NPR's On The Media

On The Media-Graphic Videos from Syria

As many of us know, Twitter is one of the many social media sites that pride itself on the immediate connection to people and news around the world. On this episode of On the Media, the question of whether it is appropriate to tweet graphic videos (such as the one out of Syria) is raised. Although these videos are so graphic that it cannot be shown on air, I feel that people should still be allowed to view the horror of war that is going on in our world. People should not be forced to remain ignorant on the ‘abomination’ that is happening to citizens. Although such images are graphic, they’re also reality and many people are forced to live in it every day. A better way of having others possibly view the explicit images is by following the example of Andy and making it aware that some pictures shown on the timeline will be graphic.

Another topic presented on this week’s episode pertained to whether profanity was protected speech. I was surprised to find that you can legally say “F you” to a cop and there really is nothing he/she can do about it. I always thought that profanity was regulated in a public forum.

I was also surprised to find that the violent video games William Fourkiller wants to put 1% tax on can essentially be played non-violently—virtual pacifism. Who knew that you did not have to kill someone to win a game that focuses primarily on killing the opponent? Apparently Brock Soicher, a 16-year old virtual pacifist new all about it because instead of killing people he blinds them and still is able to win the game! I do not believe that everyone who plays these video games are out to kill people in real life, instead I think it’s a activity others engage in leisurely and it therefore becomes unnecessary to place tax on it.

-Allyssa M

One comment

  1. Although I agree that if violent video games can essentially be played non-violently, that they do not require a 1% tax, I do wonder why it has taken so long for gamers to realize these non-violent ways to play violent video games. I have a 14-year-old brother who spends much of his time (too much in my opinion) playing “Call of Duty.” I can hear him from my room playing live with friends and it disturbs me to hear the sort of language violent games like Call of Duty can produce. Even though he is not sitting in his room screaming profanities, I hear him saying how badly he virtual killed his friend. Quite honestly this bothers me coming out of the mouth of my younger brother. Even though I do not believe that violent video games cause violent actions, I do wonder why violence has to come into play in the first place. If these “virtual pacifists” can play a violent video game non-violently, why play it at all? What is it about violent video games and killing that makes them so popular? Is it the chase, or the adrenalin one gets from a successful sneak attack? I wonder why other games that may involve the same scenarios are not as popular.
    I also feel that if gamers can find joy in playing a violent video game non-violently, why they don’t just play a video game that doesn’t involve violence at all. Stemming from this popularity in violent video games, my brother asked for an air soft gun for Christmas this year. The thing is almost bigger than he is and if I’m going to be honest, it makes me feel uncomfortable. Suffice to say my mother disapproves; it was my father who pulled “A Christmas Story” and bought it without telling anyone, I do not like the idea of something that looks so similar to a real gun being in my house. Even though I know it’s not a real gun, I wonder if my brother would have wanted this if he did not play a violent video game.

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