Living in a universe of violent artificial images
“Images of extreme violence produce either exact reproduction (which is short-lived) or else overall behavior of generalized brutality accompanied by impoverished language.) We must certainly beware of the fact that these images have a major influence precisely when an individual lives in an unreal world whose only reality is fictitious and simulated by images.
“Ruthless behavior seen in images is not related to real life but becomes normal for the person who lives in the universe of artificial images. Such behavior seems normal because images are norms in a world without meaning. The influence of the image does not act on the person himself, who then acts; that is, images of violence alone do not provoke violence. But images of violence within a world of images (where all that exists is a shadow on a screen) can lead to violent behavior.
“When a person hits someone, this ‘someone’ has no more existence than the actor so often seen. The movement of the arm itself as it strikes is only an image, and violent scenes are just a spectacle a person acts out as he watches himself. Everything is a spectacle: ghosts made of shadows, flickering lights, and scenarios worked out ahead of time. The person who is going to be hit has no reality; he represents nothing. It makes absolutely no difference whether you help a blind person to cross the street or attack him. The person striking another has become uncertain of his victim’s existence. He feels like an actor in the middle of images with neither weight nor meaning. Hitting or killing give some meaning to this moment. He looks for a crisis in order to avoid this absence of being, since he too is reduced to the level of an image. Any crisis will do: drugs, orgasm, or violence. These are the only moments when the person absent from himself (because he has taken in too many artificial images) has a vague feeling of existence and self-realization.”
Jaques Ellul (The Humiliation of the Word; Grand Rapids:Eerdmans (1985) p. 147)
The Humiliation of the Word by Jacques Ellul (.html) http://www.religion-online.org/showbook.asp?title=499
The Humiliation of the Word by Jacques Ellul (.pdf) http://media.sabda.org/alkitab-2/Religion-Online.org%20Books/Ellul,%20Jacques%20-%20The%20Humiliation%20of%20the%20Word.pdf
Director Rob Zombie has announced that his upcoming horror film 31 has been given the dreaded NC-17 rating not once but twice by the MPAA… http://bloody-disgusting.com/news/3374302/rob-zombies-31-lands-nc-17-rating/
Iowa State researchers say there is a strong connection between violent video games, youth violence, and delinquency…
Violent video games are a risk factor for criminal behavior and aggression: http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2013/03/26/violentvideogames
Violent Video Games, Delinquency, and Youth Violence: New Evidence: http://www.soc.iastate.edu/staff/delisi/10%201177_1541204012460874.pdf