It’s Not You, It’s Me.

23 05 2012

This is a reflection that wants me to be honest. This is being posted on my blog, which is the place to be honest. I personally believe that honesty is the best policy. So here it goes…

I hope that you have by this stage picked up on what I have been trying to following during the last few months, because I have been told that it has gotten a bit murky from time to time. What I have been trying to look at is the classification standards of content in Australia. I haven’t really limited it to just video games or movies, but in the last few posts that I’ve published, the focus has been on video games.

I chose this issue because it is something that struck me as interesting because I don’t understand why a lot of games and movies seemingly embrace violent content in the modern age to sell and promote their products. This might have something to do with the fact that I get queasy watching violent films where there is intentional bloodshed and injury of others.  But I hear you ask how I can handle contact sports where the spillage of blood is unpredictable and often quite severe. Well, the difference is that in sport, the aim is to stop your opponent without injuring them.

When I first decided that I wanted to look closely at this as my issue, I went straight to Google. From there I set up an email alert for ‘classification standards in Australia’; this did not go well. I set up an email alert after previous success with other alerts that were indeed very helpful. I thought that this might be the same; that was the plan anyway. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I remember one time getting an email alerting me to the classification standards to farming in Australia.

When it dawned on me that this was a bad idea, I just began checking Google on a regular basis searching various statements that related to ‘videogame violence and regulations’. This wasn’t to flash either. It might sound at this point that I’m whining about how hard it was, and if I am, I apologise, because I don’t know how many others did the same as me, but I do know of a few.

The reason that I struggled to find sources is because I’m unlucky. No, just kidding. The reason is because a lot of what I found were more opinion pieces by users on the net. While this was interesting and slightly helpful in itself, it wasn’t what I was after.

In the end though, I came across a few pieces that took samples of games and dissected them in different ways to one another. What a lot of them showed was that even though surveys involving different types of gaming had been done many times, even fewer surveys showing the effect of video game on participants had been undertaken.

Throughout the session though, having attended most of the lectures and tutorials, I have come to an understanding that the media beats stories up a bit too much just to sell their papers or have viewers watch their shows. The way that this happens is that they claim that action b is the resulting affect of undertaking a. This is known as ‘cause and effect’. So in this case, playing violent video games leads to a distorted perception of reality. This is what I wanted to be able to find and show to you, and thought that I had struck gold when I heard about Alfred Bundura. But as it was pointed out to me, this experiment happened in a controlled environment. And when I think about it, I guess his findings were not the most conclusive after all; especially given that nearly all my friends play violent videos games and don’t show any signs of wanting to imitate what they’ve just partaken in, in fact most of them are quite the opposite.

When the media has blown the story out of proportion, we have than what is referred to as ‘moral panic’, which is pretty self-explanatory one would think. In hindsight, this is the illusion that I was under at the start of my blogging career. I’ve narrowed it down to two reasons why this might be; 1) because I get queasy easy, as previously mentioned, and 2) because this was what was pushed on me as a kid because it’s what my parents believed in. So I only ever played racing and sporting style games on my Playstation.

Admitting that I have struggled a bit in terms of finding good content to blog about will probably weigh heavily against me when this goes to get marked, but hey, at least you know now why my posts haven’t been the best of quality compared to what they could be, or even other peoples.

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