2017 Reading Challenge-Killing Monsters

Read something outside your reading comfort zone

Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-Believe Violence by Gerard Jones

This book was recommended to me. I rarely get into too many nonfictional books to begin with, but this one addressed violence in entertainment and its impacts upon children. Lets face it.. this really isn’t a topic people willingly delve into unless they are prepared for a lengthy verbal battle and numerous studies referenced. So saying this was a little out of my comfort zone is very accurate.

So here is my take on this book, and feel free to agree or disagree, but from this point on in this review it is my opinion. I would recommend people to read this book and assess their own ideas.

We spend our years being told the entertainment industry is too violent and encouraging the increase of violent and delinquent behavior in our youth. This book offers a flip side. From Pokemon to WWF to Half-Life, the author states these provide outlets to stressful situations and help kids to cope with stuff happening in their personal life or in current events. An avenue for them to explore fear, anger and grief by pulling themselves into a fantasy world where they can battle the “bad guys.” And to be honest, I can see that. Now when we are angry or stressed, we find an outlet to diffuse it. I personally drown myself in music or pound away at a keyboard. I also indulge in video games and there can be a calming effect of grinding through levels attacking monsters and villains. The author indulges this idea. He discusses many studies and how they depict violent content caused children to lash out violently, but he points out how these studies weren’t done in the comfort of the child’s home and that could impact the validity of the study. Now, he didn’t say just go ahead throw your kid in front of the TV for hours worth of violent gore, but argued as a parent we should monitor. We should provide a way to discuss it and keep an open mind. Listen to our children and take the time to play the games with them or watch a movie with them. Have it serve as an opportunity to open up discussion. It was an interesting read and would definitely recommend it.


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