Friday, June 27, 2008


Gerard Jones has written an amazing book called Killing Monsters. Why children need fantasy, superheroes and make believe violence. He questions a lot of our attitudes towards what we consider violent behaviour and how we react to it. This isn't to say he believes that anything should go, and kids don't need to be protected from violent images. Far from it, what he does discuss is the role play-fighting in the sand pit can have in children's development, and how inconclusive studies about the effects of violence are.
To quote the author;
"We ask absurdly sweeping questions like, what is the effect of media violence on children? as if violence were a single, simple phenomenon of which sandbox play-fights and mass murder mere variations, as if the evening news and Reservoir Dogs and Daffy Duck were indistinguishable, as if children were like trees in an orchard who could be raised to identical form by the same externalities."

As Jones' argues we are perfectly happy to discuss the complexities of life and love but we see violence and media violence, as a single monolithic problem. Nothing in life is that simple, or black and white.
Well worth reading, and sure to make you think about the world around you.

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