With Love and Gratitude

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For Love’s Sake, Tarantino Should Can Violent Film

A report from the Media Commission on Violence says violent images increase aggression. The way Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) changed laws, shouldn't we all take it upon ourselves as parents to stop violent movies and video games? If the source of revenue for violence dries up through boycotts, perhaps filmmakers will listen. Read More

Couldn't agree less

How about parents spend a little more effort filtering what their kids take in, rather than trying to ruin entertainment for the rest of us? I'm a peaceful guy. I don't have a gun. I don't feel the need to go out there and commit violence on anyone... and I sure as heck enjoy a good shoot-em-up movie or videogame when I'm in the mood.

There will always be a market for these things. Always. You can't change that. Prohibition in the thirties showed what happened when you tried to regulate something that should have been left alone.

It starts with the parents. It has to. When I can walk into a Toys'R'Us and see Halo toys rated Ages 8+... for an admittedly violent videogame rated 17+, then there's something wrong. These toys are only being marketed to children because there are parents letting their kids play these violent games. How else would these kids even know who Master Chief is?

I understand your passion and I applaud your desire to want to give kids a healthier mindset growing up... but what you're proposing is not the way to do it.


Hi Geoff

Ms. Watson wrote:

“The way Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) changed laws, shouldn't we all take it upon ourselves as parents to stop violent movies and video games? If the source of revenue for violence dries up through boycotts, perhaps filmmakers will listen.”

She is arguing for boycotting violent movies and video games, not banning them. Though her hope that a boycott of violent media would encourage producers to create non-violent media instead, is I think pretty hopeless. But boycotting violent media for it's own sake is definitely worthwhile.

I do take your point that banning violent media would be counter-productive. But, really there is no chance of that. The violent media industry has been so effective at persuading just about everyone that violent media is harmless that even most parents don't ban violent media (or even restrict them) in their own homes.

“When I can walk into a Toys'R'Us and see Halo toys rated Ages 8+... for an admittedly violent videogame rated 17+, then there's something wrong. These toys are only being marketed to children because there are parents letting their kids play these violent games. How else would these kids even know who Master Chief is?”

In a free society adults should be able to buy whatever kind of entertainment they want (with a few exceptions), but what is marketed to children definitely should be regulated. Halo, and other violent media, should not be marketed to children (just as cigarette companies were forced to stop marketing to children). And make no mistake, the violent video game industry does market to children, cool toys being sold in ToysRus is just one method.

Hi Terry, thanks for

Hi Terry, thanks for replying.

When I was in my teens, the younger brother of my girlfriend at the time wanted to try playing Dungeons and Dragons with me. I didn't think much of it (aside from not wanting to spend time with my girlfriend's pain in the butt brother) but his mom freaked. Apparently she'd seen that Mazes and Monsters movie from the eighties and was worried it would make him a crazy murderer. What I told her then applies here:

Whatever reports you hear of people going crazy "from the game" are just people doing what they were already predisposed to do. There was something already wrong with that person, and if it weren't the game triggering it, it would be something else, be it videogames, movies, music videos or whatever.

Until we can get to the root of why people are going fundamentally wrong in this society, and it's not all, just a few, we're going to keep seeing incidents like this. And the ease of which people can acquire weapons doesn't help.

A catalyst is something which triggers an event that was ready to happen anyways. It, in itself, is not the cause, and I think this knee-jerk reaction to try and stop violent movies and videogames misses the underlying events that were ready to happen anyways, and thereby leaves the underlying roots of the problem unexposed.

ugh. More

ugh. More non-science.

Correlation does not imply causation.

Violent nuts like violent entertainment - that doesn't mean their violent tendencies can be reduced by taking away their favorite entertainment.

100 years ago in this very country, with no TV's or radios and lots of illiterates running around, families enjoyed going and watching hangings.

There have always been serial killers.

Why? Because of the media? Gimme a break.

Correlation does not imply causation

“Correlation does not imply causation.”
The American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Psychological Association are well aware that “Correlation does not imply causation.”

But guess what there are other types of studies than just correlational ones.

Here are a few examples:











not really.

The latest studies are not supporting the assumption that violent video games cause violence.


From the article:http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2010/05/10/video-games-dont-cause-children-to-be-violent

"The myth that video games cause violent behavior is undermined by scientific research and common sense. According to FBI statistics, youth violence has declined in recent years as computer and video game popularity soared. We do not claim that the increased popularity of games caused the decline, but the evidence makes a mockery of the suggestion that video games cause violent behavior. Indeed, as the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declared: “The state has not produced substantial evidence that … violent video games cause psychological or neurological harm to minors.”



These studies do not in any way measure or correlate violent behavior with respect to violent video game play.
Also, is "the level of noise blast the participants set for their opponent" a good measure of aggression?
How does it relate to real-world aggressiveness or sociopathic behavior, I wonder?
It doesn't seem like the researchers cared to ponder this question, sadly.


I won't address these links because they do not provide refs to the studies discussed and discussions regarding experimental methodology are superficial at best.

I found this link that further details this experiment (won't pay to read journal).

Too many possible variables here to effect behavior. For one, it seems the violent movies featured male heroes, while the non-violent ones featured female heroines. The abusive research assistant was always a female. This seems like a very significant possible source of bias.

The group sample size is very small here and they do not quote the numbers of participants who recommend denying funding to the abusive research assistant.

Why did they not include a group who watched no films for 5 days?

And why did they not repeat the experiment with all male research assistants?

Did the abusive research assistant know with what group the participant belonged? A subconscious desire to get desired results
may have caused the assistant to be more abusive with the participants who watched violent films.

Again, this study does not in any way measure violent behavior.


This article does not describe any studies so I'm not sure why the link was provided.


This is not a study, this is a report - a highly biased one at that.


Would love to get more details on this one. One thing to note - it does not address violent content, only TV and video games in general.

Results beg the questions: Did the removal of TV and video games force the parents to step up and parent which in turn caused the children to behave better. Also, was the possibility that these children got more exercise taken into account?


This study in no way examines violent media. It just measures total TV exposure.


I suggest you read
to get a more balanced view of the topic.


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Thoughtful feedback!

To all of you with thoughtful feedback, my thanks. / R

A discussion from the other side of the fence

Hi Rita. Me again.

To be clear, however respectfully, I don't agree with your stance on boycotting violent films and games, I wanted you to know that there is a debate within at least one small little writing community about what the responsibilities of writers are in today's environment.

If you'd like to take a look at what this little community has been discussing, how some views fall in line with yours, how some differ, here's the link:


Of course, you have to be a member to post, but as a guest the boards are open to read.


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Rita Watson, MPH, is an Associate Fellow at Yale's Ezra Stiles College and a columnist for The Providence Journal.


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