Saturday, 20 November 2010

Moral Panics, Hypodermic Theory and the Passive Audience

In pairs we had to look at an area in the media which had caused public controversy. We produced presentations using the Xtranormal website. 
Columbine high school massacre: 
The massacre was carried out by two boys, with 12 students and 1 teacher being killed as well as 21 others being injured. It is believed that a factor in influencing the two shooters was a video game called 'Doom'. In which a marine has been posted to mars by his captain where he has to attack enemies in order to prevent them from attacking earth. The two shooters were supposedly avid fans of the game and had created their own levels online. Another supposed influence was 'The basketball diaries' film and the music of Marilyn Manson; who was largely blamed for the strong influence of violence in his music. However as investigations continued it became known that the boys had already been given restricted access to computers and it was thought that the massacre was a way of relieving stress. The biys were also thought to be clinically depressive. 
The channel 4 TV drama is said to be a bad influence on teenagers, as they want to copy the lifestyles of the characters on the show.To older people it is often seen as offensive as it contains sex, drugs and alcohol, so parents don't want their children to copy this. It can put pressure on teenagers as they feel this is how they should be, and it promotes the lifestyle of being a 'dropout' and not ding well in life. The Sun newspaper also described the show as 'controversial' and with such media attention focusing on it, it drew media attention to the series and encouraged people to watch it as it was something of public interest; so the controversial nature of the show increased ratings and made the show more successful. Abbie, whose presentation it was, said that she watched the show and enjoyed it but it didn't make her want to be like them as it was too unrealistic to be real life, yet it does address serious issues of being a teenager or just life in general.
Man Hunt: 
The idea of the video game is to kill innocent people so there was a lot of controversy surrounding it. There has been speculation that the game has led to violence and crime. It was reported that a boy was brutally murdered by his best friend in a way that was influenced by the game, and the boy was supposedly and avid fan of the game. It was also reported that it was banned in New Zealand, this was publicized in the hope that it would increase sales, with the idea that if the media portrayed it badly then it would want to be played more which, turned out to be an effective marketing strategy. 

Paranormal Activity: 
The film is all about a American woman who has been possessed and is said to be one of the scariest films of all time. It is said to be based on true events and the formatting of the film shows this idea of it being real. The media reported people leaving the film early because they were so scared and there was lots of attention on blogs and i newspapers. The film got a lot of attention from rumours that were later believed to be a publicity stunt, this was things such as people having medical problems from being so scared of the film.

Rap Music:
Reap music as a genre in general is said to be corrupting children. The amount of talk about drugs, violence and gangs is said to encourage children to be like this as this is what they're roll models are like. It gives listeners a bad mentality, and if they listen to it over and over again it may eventually become what is called a 'sleep state'. The censored sticker on CD's that warns of explicit language makes the music more desirable as the children want something they can't have. 

Call of Duty- The airport level:
The level in this Call of Duty involves a terrorist attack in which the player is on the side of the terrorists and civilians have to be killed. It creates the illusion that violence is acceptable. The media reported the game badly, suggesting the violent depiction of a terrorist attack in an airport should be banned. Although there is a warning of content before the level and you are not actually forced to  kill civilians, if terrorists are killed then the level ends. Another factor is that in video games we associate anyone being killed as 'enemies' so when we are trying to kill civilians we start to see them as enemies and as you experience this there has been suggestions that you can simulate it. 

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