Violent Media is good for kids
For several years, it has been argued that fantasy violence depicted in video games, television shows, or movies have a negative impact on the lives of children. However, other people such as comic writer Gerard Jones have opposing views by arguing that violent media does not affect the life of children. This paper provides an analysis of Gerard Jones's book Violent Media is good for Kids by analyzing the different viewpoints the author used to support his arguments. While the author used an array of examples to support his arguments, it failed to persuade me to believe that violent media is appropriate for kids (Hugo, and Sylvan).
Children need heroes in their lives, and such heroes play a fundamental role in the healthy development of these children. According to Gerard Jones, violent media depicted in movies or video games provide them with coping skills and strategies to strengthen their position within the society in terms of development. However, children learn valuable lessons as they grow and most behaviors that children adopt are copied or emulated. For this reason, I am not convinced that kids should idolize heroes depicted in violent media. What would happen when kids decide to adopt the violent character of their favorite heroes and use the character when relating to other kids within the society? Equally, what happens to the character of children who have unlimited access to explicit and violent media content? The issue is that violent media plays a crucial role in influencing the growth patterns and minds of the children. As such, children should not be allowed to watch movies or shows that encourage violence.
Gerard Jones further argues that children should be allowed to have uncontrolled access to violent media. The author adores violent media and argues that violent media shapes the perception and attitudes of children in an encouraging way. Gerard Jones relates his life to the time he lived in a lonely and fearful life characterized by limited interaction with the outside world. Apparently, his mother considered the neighborhood unsuitable for his upbringing and instead chose to hide him in seclusion. Equally, the school environment imparted fear into his head by teaching him that violent media is not good. Not long after, exposure to Marvel Comics enabled him to change the attitude he had learned about violent media. His adopted a courageous attitude and characters that enabled him to handle challenging situations. He attributes the change in character to immense inspiration he obtained from Hulk, the heroic character in Marvel Comics.
While the author shows his line of inspiration, I feel that that his point is insufficient to justify the reason as to why violent media is good for kids. Not all children undergo similar procedures to those he underwent and generalizing his childhood experiences are not enough to provide a valid reason. His might have been a fortunate situation, and he managed to find an appropriate character with whom he could use to relate to the experiences of his life. For this reason, I would argue that the Gerard Jones decided to take a blind stance and use generalizations to validate an argument without conducting further research to provide solid arguments to support his assertions. Focusing on a single experience is not enough. Convincing people that violence is good for the society required that the author conducts a deeper analysis and provide relevant statistics.
Hugo, Bedau and Sylvan, Barnet. Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing: A Brief Guide to Argument. Bedford. 2010. Print
Jones, Gerard. Media Violence Is Good for Kids.