Tuesday, February 12, 2013

"The ‘Die Hard’ Quandary": Guns, Games, Media Violence & Drones - See Enders Game! Again! & join FridayLive! Feb 22! tlt.gs/frlv

What is the correlation of local gun violence in the United States with

  • Easy access to guns, especially military level guns
  • Frequent use of violent video games
  • Frequent viewing of violent movies, TV, news
  • Mental illness
  • Unsuccessful learning

What is the correlation of passive acceptance of gun violence with those factors?

How safe can anyone feel when young men selected to operate weaponized drone aircrafts for the U. S. military have been raised on an emotional diet rich in violent video games, violent movies, violent television, violent news, ... where there are no real consequences for their own aggressive actions?

If you haven't recently read (or reread)  Enders Game by Orson Scott Card, I urge you to do so with the previous questions in mind.   Also see:
"Educ Video Games w Real/Virtual Missiles? DISTURBING VIDEO..." TLT-SWG blog posting re Enders Game

We need to untangle these factors and develop constructive educational strategies to avoid even greater future catastrophes.  Join our discussion online "Thinking about Violence in our Learning Spaces," FridayLive!  February 22, 2013  2:00-3:00 pm ET - online, highly interactive, free to all - Guest presenter/facilitator:  Steven Bell, Temple University

We want our learning spaces to be safe - not only safe for sharing ideas but safe from physical danger. Despite our best efforts we cannot always prevent violence on campus.

And see excerpts below from  "The ‘Die Hard’ Quandary," by Joe Nocera, and "Shooting in the Dark," by Benedict Carey, both in the New York Times Feb 12, 2013.

"The ‘Die Hard’ Quandary," by Joe Nocera, The New York Times, February 11, 2013 online, February 12, 2013 p. A27

..."What got me thinking about “Die Hard” — and guns in the movies more generally — is, of course, the furious gun debate since the killings in Newtown, Conn.
..."This is, quite simply, untrue. 'There is tons of research on this,' says Joanne Cantor, professor emerita of communications at the University of Wisconsin, and an expert on the effect of violent movies and video games. 'Watching violence makes kids feel they can use violence to solve a problem. It brings increased feelings of hostility. It increases desensitization.' Every parent understands this instinctively, of course, but those instincts are backed by decades of solid research."
..."Violent video games and movies, he went on to say, are certainly not the only factor that can lead someone to commit an act of gun violence. 'If someone has no other risk factors, he can play Grand Theft Auto all day and never commit a violent act. But if he has a number of the other risk factors. ...' Anderson let the thought hang."
"Shooting in the Dark," by Benedict Carey, Feb 11, 2013 online, Feb 12, 2013 p. D1, The New York Times
"The young men who opened fire at Columbine High School, at the movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and in other massacres had this in common: they were video gamers who seemed to be acting out some dark digital fantasy. It was as if all that exposure to computerized violence gave them the idea to go on a rampage — or at least fueled their urges.
"But did it really?
"Social scientists have been studying and debating the effects of media violence on behavior since the 1950s, and video games in particular since the 1980s. The issue is especially relevant today, because the games are more realistic and bloodier than ever, and because most American boys play them at some point. Girls play at lower rates and are significantly less likely to play violent games.
..."The research falls into three categories: short-term laboratory experiments; longer-term studies, often based in schools; and correlation studies — between playing time and aggression, for instance, or between video game sales and trends in violent crime.
 ...“'None of these extreme acts, like a school shooting, occurs because of only one risk factor; there are many factors, including feeling socially isolated, being bullied, and so on,' said Craig A. Anderson, a psychologist at Iowa State University. 'But if you look at the literature, I think it’s clear that violent media is one factor; it’s not the largest factor, but it’s also not the smallest.'
..."In surveys about 80 percent of high school-age boys say they play video games, most of which are thought to be violent, and perhaps a third to a half of those players have had a habit of 10 hours a week or more.
..."It may be that playing video games for hours every day keeps people off the streets who would otherwise be getting into trouble. It could be that the games provide 'an outlet' that satisfies violent urges in some players — a theory that many psychologists dismiss but that many players believe."

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