Childhood Lost: How American Culture Is Failing Our Kids

By Sharna Olfman | Go to book overview

4
The Impact of Media Violence
on Developing Minds and
Hearts

GLORIA DEGAETANO

I'll finish her off by ripping out her heart.

No, cut off her head.

But I want to rip her heart out.

I want to see her head fly off.

Oh, all right, let's see her head roll. There! Look at all that blood. Cool.

Is this a conversation between two psychopaths? No. This exchange took place between two sixth-grade boys when they played the video game Mortal Kombat 2 in 1993. Things have gone downhill since then. Today's video games display even more horrific violence, with sharper images and more realistic graphics. American children spend a daily average of six hours and thirty-two minutes consuming visual electronic media.1 Images of brutality fill up much of their leisure time.


ENTERTAINMENT VIOLENCE AND ATTITUDE
FORMATION

While youngsters watch violent cartoons, take in the latest horror flicks, and play violent video games, their fundamental beliefs or attitudes about the world are taking shape. An attitude can be formed through conscious, intentional deliberation as may occur

-89-

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