We survey media violence research, examine the debates that make media violence a “hot” topic, and explain why media literacy education is a game- changing strategy which re-frames the terms of debate.
We discuss the four effects of media violence, and review recent media effects research, as well as research supporting media literacy as an educational intervention. In our second article, we apply theories of audience response to violent media to the American action film. And we examine the possibility that media producers may be shaping audience views of what constitutes realistic media violence. Also Conducting a Close Analysis of a media text teaches fundamental skills for media literacy.
We review the Supreme Court case which struck down the 2005 California law banning sale of violent video games to minors, and explain why media literacy education could have fulfilled the intentions of the law. In our second article, we follow the progress of media literacy initiatives in the European Union, as well as problems that need to be resolved. An in-depth look at media violence was recently published by SAGE, and the Media Literacy Research Symposium brought together media literacy advocates from around the world.
In this issue of Connections, we draw upon current research to facilitate understanding of the nature of video game play by children, and we provide tools for understanding the messages which video games communicate about the world we live in.