Cinematic Violence: Can Anything Be Justified?

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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: A History of Media Violence

#376 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:46 pm

Although even in the video game sphere I think there is a need to be careful. I find a lot of the Call of Duty games morally reprehensible (even before Kevin Spacey starred in one!), glamorising war to a hideous extent, though in recent times they diverted into futuristic and sci-fi conflicts rather than 'real world' ones. However the latest installment seemingly tried to recreate the controversy over the "No Russian" going undercover during a terrorist attack mission from back in 2009 with the scene of Piccadilly Circus terrorism, which is arguably in poor taste. Though at the same time why shouldn't art respond to real world fears, even in a blundering and trite manner?

The Errant Signal channel did a lot of great videos on this subject a few years back, talking of the way that violence in games is perhaps less a bloodthirsty approach by game developers but the path of least resistance in creating interactive media, especially compared to the complexities of designing a conversation (though the recently released Disco Elysium is taking that combination of skill checks and branching choices noted in that Errant Signal video to the next level in the way that it systematises a character's thought processes and has them all fighting against each other for dominance of their personality!)

And in a way I can forgive Call of Duty when that whole trend of modern warfare shooters ended up producing the astonishing Spec Ops: The Line that actually tried to deal with some of the glorification of conflict and deification of the soldier against an interchangeable warzone backdrop with a counter argument against all of it.

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therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Cinematic Violence: Can Anything Be Justified?

#377 Post by therewillbeblus » Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:06 pm

swo17 wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:20 pm
Or perhaps put another way, just because I can watch violent movies without becoming violent myself doesn't mean I can say that this isn't a serious issue
Exactly, I think that’s the pluralistic view that’s fair to adopt but beyond that declaration examining the multiple facets of a multifaceted issue seems like the logical step, as tenia proposes (though I think that question of “can it be harmful to anyone or just predisposed people ?” should be rephrased as “will it necessarily” since obviously many people experience life threatening consequences of drug/alcohol related events who don’t possess any genetic predisposition or traits that would lead to risk taking behavior..and also while genetic predisposition plays a role in addiction it’s not necessary for developing a severe drug use disorder).

I tend to lean towards a degree of light cynicism that most people are too uncomfortable to sit in the muck of the complex issues and are more likely to revert towards making declarations and focusing on a tangible one-issue point because it services the stability of the ego and worldview. This extends to politics, philosophy, relationships, and one’s personal values. It’s not a bad thing (if we spent all day dissecting this stuff we’d all go insane, get nothing done, and ignore our selves, friends, partners, responsibilities etc getting wrapped up on if reality is subjective) and I think it’s a healthy psychological protective mechanism we all use constantly - but when it comes to this issue if we (the royal “we”) just leave it at that and continue to place our attention in the neat little box of violence on screens, the narrow perspective won’t yield productive results since it’s not getting at the root cause. I’m not saying it’s not worth exploring at all, but I don’t think it’s actually being explored appropriately if not looking outside the scope of field.

To use my own work as an example, it would be like if I wrote a treatment plan and interventions that focused solely on one coping skill for one of my clients to stop his aggressive behavior. That’s worth doing for sure, but if I don’t also take the time to examine his thoughts and feelings, triggers/antecedents for violence, or consult his family about their dynamics and values to establish skills he can access in that social context, it’s not going to do much good and remain a surface level scratching while ignoring other elements. That doesn’t mean I need to help him tackle his core beliefs, implement every service imaginable in the home, etc. but considering more elements is best practice and is always going to lead to more truth behind the actual problems, as well as more interventions on how to address them.

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tenia
Ask Me About My Bassoon
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Re: Cinematic Violence: Can Anything Be Justified?

#378 Post by tenia » Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:12 pm

swo17 wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:20 pm
Or perhaps put another way, just because I can watch violent movies without becoming violent myself doesn't mean I can say that this isn't a serious issue
Iit seems common sense in a society abhoring violence (yet indulging daily in it in many indirect ways) that violent representations could be problematic for some people... but who exactly are these "some people" ? And are the issues violent movies or these predisposed people ?

These questions don't negate your point, which is (again) common sense. But our common sense often works in very abstract ways through cognitive biases, and it seems to me here that without being able to quantify even vaguely the size of the population triggered by on-screen violence, it's hard to be able to say if this is a serious issue or just a case of a few maniacs that would have been triggered by something at some point anyway.

But I do think humans are violent and crazy and can act purely on impulse for no logical reason, so that might cloud a bit my judgment on such a matter.

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therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Cinematic Violence: Can Anything Be Justified?

#379 Post by therewillbeblus » Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:32 pm

tenia wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:12 pm
But I do think humans are violent and crazy and can act purely on impulse for no logical reason, so that might cloud a bit my judgment on such a matter.
I consider myself more in step with the social-political philosophy of Hobbes than Locke, so I'm sorta with you there (but I think there is always logical reason, even if it's an internal logic that may be divorced from one's pre-frontal cortex in planning/weighing consequences) - though the amount of variables that are in play now simply from a biological domain, coupled with changes in human development's executive functioning and expansive considerations from social learning theoretical perspective, create a whole new bag of influences to wrestle with

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Moshrom
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 2:53 am
Location: Canada

Re: A History of Media Violence

#380 Post by Moshrom » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:00 pm

colinr0380 wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:46 pm
And in a way I can forgive Call of Duty when that whole trend of modern warfare shooters ended up producing the astonishing Spec Ops: The Line that actually tried to deal with some of the glorification of conflict and deification of the soldier against an interchangeable warzone backdrop with a counter argument against all of it.
I'm not too familiar with the Call of Duty franchise, but isn't it still regressive for a major game studio to exploit previous controversy with a later installment even if it already challenged that controversy with a game in between? I guess the more interesting question is whether intent changes argument when a corporation (or anyone) erratically acts progressive/regressive.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Cinematic Violence: Can Anything Be Justified?

#381 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:11 pm

Just speaking for myself here, and the percentage chance is low either way: I feel less likely to commit violence once I've played some Call of Duty.

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:25 am
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Re: Cinematic Violence: Can Anything Be Justified?

#382 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:02 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:11 pm
Just speaking for myself here, and the percentage chance is low either way: I feel less likely to commit violence once I've played some Call of Duty.
That said, real life monsters like Oliver North, who were directly involved in cruel, violent, and senseless military action was an advisor for the series at some point. I’m not sure if irl ghouls propagate violence in cinema. At least not literal war criminals like Oliver North.

That said, as a child and teen gamer, I grew up in the peak era of the ESRB, Mortal Kombat, and the fear of Doom post-Columbine and played numerous violent games and have yet to kill anyone. Yet!

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swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
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Re: Cinematic Violence: Can Anything Be Justified?

#383 Post by swo17 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:07 pm

The Elegant Dandy Fop wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:02 pm
mfunk9786 wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:11 pm
Just speaking for myself here, and the percentage chance is low either way: I feel less likely to commit violence once I've played some Call of Duty.
That said, real life monsters like Oliver North, who were directly involved in cruel, violent, and senseless military action was an advisor for the series at some point. I’m not sure if irl ghouls propagate violence in cinema.
Act of Killing? The Wire?

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:25 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Cinematic Violence: Can Anything Be Justified?

#384 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:18 pm

swo17 wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:07 pm
The Elegant Dandy Fop wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:02 pm
mfunk9786 wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:11 pm
Just speaking for myself here, and the percentage chance is low either way: I feel less likely to commit violence once I've played some Call of Duty.
That said, real life monsters like Oliver North, who were directly involved in cruel, violent, and senseless military action was an advisor for the series at some point. I’m not sure if irl ghouls propagate violence in cinema.
Act of Killing? The Wire?
Touche

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