Good Example Of Essay On Media Mis/Representation Of Violence
For a long time, there have always been debates surrounding the representation of violence in media. The debates always revolve not in what is displayed but rather in the manner in which it is done. The media professionals have a lot of choices when it comes to displaying an event although violence critics say that it is how they do it that matters. The manner will determine a positive or negative effect on the viewers. Violence actions can be displayed in a serene, glamorous, simple or justified ways therefore inspiring a copycat outcome. When gratified, and over emphasized it leads to desensitization. The criminalities of violence can be represented that increases stereotypical behavior for example if it is a young and energetic beautiful woman. Thus, the media professionals have the responsibility on determining the future outcome of a violent action. This essay seeks to critically analyze truth, representation, and misrepresentation of violence, terrorism, video games.
The use of the varied available technical codes in media affects violence representation powerfully. The available technical codes include music, sound effects, camera angles, editing, and slo-mo among others.
Music is able to transform the entire mood of the visuals and also suggest victory, pain or justify the action done humorously. In addition, the sound effects can improve the meaning of an event in the sense of the gunshots and squishing tools used. The Foley artist has to tweak the events in film production and enhance sound effects prior to displaying it. How the camera is placed when presented in a violent scene is very important as such emphasis can be put on the main criminals or use of low angles. Their status can also be enhanced through the angles. Sympathy can also be generated on the victims by continually taking POV on the camera. The end of the barrel of the gun is one example used in video games which helps the audience in perpetrating the violence.
The general editing of a scene has a very huge impact on the way the scene is perceived. When a scene is edited, emphasis is put on a particular moment by holding a specific moment a bit longer or creating an enigma. In the slo- mo, the violence actions are made to go slowly not like the usual swift ones whereby if you are not keen you miss an event. The swift one is always done to distract the reality usually not wanting to display the chaos in the real life situation.
Extending of violent scenes is the source of enjoying pleasure (and the beginning of films such as The Matrix or 300) as it allows people to us to see what they cannot could not in reality. We see the inside of the violence and experience the exact things that happen when the gun is switched off. Improved photography techniques provide 12000 frames to be used by film makers in a second and so they can also look at time in a more dramatic effect.
Realism and Violence
In media realism is defined as describing an individual style of representation with the main objective of recording actual facts and present it to the public with very few editing. When looked at on the structure and the period it takes to give focus on the scene. Despite the many actions the camera is not shifted. Realism is an authentic, real and believable unlike editing which changes most of the scene and actions.
Onscreen violence is always criticized for being unrealistic in the media. Although it is can also be criticized for being so real; technology advancement is making it possible to enhance film effects just like in computer games and thus media professionals still have to make a choice on realism.
In keeping with Symonds and Gwyn, Saving Private Ryan opening is a good example of a book depicting how realism should be. Spielberg did a shot and some of the news footage obtained by WW2 war photographers. – Although editing was still done, with sound effects they also included fictional text; none of the violence is real. It does not have a factual impact the audience, watch it safe in the knowledge that no one really got hurt.
Representation of videogames
In media, representation is a key concept. (Lewis and Jeff 15-16) Different types of play are significant in media in showcasing events, ideas and people. As such the audience has a role of decoding the intended message depending on their cultural background. Games positioning makes us to accept the former and simplistic displays of ethnicity and gender. Brey et al (1998) designed a semiotic approach to video game representation basing on criticisms and relationships that existed between elements and characters that make up a unified coherent system of meaning in the video game.
These are the questions raised by Brey:
Who has the capability of influence in the game?
Who are left out from the game e.g. disabled or women?
Who are the active and passive characters?
Who are active and who are passive?
What are the roles of the characters?
Basing on these questions, it is possible to understand the manner in which video games reinforce a variety of technical codes. The tale and the actors in videogames reinforce many of Vladimir Propp's character types; Propp (1968) suggested the various media stories in the Western culture with similar types of characters. He analyzed Russian narratives and discovered a lot of similarity in their patterns. That is: the antagonist, protagonist, villain, a father, princes, nanny and a dispatcher.
Video games are mainly based on sagas, romance, epic, and quest tales. For as long as emphasis is put on literary games which are fictional in nature and with a specific goal in mind then Propp’s types of characters are useful. This will allow for the function of these characters in the video game and aid in the understanding of it. Representation issues can be addressed in a variety of games from (GTA4) to (Fifa '09). MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) transform the direct features of gaming that is free- roaming and sand box games. Te makers of these gave usually idealize them.
The video game world has never displayed the role of women in society very clearly. Actually in all the dimensions of media, the responsibility of the female gender has continued to be unrecognized and unappreciated. It is believed the realm of video games is false. In all types of media, women have been marginalized and the males led to dominate. Although sexism has been declining since 1960s, it is still present in almost every video game. It is regardless of the fact that statistics are suggesting a rise in the number of female video games. Although at the mention of a video game, male dominance comes into the people’s minds. The question then begs, what is the reason why women are hidden from these video games? The answer is simply because women are despised in a million ways in most societies. For instance, Call of Duty, Halo and Tomb Raider. In both games, females are always the targets of violence, or a type of reward for a good job. Women if not victims or they are highly sexualized. This makes women not enthusiastic in desiring to play these games.
Sexual misrepresentation in media is very often. The truth is that, the number of sexual assault cases is perpetrated by a person who is known by the survivor like close friends, their partners and family members. It can happen to anyone both male and female, any age, or any sexual orientation. Thus it happens to boys too not just women. It happens at clubbing stations, in homes, in workplaces, on sports teams, on first dates, and in long term relationships. It often happens without any physical violence.
Throughout history, misrepresentation has been evident basing on race, ideologies and even religion. This is due to factors like Politics, where the government controls the manner in which the media is involved. The audiences who consume the news or other forms of media trust the information to be reliable and credible. This is then put in magazines and internet among other Medias. For instance, the Nazi produced an effective and efficient use of media that was at their disposal, by using radio speeches from Hitler
Dower, John W. War without mercy: race and power in the Pacific war. New York: Pantheon Books, 1986.
Held V. Terrorism and War. The Journal of Ethics, Vol. 8, No. 1, Terrorism (2004), pp. 59-75
Lewis, Jeff. Language Wars The Role of Media and Culture in Global Terror and Political Violence. London: Pluto, 2005.
Pinker, Steven. The better angels of our nature: a history of violence and humanity. London: Penguin, 2012.
Schubart, Rikke. War Isn't Hell, its Entertainment: Essays on Visual Media and the Representation of Conflict. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2009.
Slocum, J. David. Terrorism, Media, Liberation. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2005.
Symonds, Gwyn. The Aesthetics of Violence in Contemporary Media. New York: Continuum, 2008.
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