Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Issue Of Responsibility

As content creators, it is our responsibility to be aware and critical of including horrifying abuses in our content. It is our responsibility to portray them as what they are: horrifying.

It is our responsibility to always be respectful of our audience, many (so many, too many) of whom have experienced the same atrocities that we write about. It is so important to know when to fade out, to close the curtains, to imply rather than state outright. It is important to be respectful. Yes, these things happen in real life and it is understandable to have them happen in media -- but only when it is necessary for the development of the characters and plot arcs. It is never to be thrown in for the sake of shock value, as a joke, as a "haha look how edgy we can be!".

Do I believe that violence in media is the cause of violence in real life? No, I do not. I do believe that justifying it in media makes it easier to justify in real life.

Media influences our society. Media influences our minds, and our ways of thinking. Whether it be in the news, books, magazines, movies, tv shows, comic books, etc. It influences us. And the pervasive inclusion of violence against women, children, disabled people, people of color, people of different gender identities and sexual orientations, only exacerbates the issues of real life. Particularly when handled with disrespect and passing it off as "oh it's just a tv show."

No, it's not. It adds realism? Because it happens to real people, right? Most likely, that has happened to someone you know. Someone you love. Someone whose experiences you have just treated like an edgy plot line for shock value.

If you want to bring in things like rape, murder, torture, incest, prejudice, etc and so on, then do it in a way that shows it as the awful thing it is. Shed light on how terrible it is and treat your audience with respect. Learn how to pull the curtains.

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