Monday, April 18, 2005

An Answer for Roger Scruton

David Brooks of the New York Times


"The fact is, sex is more explicit everywhere - on "Desperate Housewives," on booty-quaking music videos, on the Internet - except in real life. As the entertainment media have become more sex-saturated, American teenagers have become more sexually abstemious. Teenage pregnancy rates have declined by about a third over the past 15 years. etc.."

And also:

"No doubt some people will continue these stale kabuki battles on into their graves: the 50's against the 60's, the same trumped-up outrage, the same self-congratulatory righteousness, the same fund-raising-friendly arguments again and again. But today's young people appear not to have taken a side in this war; they've just left it behind."

At last some sense. And could we now possibly continue in this same sensible state of mind and apply the same argument to simulated violence. Even if figures happen to show rising rates of violent crime, I'd be very happy to bet that simulated violence on TV has nothing to do with it. Other contributory factors are far more significant, not the least of which is the fact that children are forced to go to degrading schools where they are compelled to act the yob to survive.

Robert Winston, in the "Child of our Time" BBC documentary series, debunked the myth that simulated violence causes real violence. He featured a 5 year old boy who played 'Halo' and 'Time Splitters' almost to the exclusion of any other activity. This child turned out to be the most popular kid in his class, being both empathetic and a good problem solver. What is more, the boy, whilst teaching Winston the game on dual player and despite provocation from Winston, refused to take easy advantage of him.


Anonymous said...

Good point.

Is there alink to the Winston 'Halo & Timesplitters' boy?

Carlotta said...

The programme made the point much more strongly, but there is a semi-relevant paragraph at: