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Socialization and Relationship Outcomes

Pleasure Zones and Murder Boxes: Online Pornography and Violent Video Games as Cultural Zones of Exception

Pleasure Zones and Murder Boxes: Online Pornography and Violent Video Games as Cultural Zones of ExceptionFull Article Name: Pleasure Zones and Murder Boxes: Online Pornography and Violent Video Games as Cultural Zones of Exception

Open Access: Yes

Abstract

New media formats and technologies raise questions about new-found abilities to indulge apparently limitless violent and sadistic curiosity within our culture. In this context, the mainstreaming of sex and violence via mobile and screen media systems opens important questions about the degree to which these influences are harmful or indicative of deeper social problems. In this article, we offer a preliminary analysis of the consequences of these new media zones, acknowledging their allure, excitement and everyday cultural position. In particular, we focus on a distinctive hallmark of much online pornography and massively popular violent video games—the offer of unchecked encounters with others who can be subordinated to violent and sexual desire. We suggest that a key implication of these zones of cultural exception, in which social rules can be more or less abandoned, is their role in further assisting denials of harm from the perspective of hyper-masculinist and militaristic social value systems.

    Citation

    Atkinson, R., & Rodgers, T. (2016). Pleasure zones and murder boxes: Online pornography and violent video games as cultural zones of exception. The British Journal of Criminology, 56(6), 1291–1307. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azv113