Sunday, October 23, 2016

Good Story . . . but Gory


This was the summary provided by a family member half way through a novel.   The story was engrossing and exciting but the gore was overdone.   The author description including the information that he was also the creator of video games which may be a factor.  Video games can be notoriously violent.    I suppose it is something like the over the top realism in popular television shows like  Game of Thrones  and The Vikings.    I suspect there are various approaches to viewing program of this nature, perhaps similar to how graphic books are dealt with.

Some people revel in the gore and violence.   They are no doubt mild-mannered people who wouldn't hurt the proverbial fly but somehow violence viewed is a vicarious pleasure.   Perhaps it is cathartic in some way.   Then there are those viewers or readers who avert their eyes, fast forward the remote, take a bathroom break or flip pages when some hapless victim is being tortured, beheaded or similar.   Other parts of the movie/book feature terrific dialogue, suspense and character development.   The gore is the wasabi on the sushi tray that their palate seeks to avoid.   The rest is delicious.

Movies have ratings, sometimes focussed more on the sexual content than the violence level.  At the theatres the ratings served to keep minors from entering.   Television often/sometimes would only screen an adult movie after 9 or 10 p.m.  With Netflix you are on your own.   Perhaps there are parental controls that can be instituted.

Research has been done as to the effect of viewing violence on children and young people.   Is there a desensitization that occurs?   An article in the Psychiatric Times concludes : 

Despite the links between media violence and aggression, Anderson stressed, “media violence is only one of many risk factors for later aggressive and violent behavior. Furthermore, extremely violent behavior never occurs when there is only one risk factor present. Thus, a healthy, well-adjusted person with few risk factors is not going to become a school-shooter just because they start playing a lot of violent video games or watching a lot of violent movies.” 

That's good to know.   

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