My professor brought up an interesting topic today. He was talking about the media’s effect on people, the cultivation theory and how through several examples, such as the mean world effect and the CSI effect, TV has started to have a long term impact on people.
To clarify, cultivation theory discusses the advertisements we watch on TV and the effect they have on people over long term exposure. According to this theory, this will ultimately change our understanding of the world. This has been scientifically documented through studies and I gave a few examples of such.
The mean world effect is when people see alot of crime and violence on TV and they think that that is what reality is like. These people are more fearful, are more likely to own a gun for protection and so on. Over the past ten years violent crime rates have gone down 5-10% whereas coverage of violent crime has gone up 700%.
The CSI effect is when due to the TV show people have a higher demand for forensic evidence in cases or else they are less likely to find a person guilty.
Advertisements are another good example of warping societies perceptions. An example is advertisments attacking one’s self esteem and doctoring up an unrealistic image to conform to. Then we have things like woman’s body issues to contend with.
There have been studies and tests over time to figure all these things out. We know that in the short and long term TV can have an impact. What hasn’t been explored is the impact video games have on people. Now, some people try and fly the flag of omnipotence. As one of my favourite sayings go, “seek out those who are searching for the truth and run from those that say they’ve found it.” So far what I’ve seen in studies and through my own personal experience, both from myself and others, I can’t see it.
What I found interesting was the idea of militainment. Those in the ivory tower are worried that it makes people more accepting of violence; that it is seen as something normal in society. Needless to say, if that is the case, it’s a real problem.
I want to hear your opinions on the matter. What do you think?
Do you agree with the concern about militainment?
Do you think video games create a higher propensity of violence among youth today?
If you could just add in a little bit about yourself or somebody you’re talking about- background, how long they’ve been playing an so on, that would be appreciated. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!