Influence … Video Games?

It’s been a known fact that experts and Joe Shmoe say that video games influence those that play them.

Then there are those that argue they don’t.

I say there are some that do … and don’t.

Courtesy from ps2media.gamespy.comLet’s take the well-known game, “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.” According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, it is “the hottest selling and, by reputation, one of the most violent game on today’s video market.”

In the defense for who do believe games influence gamers … to violence, teenager Devin Moore is a prime suspect for this suspicion. In fact, in 2005, he killed 3 police officers claiming he was influence by the video game, “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.” According to The Inquirer, Moore said, ““Life is a video game, you have to die sometime.”

Ironically, the same parent company, Take-Two Interactive, that made “Grand Theft Auto” invented a game released 4 months later that say will “will prevent any excitement or emotional involvement, inappropriate or otherwise, on the part of the player.”

Can you say…cover-up?

One can’t deny the fact that any form of medium, whether it’s video games or television, does have some sort of influence to our society.

In my opinion, I think the biggest difference is when the viewer does not know what’s real or not.

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Zack Hunter may think that, “Video games like “Grand Theft Auto” appeal to kids ‘who don’t know the difference between fiction and reality.'”

Blogger, Jay C posted a video of a documentary that depicts how video games affects our culture. He says, “Directors Marcin Ramocki and Justin Strawhand have created ‘8-Bit’, a film that examines the affect video games have had on our culture, whether it be through art, music or other creative outlets.

An artwork below from uses our favorite Nintendo characters as players of violence.

Courtesy from


A perfect woman? Impossible…

As a society, we love the media. Sometimes it seems like entertainment is the only reason to live. (Grey’s Anatomy…Hero’s…come on!) However, sometimes we have to question certain myths and stereotypes that arises that inevitability affect our society. Dr. Mary-Lou Galician’s text, “Love Sex & Romance in the Media,” once again focuses on a stereotype that has affected our society for ages.

“To attract and keep a man, a woman should look like a model or a centerfold.”

Courtesy from Maxim.comIn entertainment, there are beauties galore. From the fashion world, to movies, TV, book covers … even the hand models for lotion. It’s a huge stereotype that has affected real-life relationships and self-perception resulting in hazardous health and depression.

According to Dr. Galician’s text, “Unrealistic Playboy-style pictures of attractive women can have attitudinal and behavioral effects on men and on their real-life relationships. Real women can’t measure up to these seemingly real fantasies.” Unfortunately, this also affects young girls who feel they have to grow up to a certain irrational standard of beauty. On the flip-side, young males are also depicted as having to always have muscular body-builder bodies as oppose to feminized male physique.

Dr. Galician did a survey at Arizona State University on this particular question. Very few men or women agree that woman should look like a model or centerfold to attract and hold a man. As a result, within those small percentages men are far more likely to agree (around 15%-compared with only around 3% of the women).

Courtesy from

Photo on the left by By Bru Garcia, AFP/Getty Images. USATODAY .com said the picture is of models who were to wait backstage during a Madrid fashion week. The Madrid fashion show, which ended Saturday, banned overly thin models, saying it wanted to project beauty and health. Organizers said models had to be within a healthy weight range. wrote an article asking if thin models warped girls’ body image. An excerpt from the article said, “The promotion of the thin, sexy ideal in our culture has created a situation where the majority of girls and women don’t like their bodies,” says body-image researcher Sarah Murnen, professor of psychology at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. “And body dissatisfaction can lead girls to participate in very unhealthy behaviors to try to control weight.”

For the folks that absolutely have to look like the cover model or the actresses on TV, there are actually self-help websites, blogs, books that say, “How to look like a Model.”

One blogger posted several pictures of celebrities without their make-up trying to prove how powerful make-up can be. This posted received a comment from an anotomyous blogger who said,

“Totally true. Plus a good hairstylist, good lighting, and good photography can make anyone look, if not glamorous, at least arty. When I was a kid, my father did some professional photography (really high quality stuff). He made everyone look beautiful or, for those with atypical proportions, visually striking. And I still use some of the tricks I picked up during a brief modeling stint 30 some years ago. Even now, I can look much “hotter” than I really am, though it takes more effort than I usually care for.”

Another blogger from NYC posts her own experiance. She wrote, “I wish I could believe that appearances don’t really matter, but we all know they do.” She goes on and mentions an encounter with a friend who constantly apologized for not looking as “hot” as she used to. She wrote, “After eighteen years of marriage, the wife of this ridiculously ripped man kept prefacing sentences with, “I know it’s hard to believe, but I was a catch when he found me” or “I used to be much thinner”. She felt like she had to apologize to the world for her appearance, even though she had found a beautiful man to love her. Now, no one rolls out of bed looking perfect.

Nicely put.

After the recent post, Cristina, a blogger, posted a comment in reaction to what I had to say:

Comment: “Gee, well…. it’s really hard. But I’ve started to accept my body, even though I can’t say it out loud, I just think I do. I’ve suffered from Anorexia since age 14 (I’m 27 now and recently entered treatment last June) and sure the media does tell women how they should look and how it will make them happy and crap. But it’s all a lie.”

Here’s my question to Cristina’s response:

Q: I’m glad you are in treatment and started to accept your body. If you don’t mind me asking, was one of the reason why you suffered from Anorexia as a young girl due to what you saw from the media?

Love at First Sight … is it really?

Oh media … how I love thee. *sighs*

It is the oldest love myth we’ve all come to love and question.

Is there such a thing as “love at first sight?”

I’ve come to love Dr. Galician’s research and once again, she nails it on the head. The media in all forms likes to convey this myth to the popular culture. Why? Sex sells. Emotion sells. Excitement sells. Plus they’re far easier to portray and for the audience to follow then the slow progression of love.

A university survey towards men and women asked if there is such a thing as “love at first sight.” Half agreed and the other didn’t. The point is HALF did believe in the myth. On, they took an excerpt from the book “100% AMERICAN” by Daniel Evan Weiss and published by Poseidon Press. From that book there was a question of “love at first sight” and the statistic showed 57% women believed in the love myth.

Dr. Galician mentions how the media would convey this myth by camera angles, panning in and out on the character slowly making the scene dramatic with emotion. Course we can’t forget the multiple books, movies, music and shows on TV that has helped society underestimate what love is.

Courtesy of cartoonstock.comHere are some examples of “love at first sight” courtesy of the text “Love, Sex, & Romance in the Media.”

Books – Gone with the Wind, Romeo & Juliet

Movies – Red of Roses; Cinderella; Snow White … Bambie…etc; City of Angels; Coming to America; Footloose; The French Lieutenant’s Woman; Moulin Rouge; Notting Hill; Out of Sight; Romeo & Juliet; South Pacific; Serendipity; Titanic; Wayne’s World; The Wedding Planner; West Side Story

Recorded Music – Bewitched, Bothered, & Bewildered; I Love You; I Saw Her Standing There; Just One Look (That’s All It Took); Lady in Red; Love at First Sight; Love in the Library

Television – 90210; Dharma & Greg; Family Matters; Full House; Mad About You; Melrose Place; Saved by the Bell; Sex and the City; Passions; Grey’s Anatomy

Here’s a blogger who as absolute faith in “love at first sight.” This blogger has been hearing “lust at first sight more often but won’t deny that she still has faith, in fact she says, “I don’t see why you can’t fall in love at first sight. I guess I’ve always been a believer in it and no one has been able to change my mind about it.”

There is one blogger who absolutely thinks “love at first sight” is a “crock of poop” in fact she says, “love at first sight is a shallow statement and should honestly be erased from the world’s vocabulary.” Gotta love that.

How Real Is “Reality” TV?

Reality shows are one of the major TV shows Americans run to their TV set for their regular guilty pleasure fix.

But how real is reality TV?

Courtesy from prblog.typepad.comThere are so many different types of reality show it’s actually kind of funny. The thing is, the only way these shows are created is if there will be a high rating of viewers.

What’s interesting is that some reality shows are a release for some viewers as a way to escape their daily lives. For some, these reality shows are a way to connect with the outside world and realized that their own lives aren’t as dysfunctional as they thought.

Not to mention the shows that is about self-improvement, such as “What Not to Wear,” or “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” The viewers that watch these shows may want to take the shows advice or change how their house looks from the show, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

However, a lot of the shows undergo tons of editing and in order to make each episode stand out, the editors would have to edit the reel enough to make it dramatic … making the end result manipulative and … not so real.

If you do like reading about the current going-ons in reality television, here’s a blog that is dedicated to just that.

One form of media that has affected our society … Disney

Disney? You ask. How? Why? And isn’t he dead? Well … yes, but that doesn’t mean anything to us right now.

Interesting enough, I took a class a few semesters back at Arizona State University, and one course I took for the hell of it was “Love, Sex, and Romance in the Media,” taught by Dr. Mary-Lou Galician. It was one of the best courses I’ve taken thus far. (Though the course title in itself is an eyebrow raiser … people questioned me…)

The course itself was about breaking down all the typical love myths we all know and love.

Example: The love of a good and faithful true woman can change a man from a “beast” into a “prince.”

Now how does that relate to Disney? Well doesn’t that love myth sound like Beauty and the Beast?

Courtesy from www.mouseandmore.comTry to associate this couple to the term rescue fantasy. Dr. Galacian wrote a book (with the same title as the class) and found out that movies such as Beauty and the Beast illustrate just what a lot of couples go through in our society when it comes to romance. The whole damsels-in-distress being rescued by knights-in-shining-armor. I bet that you (the reader) probably know someone or a couple in this situation where the man or woman feels the need to rescue the other. Another real world example, the man is always mentally or/and emotionally abusive to others or to the woman, but she stays because she believes she can change him. Honestly … it seems odd why anyone would do such a thing, but it is one of the most common reason or at least a reasons that is subconscious. (Although, most would deny this.)

One of many love myths brought on by the media … in this case … Disney. Course Beauty and the Beast is NOT the only movie that causes concern for your future children’s love life … no no, keep in mind Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty (who just sleeps the WHOLE time … ) etc.

This is just a snippet of what I thought was interesting. There are many little girls in our society who dream everyday to be like one of the Disney “princesses.” I would at least educate them and say, “Don’t believe everything you see on TV.”

Dr. Galician also developed a “Love Quiz” on her website Realistic Romance, which I think is very interesting and entertaining. The quiz will ask you (the reader) the 12 different love myths and if you think they are true or false … it would then determine how much you really read into this media biz.