Saturday, February 16, 2008
There's been ongoing discussions for years now about violent media, such as films, television, and games, desensitising one to violence, and I'm going to have to go and say it's sadly true.
In complete contrast to my feel good story below, I found something a little disturbing recently. That company I work for does a show about murders and such, and one of our interns needed help scanning some pictures to be sent to one of the producers.
Those pictures happened to be actual archive footage of a young woman who was violently raped and murdered, explicitly graphic, bloody, and detailed.
When I looked at these pictures, I felt nothing. No revulsion, no sickness, nothing out of the ordinary beyond a "Wow. That's crappy." sort of thing.
Now I'm not calling myself or anyone else desensitised like me a monster or anything like that, because I _know_ the kind of good person that I am, but this brief experience really makes me wonder about the power of media.
The kind of pictures I saw are the exact style of graphic death shown in many of Burton's flicks, games like BioShock, etc., minus the nudity, of course, and I know the real thing didn't have any effect on me because in essence I've seen it all before.
Of course, desensitization isn't necessarily a bad thing or a good thing, people have been desensitised to violence long before media even existed, I just find it disturbing a bit how easy it is now for one to simply be able to overlook the extreme.