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March 29, 2008

Addicted to 'violent porn'

What would you say if you found your 12-year-old watching people being beheaded, mutilated bodies and human beings, either dead or suffering? Or if your 10-year-old daughter demanded a breast implant? Or would you prefer your 15-year-old were part of an online suicide cult?

The latest entrant into the list of child predators – along with pedophiles and teachers who dish out corporal punishment – is the World Wide Web. According to a 1999 report published by the US Senate Committee, “by age 18 a child will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence.” Through movies, television, video games, newspapers and the mother of all database, the Internet. Increasingly adults and children alike are getting addicted to violence and violent imagery on the Internet and the terminology being used for this addiction is 'violent-porn'.

How would you feel if one of your deceased relatives’ pictures suddenly popped up on a website that publishes real pictures of dead people, those in accidents, with mutilated limbs and suicide pictures taken from police files?

One such family wrote to a website claiming the site had put up a picture that showed the mangled body of their nephew, who had killed himself by getting in the path of a train. They requested the site to remove the picture. The website replied, “We ask that, in the future, this family conduct their suicides in a less public manner.” Sensitive, right?

Freedom of speech and expression are beautiful tenets of this modern world. But does it stop somewhere, should it? What is worrying – more than the presence of such sites – is the fact that it is the susceptible minds of children that are getting hooked.

Popular sites such as ‘Who Would You Kill’ and ‘New Grounds’ focus on killing off celebrities of your choice. The latter is the 12th most popular site for boys aged 11-12 years old. If it’s violence for the boys, it’s plastic surgery for the girls. The Daily Mail reported how a new Internet video game called ‘Bimbo’ has caught the fancy of young girls. Launched a month ago the game has nearly 200,000 British players, most aged 9-16 years.

What’s wrong with the game? Nothing if you see it as a spoof. But does a 9-year-old understand it’s a spoof when she orders breast implants for her ‘Bimbo’ or puts her ‘Bimbo’ on dieting pills? Is it all harmless fun or are we looking at a generation of young girls growing up thinking bigger breasts and a stick-thin figure are what they need and young boys learning to love violence and mutilation? Or are we all over-reacting?
Next Page >>> Who’s responsibility is it?

12 comments:

dRoZzY!!! said...

the source of my desire to kill comes from within my XBox undoubtedly.
what you state is like the Sub-prime Crisis coming our way.
to secure my physical future i wish to retreat to the stone age.

Spectator said...

i dont know if killing virtual characters is a social crime. but i do feel great and quite relieved when i play counter strike or quake ....

Dark Star said...

over reaction i suppose. I grew up on a steady stream of rambo, terminator, debbie does dallas and basic instinct... i turned out just fine! hehe

Its a jungle out there and the kids have to be prepared. I say we should let kids have firearms so that they can kill themselves and that way we can accelerate the decimation of the miserable human race.

love

Dr. Evil

Mystique said...

Violence is terrible.
What we see now is desensitization towards violence.
the cyborgs you kill in CS and real, actual dead people are NOT the same........MOvie-death and actual death......not the same.
Omantel ISP probably blocks the websites you speak of....
that's good. For all of us impressionables who live here.

Kazarelth said...

I was just strolling through the Blogosphere when I landed on your front porch, and, since, I am not one to mince words; this post irked me. Quite a few reasons, but because of its relative inaccuracy and age when citing references: For example the online game aimed at teenage girls is called Miss Bimbo, and not just ‘Bimbo’. The diet pills option has been removed for quite some time, so much so that even Wikipedia has that news story in its citation.

And the other alleged violence-inspiring site: Newgrounds {It is one word, as opposed to the two-words you have used} is actually a Flash-portal. A place where Adobe-Flash animated films and games are regularly posted and rated. Now, it has a ‘mature’ section where you can do a lot of things. This “killing-off” of celebrities is something that is done in a funny manner. No sick colons strewn around to be feasted upon by maggots and no rolling-eyeballs. For heaven’s sake it’s a place of entertainment. If we can see Tom and Jerry, (and more recently, Scrat from the Ice Age movies) and laugh, why can’t we do the same with this?

Secondly, I wanted to understand the purpose of this post. Why have video games suddenly appeared from nowhere? I am an out-and-out gamer, and have been so since I was seven-years old. I have not killed thirty-five people in a random fit of rage. And, most importantly, I (as do quite a large majority of internet users who also game, and watch action movies with lots of violence (Read: A mister Q. Tarantino) ) do not get turned-on (so to speak) when I see the mangled bodies of people I have just killed with my Scorpion-Sword/Chainsaw/BigBadaBoomMachineThingGun, which you have hinted at when you use the term “violent-porn”.

This brings me to my next point. I do believe that if there is any such thing as “violent-porn”, it must be BDSM, quite obviously. Violence, but that’s fine in BDSM since most of the adherents are ‘switchable’ sadomasochists. But, I do not understand your use of the word “porn”. Do clarify. (And no, just because it’s addictive, it does not become porn. I am addicted to chocolate. It does not mean I am going to have an orgasm when I see a Bournville shaped like a penis inserted into a Milkybar that is shaped like a female apparatus. {Nestle and Cadbury’s should not mix, anyway})

A quote from this gem of a post: “According to a 1999 report published by the US Senate Committee”. Isn’t that a little too old for a post that has been published in 2008? Nine years. I am sure children are exposed to at least ninety times that number.
I hope you find flaws in my comment. Because I have found one-too many in your’s.

Eve* aka jb said...

I like the responses here.
Drozzy & Spectator, I dont know about relieved or not, but i like both those games as well. My problem is with sites like rotten.com. It's not even a 'problem' per se, there's just something that bothers me about putting up pictures of a woman who was hacked by a lover and other such stuff... When I read stories about serial murderers -- Natural Born Killers is a movie i really like and the storyline interestingly has contributions by Q Tarantino as mentioned by Kazarelth -- there is a part of me that says/asks, so how did s/he mutilate the bodies? Curiosity i can understand, but where does curiosity cross the limits and enter into the macabre?

Hello Kazarelth,
Not much flaws can be found with your opinions posted here, quite enlightening in fact. Except, do notice that New Grounds does not mention the portal name in complete, when mentioned with the dot com add on, it would be named as such. Have taken particular care in not naming the sites as they are. And did check it out for self, wasnt the flash thing that came on here. And who the hell said that killng someone or anyone -- albeit in a funny manner - is acceptable? Having said that, am all for humour, even twisted humour. As for Tom & Jerry and Scrat, there is much debate on how T &J promote violence in kids, have always had a problem with that. However, all three characters are fictional as opposed to say dismembering Pamela Anderson. The purpose of this post was to introduce a new so-called survey that apparently has parents worrying about their kids and internet safety. As for Q tarantino, have serious doubts whether or not he DOES get turned on, the gore faction in his movies has steadily been increasing. Again, the people you kill are fictionalised; and fiction has myriad effects on different people. You and at times me, kill 'people' to move on to the next level, some others though derive a certain different pleasure from it. The post clearly speaks of effects on children and adolescents. And no, BDSM is not necessarily violent-porn. There IS an art of lashing you know; it's delivered in a way that the pain is unbearable yet bearable and not with an intention to kill. 'Violent porn' is a fairly new term and something i came across in another article. It fit. 'Porn' for long has been classified as sexual perversion, i dont see why it needs to remain that. The world is 'progressing', addictions in different forms and versions and increasing and high time perhaps that certain definitions got an image haul. Am sure children are exposed to 90 times that number too, show me another research that says so and would gladly quote it.
Having said so, like your response and the fact that you wrote in with your view points.
Rgds

Maxine said...

When Bungies Halo 2 came out in 2004, it did a $125 million at retail in the first 24hrs!Video games are soon becoming a devotion,a cult,an art form.
Or lets say,these multibillion dollar industry is capable of
molding the minds of this generation to make it something like a religion.Now there is this website I hear lots of kids are addicted to.It gives out $2000 in hush money,where they can buy a virtual pet,buy or trade stuffs for their pet or do work like baby sitting etc and earn more virtual cash.In one look it may seem that this website is making kids learn about how to make or spend money wisely.But on the other hand isnt it another plot to mold these kids into greedy consumers?

Get out to the mall and you see kids 'wheeling'around in a shoe that has a small wheel underneath.And I'm thinking...why didnt I think of that?? What a cool way to attract kids and mint money!Once it becomes'cool',then every one wants it.Peer pressure,they say.Now who care if a study says addictives and
hyper activity are linked!As long as some people make a lots of money,who cares if this 'killing' would make him to be a real killer or not.

I say choose the game.Know the story.Mostly parents have less time
or interest in knowing what their kids know or wants to know.
Next thing is exercise machines that has video games in it, to fight obesity in kids!
Oh well.Tomorrow I'm gonna be Tendulkar and hit some sixers sitting on my exercise bike.

Maxine said...

umm..I didnt like that Tendulkar thing.I will save the world from aliens.Yeah.

Kazarelth said...

I am still not quite likely to accept an overload of violence as "porn". I mean, c'mon. It's not something that is perverted. Perversion is a state of mind, anyway. E.g. I used to watch PowerPuff Girls and made fun of most of the words and actions... with a sexually perverted twinge to it. Later, when I was addicted to e2, I searched for PPG and this is what I got. I was highly surprised, and genuinely amused. My friend on Twitter also concurred the fact. Now, perversion on CN is unacceptable, yet children watch it. As you said, they don't get the insider joke.

A question, though. What do you mean by, "some others though derive a certain different pleasure from it"?

As such, I am partially SM. But that has practically nothing to do with the games I've been playing for... for as long as my memory serves me!

Gaming, on the other hand, has increased my imaginative prowess, as well as my curiosity. I remember , way back in '98 (I think), as an eight-year old kid I played the Scottish campaign in Age of Empires 2. I was fascinated. So much so that when Braveheart released, I watched it. It was a violent film. Absolutely violent. That did not stop me from watching, admiring and rhapsodising about the dialogues ("Are you ready for a war?!", "I am William Wallace!"). Now, it can't be helped if there are some kids with a low self-esteem and an even lower IQ go about fantasising about what they've seen on TV and go about trying to make it real.

That said, I was actually thoroughly irked because your other posts are well written and they read well too. This one, on the other hand, seemed too vague. Hope you keep writing articles like the previous ones!

***

P.S. I hate slow connections. I hate slow connections via Tata Indicom's dialer.
DO NOT buy Kajol's bull.

Eve* aka JB said...

Ek to this Twitter thing, I tried it, couldnt make head nor tail of it and high-tailed it. Educate. As for slow connections and Kajol's bull, JOIN the gang. Brrrr. And watch your bill, Tata has a way of adding digits that you'd have nothing to do with. If you can go in for a datacard, try Huawei, dunno if they also have non-datacard connection options.

Haan about this post, would agree that it's not my usual style or writing (dont know about others being well-written etc, readers are the judge). Confession: Was given a research/survey and asked to make an article. Have always had a problem with random surveys. That said, there IS a reason why certain sites and certain games need to be watched.

"It can't be helped if there are some kids with a low self-esteem and an even lower IQ go about fantasising about what they've seen on TV and go about trying to make it real."

That is the point being raised, no one is asking for a ban or removal or sponsorship. Personally, i feel that it is TOTALLY a parents' responsibility to see what their kids are upto. Like taking kids to a BBQ: there is an open fire, watch your child and dont expect the host not to have open fires or stand guard for your child.
Make sense?

Eve* aka JB said...

and I LOVE Braveheart. :) Was the first movie I saw "alone". Sigh. 1997.

Kazarelth said...

Haha no. I am not at base (Read: Calcutta), and so I have to use Dad's Tata Indicom thingus. I prefer my phone's unlimited GPRS (BSNL ftw!), and at home, I love broadband. (Again BSNL ftw!)

Moving on, I think parents should have a regimented control over their kids till they're around 12-13 years old. After that, the "iwanttobefree" cry kicks in. {FINE! I am biased.}
However, it should seriously be flexible. Depends upon the kid.

Regarding Twitter: This video will clear things out. (Hopefully)

Regarding post quality: Yes. That happens. the other posts are quite nice. I'll sneak in from time to time~ (haha).