The Killing Game

The article that I chose for writing my paper is called, The Killing Game. The author of this article is Robert Cribb. Written on April 25,1999, Toronto Star.

This article deals with how children and young youth are being influenced by violent video games, Internet and movies to do crime, and even to kill. This article talks about how violence from fantasy games and movies transforms the minds of children into believing that it is reality. In this article we come across many incidents that have happened, where a teenager in rage comes to school, and without any control of his mind shoots his classmates and teachers. Doctors that study media-violence believe that violent games, movies and Internet contribute to violence among teens today. When a child is growing up, who is isolated from the society, and the only activity that he/she does is play video games that are violent in some form, shows that when they do grow up, they will be affected by it in one way or another.

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The sociological concept that I chose that best fits my article is Deviance. “Sociologists use the term deviance to refer to any violation of norms whether the infraction is as minor as jaywalking, or as serious as murder. This deceptively simple definition takes us to the heart of the sociological perspective of deviance, which sociologist Howard S. Becker identified this way: it is not the act itself, but the reactions to the act, that make something deviant. In other words, people’s behaviors must be viewed from the framework of the culture in which they take place. To be considered deviant, a person may not even have to do anything. Sociologist Erving Goffman used the term stigma to refer to attributes that describe people.” These attributes include violation of the norms of ability such as blindness, deafness, and mental retardation, and the norms of appearance such as a facial birthmark and obesity. They also include involuntary membership in-groups, such as being a victim of aids or the brother of a rapist. “The stigma becomes a persons master status, defining him or her as deviant.” (Pg, 127-128)
This concept is related to the article, for it shows how young youth is being influenced by violence in the media, and in result of that the youth becomes deviant. The term deviance refers to any violation of norms, whether the violation is as minor as jaywalking, or as serious as a murder. In this article the violations that are looked upon are very serious, especially because young youth are the ones who are involved in it. This article states many cases where youth have shown deviant behavior. Who can forget the two teens that walked into a suburban high school outside of Denver Colorado and intentionally killing their classmates and teachers. “On the anniversary of Hitler’s birthday, they sprayed bullets, laughing and giggling as bodies fell to the ground as if the shocking reality of murder was being fictionalized in their minds.”(“The Killing Game”) Paul Klite, executive director of Denver-based Rocky Mountain Media Watch, agency that monitors media violence asks, “Where did these kids get the idea to shoot their classmates? They didn’t come up with that themselves. They’re conditioned. They’ve been taught.”(“The Killing Game”) “ Many of Americas pubescent killers have been described by criminologists and psychologists as intelligent, socially isolated, fascinated with alternative culture and avid students of violent movies, the Internet and computer games.”(“The Killing Game”) The message we get from a lot of media today, that overpowering someone else brings you respect and control. In result of that, young youth begin to form their own isolated society and violate the norms of the existing society. They become deviant.


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