yet laugh when one little guy clobbers another? Even writing this, I can’t think of a good explanation as to why I think they are funny.

Any ideas??? Or how have you tackled this issue with your kids??

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3 thoughts on “Screen Violence…

  1. First of all, I have to say that the ‘M’ rated games, of the violent nature, aren’t goof for ANYONE. I don’t care if you’re five years old or forty-five years old. There’s just no reason for it. Horrible. 😦
    And then to your thoughts/question…I think that violence, resulting in someone actually getting hurt or dying, is wrong. BUT the style of comedy, called “slap-stick”, is meant for entertainment in a silly way, and the audience knows the character isn’t actually hurt. Kwim? I would say the minions’ behavior would certainly be considered slap-stick, not violence. 🙂

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