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Impact of the Media in America
Imagine that you have a younger brother who has an obsession for video games. At the same time, you have a sister who is very fond of a particular music group. Your brother buys a video game, which has a massive amount of violence in it, and plays non-stop. Now imagine a week later after the day he purchased the game. He finds a gun located in your family’s storage, takes it to school, takes aim at a fellow student (Like in the game, except not against students) and fires. Your innocent little brother has just transformed from a video game loving freak, to a brain washed homicidal killer. Your sister on the other hand buys her favorite band’s new CD and begins listening to it relentlessly. You overhear a passage of one song while passing by her room that states a very provocative message about drug use; you think it’s a little bit inappropriate, but you continue walking. Later during that same week you come across a marijuana-smoking device while searching for the phone. Has the music corrupted the mind of your sweet little sister and prohibited her decipher of right from wrong? And is the video game producer at fault for the death of the young student that was committed by your younger brother? Though it may be hard to say so from a standpoint of a relative, the answer is undoubtfully “no.”
Though there have been recent studies conducted by many organizations such as NBC, ABC, and CBS, which were in relation to the made-up incident above. One of which I saw personally was an experiment conducted by the Army and covered by NBC. The Army had soldiers play a virtual reality simulator in order to simulate a real battle sequence and give them the feel for the “real deal” of shooting enemies. The object of this experiment was to give soldiers not so much the urge to kill but to sort of aid them in the process of actually firing on and killing another human being. However, there is a big difference between video games, which are used for entertainment, and the program, which was used for firing training that I just mentioned. But even if there are people who find no difference there are many precautions that can be taken in order to aid in the prevention of such preposterous events as the ones in the first paragraph. The ESRB, (Entertainment Software Rating Board) is a rating system used for all variations of video games. This system is widely used through out the nation whether for PC, handheld, or home entertainment. This system is unbiased and helps parents determine whether a game is appropriate for their child. These ratings include: Early Childhood, Everyone, Teen, Mature, Adults Only, and Rating Pending. These can be found in the lower left and/or right of the game’s box or case. These ratings are helpful in making parents aware of contents, however I am yet to understand how playing a video game can turn someone into a killer.