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Elephant and the Video Games Controversy

June 18, 2012

I have highlighted Rob Ager’s work here before, with his analysis of spatial awareness and set design in The Shining being one of his best productions.

Now, in a new analysis, Ager has tackled Gus Van Sant‘s Elephant and the theme of video game violence influencing real world behavior.  Ager has chosen not to publish it on YouTube, but is still providing a free download of this analysis in both low and high quality formats.  I highly recommend it, even if like me, you still haven’t seen Elephant.

Also, unrelated to the topic of this post, Ager has recently added an analysis of  Paul Verhoeven‘s Starship Troopers.  Having seen the movie, I can’t imagine what needs explaining as none of the symbolism in it seems subtle. However, Ager’s work is always enjoyable. I haven’t watched his analysis yet, but look forward to doing so at my earliest convenience.  The YouTube is embedded after the jump.

UPDATE: I was very wrong. I didn’t catch all the symbolism and layers of Starship Troopers. Ager’s analysis of that flick is even more compelling than his treatment of Elephant. Great stuff, especially starting at the 11 minute marker of the first part and then continuing through to the end. Great parallels to 21st century events!

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2 Comments
  1. June 19, 2012 5:27 am

    I actually remember watching Elephant when it was first released. With my mom nonetheless. This was back when she worked at a video rental place and she would always get new releases the weekend before release. She didn’t like it too much, but there was just something that pulled me in. Granted, I was, what, 11 at the time? So I was very impressionable. It brought a very real look into that sort of thing. Still though, it really irks me when lawyers try to use video game violence in court.

    I’m not sure if you guys read this, but the fella in Norway who murdered all those people was apparently an avid WoW player. And in an article proclaiming that had an effect on his violent behavior stated that it desensitized killing and murder to him and helped teach him to be a killer. *As a heads up I’m only paraphrasing so those aren’t the exact words that were written.* Still though, it just makes no sense to anyone who thinks about it with actual common sense. If someone plays video games then commits a horrific crime like the Columbine Shooting or what that Norwegian did, then they already had plenty of problems before they picked up a controller. I hate politics, it’s as simple as that, lol.

  2. 3Suns permalink*
    June 19, 2012 5:31 am

    How could the violence depicted in WoW of all games, possibly be of influence on anything in the real world?! Absolutely ludicrous. May as well blame Mario.

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