Friday, August 6, 2010

Violent & Gendered Molds Set By Halo

Violent & Gendered Molds Set By Halo

    Today’s society is being exposed to more violence as a result of the media and ones freedom to advertise. This kind of indecent exposure is now available to ten-year-old Ryan who enjoys videogames, sports and recreational activities. Ryan is a male preteen and the majority of his activities as a young boy involves violence or aggressive close contact. Halo is a videogame that is advertised to all audiences, yet, the game is rated M for mature. Halo’s promotional advertisement is exposing violent behavior and ten-year-old boys like Ryan are being influenced in a negative manner.  Videogames such as Halo are advertised to manipulate impressionable male preteens, encouraging aggressive behavior, and socialize them into gender stereotypes sending the wrong message, limiting their participation in different activities that are not gender bias.
            In Jackson Katz article Advertising and the Construction of Violent White Masculinity From Eminem to Clinique for Men she explains how, “In recent years, academics, community activists, and politicians have increasingly been paying attention to the role of the mass media in producing, reproducing, and legitimating this violence” (349). Halo is a clear representation of the mass media’s power; it sends out corrupt messages, teaching male preteens to associate themselves with aggressive activities to maintain their masculine tendencies in order to be accepted. This promotes violence and also justifies the advertisement of such violence. Videogames are not only for practice and repetition but also it is a teaching tool that educates whomever takes part in it. Halo is exposing preteens to bombs, grenades, lasers, rifles, shot guns, rocket launchers, pistols, machine guns, cannons, flame throwers, and swords just to name a few. These are all weapons that no preteen such as Ryan should have access to, not even through a videogame.
            Furthermore, the advertisement and production of Halo contributes to the gender socialization of preteens because the makers of Halo have to produce a game that is strictly masculine. Halo has nothing to do with feminine qualities and is considered not acceptable for women. Katz goes into further detail explaining that, “The need to differentiate from the feminine by asserting masculinity in the form of power and aggression might at least partially account for the ubiquity of representations of male violence in contemporary advertising, as well as in video games, rap/rock music and video, children’s toys, cartoons, professional wrestling, Hollywood film, and the sports culture” (352).  The makers of Halo is trying hard to get away from feminine qualities that they are forgetting their content and the harm they are doing to children like Ryan and so many others. If I was to buy Ryan a Halo game then I am allowing Ryan to be molded into a gendered and violent consumer. Video games such as Halo should not be advertized so publically, it is rated M for mature for a purpose. Those not considered mature should not have access to it therefore limiting its video content and its influence on teenage youth.

      Works Cited

Katz, Jackson. "Advertising and the Construction of Violent White Masculinity."  Gender, Race, and Class in Media. Ed. Gail Dines, Jean M. Humez. Thousand Oaks, London, New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2003. 349-358.

Photograph. Goggle. Web. 5 Aug. 2010.

Photograph. Toys "R" Us. Web. 5 Aug. 2010.
Photograph. Toys "R" Us. Web. 5 Aug. 2010.


  1. Tylin-
    Overall your collage turned out well and your narrower focus certainly helped! A couple of issues that caught my attention: grammar (it made it tough to read and understand your great points) and the use of only Katz (because you needed two different sources). There were other pieces you could have definitely used including the ones by Breazeale and Kirkham & Weller.
    The one other issue which is important to mention is that you're making an argument, which the reader, if compelled by your fact-finding and analysis, is indeed "wrong."
    You found a ton of great images to support the link between normalized violence in young men as part of the idealized definition of masculinity.

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