A Review of Gerald Jones’ Writing, Violent Media is Good for Kids

According to Gerald Jones, violent media can have positive effects on young people because many feel small and inadequate which internalizes a learned fear and belittlement. The world is a vast and aggressive place, and if one does not fight for what they want, or have any confidence, they have a small chance at success or survival. Prior to reading his first Marvel comic, Jones was a very sheltered individual who was discouraged by his parents to participate in the average activities that his pears engaged in. His very strict parents told him early on that violence and aggression were wrong and disabled him from enjoying these types of medias such as video games and super heroes.

Jones also believes that violent media are a positive influence on children because despite the aggressiveness and violence, several important lessons can be derived from such medias. If it wasn’t for the Hulk and other sorts of superheroes, young Jones may have never been able to break his cycle of shyness (Jones,2016). Whether or not such conclusions are accurate or not, Jones makes a convincing argument for his own personal experiences with violent media, however, he places very little regard for the opposing side of this topic.

In his essay, Jones makes some good points regarding the idea that these violent medias are necessary for young boys. For example, he says that “Children need violent entertainment in order to explore the inescapable feelings that they’ve been taught to deny, and to reintegrate those feelings into a more whole, more complex, more resilient selfhood” (65). Jones properly reveals to audiences that young boys have a natural tendency to bottle up such emotions when unable to express them in appropriate settings such as reading a comic book about fighting evil.

This quote exemplifies his own personal experiences that he undergone as a child. It was not until he was able to engage in these medias that he conquered his shyness and fears (Jones, 2016). However, throughout this article, Jones seldomly discusses the opposing side of these views. It is only discussed briefly towards the beginning. This indicates to audience members that Jones is quite bias in his claims. He feels a certain opinion on this topic and disregards all others who have different views.

Also, the author fails to acknowledge that individuals react to violence in different ways. Just because his son and him both were able to benefit from such medias, does not necessarily determine that other young boys will react similarly. For instance, in Psychology there is learned behavior, which increasingly explains how one will act according to what they see. As CNN has attested in the news report “Computer game portrays active shooter”. This computer game depicted the real motives of a school shooter, only helping children learn the behavior and in other bring fear to them (CNN,2018).

Under no circumstances at all, do I feel that such a computer game should be deemed appropriate for any age group at all. Such events have been increasingly popular within the United States within the last couple years. Numerous innocent children have lost their lives, and in my opinion way too many details and news casts follow such tragic events. It is apparent that such recognition of these events portrayed in media are fueling the fire, which more and more accounts of this occurring. Creating a video game out of this is only going to make matters worse. Such ideas completely contradict the views of Jones and he makes no realizations to such ideas within his entire essay.

All and all, Jones puts a lot of effort revealing his own personal experiences of the matter. However, his experiences do not necessarily reflect those of others. Nor, does he even for a second try to think of the opposing side or outcomes. This makes the author not only bias, but unreliable as well. Initially, I agreed with numerous components of what Jones was stating, however, after realizing the truth of the matter (that only his stance was stated), I began to look at this topic more logically. In some sense, this type of violence can be a wonderful outlet, but for the majority, it does more harm than good. Boys can relieve this aggression in healthier ways, such as sports or debates. Such alternatives were not considered even once throughout this essay; however, each option appears to accomplish the task at hand in a healthier manner.

While some may argue the authenticity and validity of the points made by Jones, I cannot agree with what he is stating. Jones does not take into account many other factors that are necessary for understanding the situation at hand. He fails to acknowledge the opposing side, past research on the topic, or even the current state of violence growing in the United States. When games are being created that mimic actual events, such as school shootings, the need for an outlet is diminished. If one must reenact the horrific scenes of a school shooting in order to lose their shyness, then we have a larger problem at hand.

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