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Are children's cartoon's too violent?


Mr Rayon
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When people think about what kids watch nowadays (e.g Pokemon, Dragon Ball Z, Batman/Ironman, Naruto) one automatically thinks about violent cartoons...

 

Pokemon for example encourages children to adopt the view point that mistreating animals is okay (e.g. cock fights, horse racing etc)

 

What does everyone think?

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Yes, kids imitate the violence they see and act obnoxious. The only good that comes out of it is that I think it helps them gain some control over their physical agility and aggression to explore it in a playful way instead of in real fights, provided they don't seek out real fights and bully each other as part of their play.

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I agree. Also the repeated airing of such shows, when the channel has nothing new is also worse. The theme should be kept light. Like in Tom and Jerry, they keep on showing humor. But in DBZ, they keep on kicking butts.

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Does anyone really think that cartoons today are more violent than cartoons of 40 years ago or 50 years ago? Tom and Jerry are not violent? They consistently fight, hit smash, shoot, each other, then you have the Road Runner, Daffy Duck, tweety bird, Elmer Fud, Bugs Bunny, Marvin Martian, Rocky and Bullwinkle, the list of constant violence in cartoons goes on and on and it is not getting more violent if anything they tone it down in modern cartoons.

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I agree. Also the repeated airing of such shows, when the channel has nothing new is also worse. The theme should be kept light. Like in Tom and Jerry, they keep on showing humor. But in DBZ, they keep on kicking butts.

Have you actually ever watched Tom and Jerry? I wouldn't categorize that as light.

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TonyMC, i myself play ( shoot em up ) games and as an adult i find them very fun to play, i think the interest in them spawns from a males way to dominate the so called playing field and as an added factor its more or less an interest in things that most people in the real world would never do. And its a great social thing for those who have kids or not much time to hang out they jump on the net talk to players and in a sense socialize through the game. And i agree that cartoons are way off in left field from what they should be watching. I dont believe that all cartoons should be like teletubbies or barney but take the violence out of them there are a ton of interesting topics in life besides violence. I dont feel that a childs behaviour has a complete effect from just the cartoons watched but may not help it. Make the kids play outside and explore there surroundings and exercise there brain in healthy ways.

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Only a psychotic cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, or the supposed 'message' of a game or a cartoon from messages which appropriately guide conduct in the real world. Yet for some reason the modern, psychological rather than rational approach to society assumes that people are the helpless victims of every conscious or subconscious image, verbal suggestion, or influence that permeates through culture.

 

This assumption can then be used to justify all sorts of aggressive social restrictions on the theory that these 'influences' are harmful, whether sociological data can demonstrate them to be dangerous or not (they are too subtle for measure, say the social-control freaks). So we have a new effort to restrict pornography on the theory that it produces subtle intellectual changes in society which operate to the disadvantage of women; censorship of cartoons unless they promote positive behavior; control of violent images on the theory that people are just monkey see/monkey do, input/output machines which have to imitate everything they see.

 

It has been argued that the violence of cartoons performs an important educative role for children in teaching them that although the world can be a dangerous and violent place, they can adapt to it, survive in it, and master it. In contrast, cartoons that only show an innocuous world where nothing bad happens also do nothing to teach children how to respond to a world which actually does have terrible things in it.

 

This theory points to the long history of children's stories to show that earlier culture recognized this lesson and deliberately exposed children to violence and danger through fairy tales to encourage them to feel that these threats could be resisted. Thus consider Grimm's fairy tales: a witch captures Hansel and Gretel and fattens them up to eat them; a deranged dwarf, Rumpelstilski, commits suicide by stamping himself into the ground when he cannot seize possession of a young girl's child; a freakish figure climbs up the hair of a young woman at the top of a tower in exchange for offering her a way out of subservient work; or from other cultural traditions: a wolf blows down the shack pigs are hiding in so as to eat them; a freak hiding under a bridge tries to eat goats scampering across it (Billy Goat Gruff). These stories are not only violent, as many modern cartoons are, but they are also often hideous!

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Have you actually ever watched Tom and Jerry? I wouldn't categorize that as light.

 

It comes daily on CN! It is light as compared to other cartoons because it shows violence in a humorous way. Tom never killed Jerry. But in DBZ characters are always killed. Same in Naruto. Seen Tom and Jerry Movies? They become friends sometimes. Seen those scenes when Jerry pretend to die and Tom cries? The cartoon always shows a bond between them, even though they do violence. And the music is kept the same way.

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The itchy and scratchy showww!

 

Only a depraved cartoon within a depraved cartoon could be so utterly depraved. Depravity^2

 

 

 

So when your 5 year old starts chopping off your 3 year old's head with a chainsaw, you'll know why. Maybe it's time to retire the bong. Who says it has to be kid's cartoons? Simpson's comes on at seven, and if itchy doesn't teach them, Bart can show them how to be a juvenile delinquent. But it's just humor, right? Oh, I forgot, everybody here is responsible.

Edited by Realitycheck
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I remember a conversation I had with a parent on this topic.

 

They refused to let their children watch cartoons as they were too violent, but insisted they watch the news every night.

 

I found this rather strange as they were refusing to let their children watch fantasy violence, but insisting they watch real violence. :blink::confused:

 

I have heard of many studies that have tried to link violent music/cartoons/movies/stories/computer games/the current fad to violence in children. There are enough studies done that it is easy to cherry pick the results that agree with what you want to believe to prove your point (usually these surface when some incident occurs). From this, I think that the best you can truly say is that it is: Inconclusive.

 

However, I would say that violent people are attracted to violent things, but this does not mean that violent things cause violence (or increase it). But I would also say that just because you are attracted to violent things does not make you violent (I am a pacifist but I still love a good action game/movie - I know the difference between reality and fantasy).

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Scientists have known for years that playing violent video games causes players to become more aggressive. The findings of a new University of Missouri (MU) study provide one explanation for why this occurs: the brains of violent video game players become less responsive to violence, and this diminished brain response predicts an increase in aggression.

 

"Many researchers have believed that becoming desensitized to violence leads to increased human aggression. Until our study, however, this causal association had never been demonstrated experimentally," said Bruce Bartholow, associate professor of psychology in the MU College of Arts and Science.

 

During the study, 70 young adult participants were randomly assigned to play either a nonviolent or a violent video game for 25 minutes. Immediately afterwards, the researchers measured brain responses as participants viewed a series of neutral photos, such as a man on a bike, and violent photos, such as a man holding a gun in another man's mouth. Finally, participants competed against an opponent in a task that allowed them to give their opponent a controllable blast of loud noise. The level of noise blast the participants set for their opponent was the measure of aggression.

 

The researchers found that participants who played one of several popular violent games, such as "Call of Duty," "Hitman," "Killzone" and "Grand Theft Auto," set louder noise blasts for their opponents during the competitive task that is, they were more aggressive than participants who played a nonviolent game. In addition, for participants that had not played many violent video games before completing the study, playing a violent game in the lab caused a reduced brain response to the photos of violence an indicator of desensitization. Moreover, this reduced brain response predicted participants' aggression levels: the smaller the brain response to violent photos, the more aggressive participants were. Participants who had already spent a lot of time playing violent video games before the study showed small brain response to the violent photos, regardless of which type of game they played in the lab.

 

"The fact that video game exposure did not affect the brain activity of participants who already had been highly exposed to violent games is interesting and suggests a number of possibilities," Bartholow said. "It could be that those individuals are already so desensitized to violence from habitually playing violent video games that an additional exposure in the lab has very little effect on their brain responses. There also could be an unmeasured factor that causes both a preference for violent video games and a smaller brain response to violence. In either case, there are additional measures to consider."

 

Bartholow said that future research should focus on ways to moderate media violence effects, especially among individuals who are habitually exposed. He cites surveys that indicate that the average elementary school child spends more than 40 hours a week playing video games more than any other activity besides sleeping. As young children spend more time with video games than any other forms of media, the researchers say children could become accustomed to violent behavior as their brains are forming.

 

"More than any other media, these video games encourage active participation in violence," said Bartholow. "From a psychological perspective, video games are excellent teaching tools because they reward players for engaging in certain types of behavior. Unfortunately, in many popular video games, the behavior is violence."

 

Other authors in the study include Christopher Engelhardt, graduate student in the MU Department of Psychological Sciences, and researchers from The Ohio State University and VU University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The journal article, "This Is Your Brain on Violent Video Games: Neural Desensitization to Violence Predicts Increased Aggression Following Violent Video Game Exposure," will be published in a forthcoming edition of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

 

Link: http://munews.missou...ri-study-finds/

Edited by thinker_jeff
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Although if you try to get a grip on this issue on a population basis, you have to explain why there has been a dramatic drop in crime rates everywhere in the developed world ever since violent video games came into popularity.

 

I think we always have to be extremely suspicious whenever science, especially the science of pure statistical correlations without any demonstration of actual causal mechanisms, just happens to support programs of social control, censorship, and stultification desired by social busy-bodies. For example, the Hope Commission study in Ontario in 1950 'found' that mandatory Christian religious training should be maintained in Ontario public schools because it had been 'demonstrated' to be the best way to increase and maintain public support for democracy. Similarly, a survey in 1959 showed that half of all U.S. medical students believed that masturbation was physically harmful.

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Although if you try to get a grip on this issue on a population basis, you have to explain why there has been a dramatic drop in crime rates everywhere in the developed world ever since violent video games came into popularity.

No, I disagree.

The crime rates are much much more complicate issues than effect of violent video games. There are a lot of factors related with crime rates in which violent video game is only one of them. Richness may be a positive factor to reduce the crime rate which has been a dramatic increase in the developed world. Scientists have to design experiments to study the factors one by one, typically not all together.

 

I think we always have to be extremely suspicious whenever science, especially the science of pure statistical correlations without any demonstration of actual causal mechanisms, just happens to support programs of social control, censorship, and stultification desired by social busy-bodies. For example, the Hope Commission study in Ontario in 1950 'found' that mandatory Christian religious training should be maintained in Ontario public schools because it had been 'demonstrated' to be the best way to increase and maintain public support for democracy. Similarly, a survey in 1959 showed that half of all U.S. medical students believed that masturbation was physically harmful.

Yes. Not only the publics should be suspicious to the conclusion of a science research, other scientists should be suspicious also. It happened and happens all the time and is a part of culture of science.

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The studies tend to be more inconclusive than most give credit. Here are a few and an article above publication bias;

http://www.tamiu.edu/~cferguson/MVJPED.pdf

http://www.apa.org/monitor/2010/12/virtual-violence.aspx

http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/faculty/caa/abstracts/2000-2004/01ab.pdf

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110420164422.htm

 

On the mention if Tom and Jerry playful type violence or realistic violence would be more prone to cause violence I would say the best way to check off-hand without a study is look at the place the cartoons originated and their crime rates. Anime violence tends to be incredibly more realistically violent, in the blood and gore sense, than the US's cartoon violence (Since I'm from the states I don't know what kind of cartoons are played in Europe). Now the violent crime rate in Japan and other Asian countries pales in comparison with the violent crime rate in the states. But then again there are tons of other factors that would need to be introduced, but the same can be said when saying media/game/cartoon violence = real violence.

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To go back to my earlier examples, however, are any of today's cartoons any more violent and horrifying than the children's stories on which generations of children were brought up since the Middle Ages? Hansel and Gretel being captured and fattened up in a cage by a blind witch so she can eat them; Billy Goat Gruff having to race across a bridge so that he is not captured and eaten by a troll living right under the bridge; a demented dwarf, Rumpelstillskin, conspiring to steal away the infant of a young woman, who when thwarted commits suicide before her eyes by stamping himself into the ground, etc., are stories more truly hideous than those usually represented in cartoons, which tend to make violence comical in some way rather than dwell on its horror, as traditional folklore for children does.

 

There is a lot to be said for the theory that what children most need to learn is how to face horror and find the best ways to deal with it, rather than be shielded from the fact that it exists. It seems that these ancient fairy tales recognized that, but now psychologists are trying to make an industry out of the few things they can do, so they have seized on the public's natural concerns about protecting children, and the media eager for anything to entertain people by frightening them dutifully cooperates.

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Scientists have known for years that playing violent video games causes players to become more aggressive. The findings of a new University of Missouri (MU) study provide one explanation for why this occurs: the brains of violent video game players become less responsive to violence, and this diminished brain response predicts an increase in aggression.

 

"Many researchers have believed that becoming desensitized to violence leads to increased human aggression. Until our study, however, this causal association had never been demonstrated experimentally," said Bruce Bartholow, associate professor of psychology in the MU College of Arts and Science.

 

During the study, 70 young adult participants were randomly assigned to play either a nonviolent or a violent video game for 25 minutes. Immediately afterwards, the researchers measured brain responses as participants viewed a series of neutral photos, such as a man on a bike, and violent photos, such as a man holding a gun in another man's mouth. Finally, participants competed against an opponent in a task that allowed them to give their opponent a controllable blast of loud noise. The level of noise blast the participants set for their opponent was the measure of aggression.

First of all, this is what I was talking about. It is easy to find a study that agrees with your point of view (either for or against video games increase violence).

 

But, look again at that study. It doesn't show any long term increase in violence. It only shows a short term increase. Which can be attributed to increased adrenaline, testosterone and such. There have been studies that show increased adrenaline and testosterone increases aggresion.

 

And, violent video games will cause an increase in adrenaline and testosterone, so I am not at all surprised that immediately after they played a violent game they had increased aggression.

 

"The fact that video game exposure did not affect the brain activity of participants who already had been highly exposed to violent games is interesting and suggests a number of possibilities," Bartholow said. "It could be that those individuals are already so desensitized to violence from habitually playing violent video games that an additional exposure in the lab has very little effect on their brain responses. There also could be an unmeasured factor that causes both a preference for violent video games and a smaller brain response to violence. In either case, there are additional measures to consider."

Actually that conclusion is assumes that violent games cause violence. You get that so much with such studies.

 

The thing is people exposed to violent video games could just as easily learnt to deal with the increased adrenaline and testosterone and so they don't react to it. That would mean that they would end up less prone to violence than people who haven't learnt to control themselves in such situations.

 

But that is my point: These studies are virtually worthless because you can cherry pick the result you want and assume a conclusion not actually supported by the study to reach the conclusion you want.

 

The link is tenuous at best because they didn't look at long term effects, they only looked at the short term effects and didn't account for the fact that the neuo-chemicals that are produced in stressful situations cause the exact effects they are reporting.

 

These same effects have been seen by people who undergo stressful situations. You may have even experienced it yourself (I have). When you get into a stressful situation (and non-violent), you will still react more aggressively (for a short period of time afterwards too) than you would in a non stressful situation. People who play violent games more are better at them and would considder them less stressful, so you would not expect them to have as strong (or any) reaction like that.

 

So really, all this study shows is that stressful situations make people more aggressive. That is not something new at all.

 

Bartholow said that future research should focus on ways to moderate media violence effects, especially among individuals who are habitually exposed. He cites surveys that indicate that the average elementary school child spends more than 40 hours a week playing video games – more than any other activity besides sleeping. As young children spend more time with video games than any other forms of media, the researchers say children could become accustomed to violent behavior as their brains are forming.

I agree that playing too much video games is bad. Mainly because it reduces the physical activity children get. Also, if a child has not learnt to deal with certain themes and content, then that can be bad too.

 

However, the studies are inconclusive. There are so many that seem to show that they increase violence (but have the problem that the study you linked to has) and there are studies that show no causal link either (which have their own problems too). I think it is too inconclusive to make a judgement on it. It is not definite enough to say they increase (have no effect, or even decrease) violence. And anyone that uses it one way or the other is just pushing an agender without any conclusive supporting evidence.

 

"More than any other media, these video games encourage active participation in violence," said Bartholow. "From a psychological perspective, video games are excellent teaching tools because they reward players for engaging in certain types of behavior. Unfortunately, in many popular video games, the behavior is violence."

Football and many sports also "encourage active participation in violence". Think of american football, you are encouraged to slam into people and try to knock them down. Essentially you are fighting them.

 

But nobody seems to think sport is a bad thing for children, in fact it is just the opposite, sport is encouraged in children. I see thins as kind of hypocritical, especially when one is fantasy violence and the other is real violence.

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But that is my point: These studies are virtually worthless because you can cherry pick the result you want and assume a conclusion not actually supported by the study to reach the conclusion you want.

Like I said in post #14, skepticism in science is necessary. However, when you say "these studies are virtually worthless" I think you have gone too far. Due to the complication in social psychology we have very few studies to result the absolute conclusions. If you used such standard, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology would be worthless, and the peers who reviewed the research would be worthless as well.

I think such study provided valuable information about certain impact of violent video games. Yes, the impact was short-term effect in the study so that we need to study the long-term effect next. What's wrong with that? Why can't we publish the short-term effect first?

Some scientists like to assume a conclusion too soon, and some others like to be skeptical. That is all right. Each side can do their work to find the truth which will help the research in this field.

Personnally, I will try to tell my children about this study and ask them what would be the long-term impact if they played such game very much.

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Like I said in post #14, skepticism in science is necessary. However, when you say "these studies are virtually worthless" I think you have gone too far. Due to the complication in social psychology we have very few studies to result the absolute conclusions. If you used such standard, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology would be worthless, and the peers who reviewed the research would be worthless as well.

I think such study provided valuable information about certain impact of violent video games. Yes, the impact was short-term effect in the study so that we need to study the long-term effect next. What's wrong with that? Why can't we publish the short-term effect first?

Some scientists like to assume a conclusion too soon, and some others like to be skeptical. That is all right. Each side can do their work to find the truth which will help the research in this field.

Personnally, I will try to tell my children about this study and ask them what would be the long-term impact if they played such game very much.

The reason I called it worthless is because the effect of adrenaline and other stress hormones on aggression were well known (and were the exact effects reported), but they dismissed these already known results in favour of the result they were trying to prove.

 

Essentially, the only "new" information that can be got from that is that stressful situations video games can be stressful.

 

They tried to push the violence aspect, and pass that off as being the cause, when the actual cause was already well known.

 

Imagine this scenario: I let people take a known pain killer (say aspirin, but then make sure they only take blue coloured tablets.

 

I then make the claim that blue coloured tablets releave pain.

 

I would not get such a paper published.

 

But these people did exactly that. They took a known effect (that stressful situations make people more aggressive) and then put that in a certain situation (violent games) and then said it was the violent games that did it.

 

Sorry, there is already a known factor that accounts for the effect, then you can't just publish something else as causing that effect unless you show the original cause was either not present or not in effect (and violent games are stressful), or the effect was greater than the original cause can account for.

 

Not only that, they published results that actually disprove their conclusions by the results of player who played the violent games a lot, but didn't get the same brain activity. Did it occur to them that players who are use to playing those games would not be as stressed by the situation than players who don't play them often?

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The reason I called it worthless is because the effect of adrenaline and other stress hormones on aggression were well known (and were the exact effects reported), but they dismissed these already known results in favour of the result they were trying to prove.

 

Essentially, the only "new" information that can be got from that is that stressful situations video games can be stressful.

You said "video games can be stressful" that I agree with you. The game players on both of violent game and non-violent game should be all stressful, and should be all effected to their adrenaline and other stress hormones. The difference of adrenaline and other stress hormones on aggression between these playings had not be published.

 

They took a known effect (that stressful situations make people more aggressive) and then put that in a certain situation (violent games) and then said it was the violent games that did it.

 

Sorry, there is already a known factor that accounts for the effect, then you can't just publish something else as causing that effect unless you show the original cause was either not present or not in effect (and violent games are stressful), or the effect was greater than the original cause can account for.

Here is still the same logical problem - You assume that violent games are stressful but non-violent games are not. Do you have a source to support that?

 

Not only that, they published results that actually disprove their conclusions by the results of player who played the violent games a lot, but didn't get the same brain activity. Did it occur to them that players who are use to playing those games would not be as stressed by the situation than players who don't play them often?

This is good evidence that the player who played the violent games a lot before might have long-term effect on aggression. Quote: "the smaller the brain response to violent photos, the more aggressive participants were. Participants who had already spent a lot of time playing violent video games before the study showed small brain response to the violent photos, regardless of which type of game they played in the lab."

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  • 3 months later...
Guest lab_supplies

A good alternative is to have your kids read. Then after work when you get home you can actually play games with them. Bond more with them and become best of friends.

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A good alternative is to have your kids read. Then after work when you get home you can actually play games with them. Bond more with them and become best of friends.

 

Kids don't prefer reading these days. What majority would love reading would be comics or novels and they can be full of violence some times.

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  • 2 weeks later...

While it has been shown that TV effects your subconscious, it depends on how much they watch it. If kids watch a LOT of violent cartoons, it will definitely effect them and make them more dsensatized and violent. The reason for this is because of the fact that our bodies and brains are not completely adapted for modern human society. While we may consciously think that it is just fiction, your brain still sees those violent actions and treats them as if they were real, as if real threats were around causing the violent sounds, as if you needed to be more hostile in order to survive after seeing blood spray everywhere.

However, there's also that process that Cornell brought up which is that your brain's memory capability for a specific thing halves over time. So the more time kids take between seeing violent things, the more their brain "forgets" about those violent things.

Edited by questionposter
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there not violent

and so what is they r ?

my father let me watch ''saving private ryan '' .. now im 13 years old and i understand everithing u say in the phsisics part.. what does thet tell you? that im not a mass murderer

and we should learn children about violece not just hide from it , they will encounter it when they get to school anywais

thats like when i watch some cartoon about king arthur and they dont kill each other, they just smack eachother to the head.. i mean really ..

and then they never show blood in cartoons, well blood is a natural part of us its not something scary , thats like censuring the nose or something

i think the same abour pornography

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there not violent

and so what is they r ?

my father let me watch ''saving private ryan '' .. now im 13 years old and i understand everithing u say in the phsisics part.. what does thet tell you? that im not a mass murderer

and we should learn children about violece not just hide from it , they will encounter it when they get to school anywais

thats like when i watch some cartoon about king arthur and they dont kill each other, they just smack eachother to the head.. i mean really ..

and then they never show blood in cartoons, well blood is a natural part of us its not something scary , thats like censuring the nose or something

i think the same abour pornography

 

It doesn't matter if you consciously decide for yourself that something isn't violent, your subconscious views it differently.

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