Violence occurs in the world everyday. No matter where you are, it is just unavoidable. And, because of this, you will most likely have to deal with violence at one point or another as you move through life. In Gerard Jones’ Violent Media is Good for Kids, Jones not only argues that violent media can help deal with those violent and difficult situations, but that they help you understand yourself and your emotions and I couldn’t agree more.
Children have always grown up learning about violence in one way or another. And not only do they learn about it, they act it out. Whether it’s cowboys and indians, knights in shining armor rescuing princesses, or nerf gun wars with your friends, many kids play violent games in order to understand the world around them. The violence shown in the media is no different than that. It is merely a way for children to experience and understand the harshness of the world that they live in.
Jones’ experience with the Hulk especially caught my eye. While he said that he used the Hulk as a means to “carry [his] stifled rage and buried desire for power.”, I also believe that he could have used it as a reflection of some of his issues with “withdrawing into passivity and loneliness.” The Hulk was stuck in a world that “misunderstood and persecuted” him. If and when kids have some of those feelings, they can see a reflection of their problems in the comics. They can see that those problems are not uncommon and not something to be ashamed and have solutions. And before you say that flipping cars and destroying cities isn’t the best way to deal with your problems, you have to realize that this is where the parents need come in.
For all of the people who say that they don’t want violent media raising their kids, I have one question for you. Why would you want any media raising your kids? This media should be used as a tool to help show your kids that their problems are not unbeatable. The parents themselves should at least be able to help the child understand that stories are just that. Stories. The parents need to have an active role in helping their children understand the media they consume. And if they can do that, I wholeheartedly agree with Jones that the media can be a powerful aid in helping children understand the world they live in.