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Games and Violence

Why do we like Zombies?

Britta Pollmuller

on 25 February 2010

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Transcript of Games and Violence

Games and Violence
Natural Born Killers?
Resources: analysing culture
Henri Lefebvre
Michale de Certeau
Come, you spirits. That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood; Stop up the access and passage to remorse, That no compunctious visitings of nature Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between The effect and it! Come to my woman's breasts, And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers, (1.5.3)
Paul Taylor, President of the Federal Order of Police, explained:

'People who ride around and use crack cocaine and listen to rap music that talks about killing cops - it's bound to pump them up. No matter what anybody tells you, this kind of music is dangerous.'
Negative stereotyping of youth - the media presenting youth crime, violence and sexual licence as a broader pattern of social decline
A fictional product to evoke terror!
...tension, relevance, and unrealism...
Excitation Transfer
Sensation Seeking
Dispositional Alignment
Gender Role Socialization
Social Concerns
Modern Warfare scriptwriter
defends airport "massacre" scene
How do we understand violence differently?
David Buckingham: Meaning is seen to be inherent in the 'message', and to be transmitted directly into the mind and thence the behaviour of the viewer. As a result it becomes unnecessary to investigate what viewers themselves define as violent, or the different ways in which they make sense of what they watch.
Aristotle believed that dramatic portrayals gave the audience an opportunity to purge itself of certain negative emotions, a process he called, catharsis.
Feshbach (1976) argued that dramatic or violent cinematic exhibitions encouraged the emotion and aggression and in so doing reduced the probability that a person would act on these emotions.
(Bushman & Geen, 1990) have shown that exposure to violent media increases rather than decreases subsequent acts of aggression

Excitation Transfer

Zillmann (1978) has argued that frightening movie stimuli physiologically arouse the viewer who then experiences an intensification of positive affect in response to plot resolution, whether or not this entails a happy ending.


Carroll (1990) maintains that instead of eliminating or reducing negative affect, horror films stimulate and excite positive emotions like curiosity and fascination.
The violation of societal norms, a common theme in many horror pictures, may attract the attention of some viewers because it is outside the viewer’s normal everyday experience.

Sensation Seeking

Zuckerman (1979) has proposed a sensation seeking theory of horror film appeal in which high sensation seeking people are said to be attracted to horror pictures because of the increased levels of sensation these movies provide.

Dispositional Alignment

People seem to enjoy the violence in horror movies when it is directed against those they believe are deserving of such treatment (Zillmann & Paulus, 1993).
Violence directed against someone not considered deserving of punishment, like an innocent child, is more likely to be interpreted in a negative light.

Gender Role Socialization

Gender role socialization or snuggle theory. Zillmann, Weaver, Mundorf, and Aust (1986) determined that teenage boys enjoyed a horror film significantly more when the female companion they were sitting next to expressed fright, whereas teenage girls enjoyed the film more when the male companion with whom they were paired showed a sense of mastery and control.

Social Concerns

Stephen King (1981) states that horror films often serve as a “barometer of those things which trouble the night thoughts of a whole society” (p. 131).
Following up on this observation, Skal (1993) contends that horror films reflect current societal issues and concerns by denoting how the fear of totalitarianism in the 1930s gave birth to movies like Frankenstein (1931)
“Fear of some uncertain threat to existential nature and . . . disgust over its potential aftermath” and commonly assert that “the source of threat is [often] supernatural in its composition” (Tamborini & Weaver, 1996, p. 2).
What is the popular appeal of Violence?
Why do we like Zombies?
Zombies as Popular Culture
To bring out terror
Supsent the natural laws (Jaw)
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