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The effect of viewing violence on screen or in theater depends on the social
environment of the viewer. As long as the viewer lives in an "peaceful"
environment where violence in not used to handle with problems the effect of
 TV/Film violence is
small and tends to a cathartic reaction: willingness of the viewer to act
violence is low because he lived out his agression in his phantasy.
 
But if the viewers lives in an violent environment it is possible that he
will use TV/Film violence as a model to reality and the willingness for
violence increases.
 
So I thing the problem is not the violence on screen but the violence in
reality. Of course this is easy to say but crying for reducing virtual
violence is the wrong way.
The best way to minimize the effect of TV/Film violence is the "active"
viewer who THINKS about that he s watching. This has to trained already in
schools so that people have some "built in" defence for those things
pattering on the mind. And violence is only effect in our medial world...
 
Soeren Ney
Kiel, Germany
 
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Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite 
http://www.sa.ua.edu/screensite