Was having a chat with someone last night about recent events. The tragic and devastating events in Berkshire and Newcastle where young people are suspects. And of course the spate of stabbings over the last year or two mainly associated with young people.
Most certainly disenfranchisement, social support and policing are factors, but we were pondering whether our young people are becoming desensitised. In fact it's not just the young. I heard a little while back of a middle-aged person who said they had watched an online video of mass shootings on social media, and who made a clear connection that having played so many shoot-me-up video games, it really wasn't particularly shocking to them (though they did at least admit to a sense of guilt).
I'm not pretending shocking things haven't happened through time immemorial, but is it now more common?
Are we inadvertently creating a desensitised world where real death is routine on certain social news feeds - and of course available to all ages? You can't unsee these things once it's done, and I can't imagine seeing some of those images when I was in my development.
And I must confess to remembering playing Doom to the early hours and having motion sickness because the grahics were so poor. But as a result the distinction between that and reality was very clear. Is that distinction now blurring as games creators strive to make their product as realsitic as possible?
Is all of this contributing to the perceived value of a life in the minds of some people?
Pornography is of course another example of desensitisation, though in this case I'm specifically talking about perceived value of a life.
To be clear, I recognise there are other factors at play but I'm interested in other people's views on desensitisation.