There’s been a lot of discussion on the prevalence of violence in our entertainment media and its possible impact on our culture.
Now me, I’m an escapist. My entertainment choices don’t run toward realistic thoughtful drama. I like the occasional big explosion.
I also have an interest in genre conventions. And I tend to value them over strict realism.
So I’m probably not the right person to discuss responsible media. As an escapist, I learned early on to not consider my entertainments real (a healthy lesson, I’m thinking). And as genre guy, I totally expect depictions of violence (and sex and government and other real world things) to vary in weight and consequence depending on the material I’m watching.
I wonder some times if the responsibility in responsible media should be approached from the other side – maybe we need to educate more responsible, intelligent readers and viewers.
Still, writers do need to take a share, too. I once saw Neil Gaiman speak at a convention about agreeing to write Neverwhere for the BBC. One thing he said was that he didn’t want to be responsible for making homelessness (a central element of the story) look cool.
That’s sensible and reasonable and makes for a better story anyway. So maybe the lesson is to write sensibly.
So, a parting thought: They say the pen is mightier than the sword, but we license guns and give access to social media sites away for free. Scary, huh?