Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Reflections: Violent Entertainment

Halloween and violent horror movies pretty much go hand in hand. We've all heard the argument that violent video games, movies, and TV shows can desensitize us and make us violent ourselves.

Like most moms, my Mom hated violent video games. And like most boys, my brother and I love violent video games. Our Mom kept making us turn off Goldeneye, so we told her that the red stuff wasn't blood, it was just paint, we're in paintball mode. It didn't really explain away explosives, but it seemed to satisfy my Mom. She even wrote right on the cartridge,"Paintball ONLY, Permission Item". 

I have been a fan of the Resident Evil series ever since I watched my friend Sean play Resident Evil 2 on his PS1. When you play a Resident Evil game it's like you're inside a horror zombie flick! It just brings such a high of scary fun! Of course with a name like Resident Evil my Mom hated it right away. 

As far as movies go I tend to prefer older horror movies, such as Psycho or the Universal Monster movies. I just saw World War Z and I thought it was alright. For the most part slasher movies have too much disturbing violence and gore for my taste. The computer animated Resident Evil movies, based on the video game series, are pretty cool and the gore didn't bother me. For some reason violence and gore doesn't bother me as much if it's in a video game, go figure.

Is it true that violent video games and horror movies are altering our brains and turning us into psychopaths? Or is all this just conjecture? What should we let our kids watch? Is there an acceptable level of violence and gore? What do you think?


  1. Nah people have always been violent folks are just always looking for something to blame it on and video games, music and tv/movies are easy targets for them to go after.

    1. I agree, people are always looking for something to blame besides the individuals themselves that are committing the violent acts.

      I remember the horrible Columbine incident and I actually know someone that survived the ordeal. The media wanted to blame video games for inspiring that horrible killing spree, the video game Doom in particular and even the movie The Matrix. However, I don't think that's what lead them to act so violently.

      I have played my fair share of Doom and I have seen The Matrix several times and I have no history of violence nor have I contemplated harming others. I believe there are more factors at play here

  2. John's right, we have the tendency towards evil in us already. Everyone does....."For out of the heart come evil thoughts--murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander." ~Jesus
    But I do believe that the eye is the gateway to the soul..... Jesus said in Matthew "Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light."
    So setting our eyes on things of a dark nature may hinder our light.
    And we have been called to be salt and light, brother ;) I personally don't care for gore because violence has been such a real issue in my past and counseling people who who have survived violence and abuse, it's just not entertaining to see it played out on screen. Evil is real, and it's the atmosphere of hell.
    ......and Romans 12:2 comes to mind..... and your video game story about your mom was hilarious enough, then I saw the actual game with it's written admonishment!! That's awesome........

    1. Laura, thank you so much for sharing those scriptures! It really got me thinking about about the video games I play and the movies I watch. Now, you couldn't pay me to watch certain R rated slasher movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday The 13th, Child's Play, or Saw; no way Jose! Really gory, violent stuff like that just seems to mess with my mind and spirit. But I certainly am guilty of watching some not as violent, but still kinda violent stuff. I remember watching Pan's Labyrinth and the whole movie was ruined because of 2 extremely gory and violent scenes. It just made me feel sick inside and weighed on my mind for a long time. It still haunts me to this day.

      I'm reminded of Paul's admonition:

      8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

      Philippians 4:8

      I think you are on to something here sister, we shouldn't revel in violence and gore. It takes its toll on our minds and souls! I was leaning towards thinking that violent entertainment doesn't really affect us, but now I'm not so sure.

      This is an interesting article I read about how violent media can affect society:

      Thank you for your insight and God bless!