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Violence today affects society in a dramatic way. Children, in particular, are affected the most by violent attacks and other types of violence. Violence is mostly shown in the media which is viewed or read by many people, of any age. We say that children in particular are affected by violence, but how? Well, in this modern world most children have televisions in their room. Most children have access to the internet, where websites can promote violence. As Christmas nears the demand from children for the latest game consoles like PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Nintendo Game Cube is getting higher.

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But, the games consoles are not very good without games to play on them; however some games contain high levels of violence. Games can be advertised in magazines or on the television during primetime. Take my young cousin as an example, he got a PlayStation last Christmas with ten games and two of the games were recommended for people over the age of eighteen. One of the games was Grand Theft Auto. Now this game clearly showed that it was only suitable for people over the age of eighteen. When my aunt bought the game, she thought it was a pleasant car game.

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But on Christmas day when my cousin played Grand Theft Auto she was horrified to see that the object of the game was to steal cars, kill people for money, bomb buildings, and much more. Whereas my aunt was horrified, my cousin loved it; he thought it was “cool” that when he shot people, blood oozed out of the wound. Although the game had an age suitability recommendation, clearly shown on it, my aunt never paid any attention to it, just like many other parents. That is just one example, but many people today are faced with that example.

Violent computer games can be seen by children because an older member of family plays it, thus it must have an affect on them. Many game shops have demonstrations which you can play on to see what the latest game is like. None of the shops have age limits on the demonstrations so anyone can play on them or watch them. With no control over who plays them, children are getting unlimited access to violent games. My cousin now runs around pretending to shoot people and kill them, but I do not think that it is all down to that one computer game last Christmas, a lot of it is down to violence on television.

The modern day world is becoming a more violent place to live in every day. News programmes report on violent bombings in Bali. News reports go into a great amount of detail when reporting terrorist attacks. Take the terrorist attack in Bali, a club full of people enjoying themselves, when a car bomb outside the club went off and there was a devastating result. ITN news reported this for about a week. It was the headline of the programme and it had about a ten minute slot in the news report.

Within these ten minutes viewers saw real life footage of the club burn down, people screaming, running for their lives, all this captured by a tourist and his camera. Day after day you would see this one piece of footage because it is all that they have got. During the day news reports are short, but when most people are likely to see the news is around six o’clock, when they come in from work, they switch on the television, and sit down to relax, only to find another dreadful event has happened.

Children also see the news; Newsround is a news programme on CBBC. Newsround shows these violent attacks, children watch this and must think about this violent world that they live in. Other children may take it differently. They may see Newsround and think the violent attacks are cool because someone is getting killed or hurt, they may laugh, and this is how violence affects some children of our society. What do television soaps do when the ratings are going down?

They have a remarkable storyline which they hope will bring ratings up, however, these storylines usually have violence in them to make them more exhilarating for viewers to watch. Coronation Street is a television soap on ITV1 shown at half-past-seven on most week nights. The shows ratings are slowly dwindling so the producers have come up with dramatic storylines. Richard Hillman is a finance advisor, but his finances are not going that well and his ex wife is pestering him for money. They have an argument and he kills her with a spade and buries her.

Coronation Street has become more violent, just to get more viewers. In recent stories old street favourite, Ken Barlow, the local teacher hit a pupil, breaking his nose, after he stole his car and crashed it nearly killing a girl. The soap does deal with some serious topics, but the amount of violence in it, is all seen by children because it is before the watershed and some parents are not stopping them since they are hooked to the dramatic storylines. Coronation Street’s rival show EastEnders has even more violence than Coronation Street does.

All this violence on every night and before the watershed, this must have some affect on children who watch these programmes. Television programmes use a variety of camera shots and sound effects to add to the effect, to keep the viewers entertained, just like the newspapers do to keep the readers reading. Parents have no control over what children see if they have televisions in their rooms, but children are more likely to watch programmes which are not targeted at them. No matter what type of media it is, television, newspaper, film, computer games, etc, it all plays a big role in propagating violence in the media.

It all affects society and in particular children who are the worse off in all this. Where do I stand in all this? I am like the some children, I come home from school turn on the television only to find that terrorists have struck again. We are the victims in the middle of this and it is only we who can change the world we live in today, which is full of violence. The solution to this is to make the violent world, a happy place to live, by just doing the smallest thing of niceness.

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Kylie Garcia

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