Since its invention in 1927, the television has experienced gradual growth in its audience with around 238 million people currently watching it each day. Around 1947, the electronic games were invented and the gamers increased steadily until currently, 65 percent of US households play electronic games (Hand, 2010). According to The Numbers, 1.2 billion movie tickets have been sold in the US alone this year and many more people still watching movies at home (2010).
Judging by the above statistics, Television, movies and the electronic games are a part of daily lives of a significant portion of the world’s population. As people spend time interacting with these media, there is no doubt that their lives are influenced in one way or another by the content of these media. Culture is the beliefs and behaviors characteristic of a particular ethnic, social, or age group. In this essay, the effects of the three media on culture are discussed.
The television is one of the main ways of obtaining information. This includes weather reports, world news and stock prices. Television also offers entertainment in form of music and movies. As people spend time glued on television every day, the broadcast content influences their beliefs and behavior both positively and negatively. According to Paterson and Smith, inappropriate content on some television programs such as terror, violence and erotic may change the social behavior especially among teenagers resulting in increase in teenager crime and violence in schools (Paterson & Smith, 2009).
The American information has been overspread through television potentially influencing domestic cultures of other countries. For instance people who watch American soap opera anywhere in the world receive the American culture, habitudes and way of thinking (Paterson & Smith, 2009).
According to Kapoor (2010) some movies cultivate a cult following and hence become socially transforming. The movie Fahrenheit 11 for example, turned the political affiliations and ideologies of the Americans. The ideology presented by some movies becomes a popular notion governing the collective psychology of a society. Movies spread a cultural perspective within and across nations and regions. Kapoor argues that movies are among the best tools of introducing ones culture in a foreign land (2010).
Many electronic games such as the World of War craft portray male characters as muscled and hard bodied men. This has influenced teenagers to want to appear hyper masculine. Games such as the Super columbine Massacre are argued to cultivate a culture of violence leading to events such as indiscriminate shooting of students in colleges (Sal & Terry, 2005). According to Rodolfo, there are various negative effects of playing electronic games. These include: somatic complains, increase in emotional disorder symptoms, reduced positive parental relations among children and reduction in amount of slow-wave (REM) sleep (Rodolfo, 2009).
The top selling, most popular electronic games whose playing has influenced societies include Wii sport (wii), Super Mario bros, Tetris and Duck hunt (Hand, 2010).
Television, electronics games and movies influence culture in the societies that use them. The influence on culture is both positive and negative. In order to realize positive effects of the three media, the society should select what content to watch, or play.