The Hunger Games

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The release of the new movie The Hunger Games has been highly anticipated by children, teens and adults around the world this past week. Based on the inspiring novel by Suzanne Collins, it is predicted to be almost as popular as the Harry Potter movie among children and teens around the world. Yet, it's PG-13 rating for its high level of violence has parents wondering: is it too violent for my kids?

Some experts say that the subject matter is much too heavy for children, while others saying that it depends on the child's age and temperament. Child psychologist Richard Freed is a strong believer that "images are much more powerful than written words."

This holds true to what we learned about in our discussion as well. Viewing violent content at a young age can have both short and long term effects on a child. Violent media has been found to cause agression, anxiety and a number of other problems for young children. Each child reacts differently to the things they see on television or in the media. Ultimately, it is up to the parents to decide wether their child can be exposed to violence and wether they should take them to the new Hunger Games movie as well.


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This is a interesting post, as I also heard that The Hunger Games film was actually more violent than expected. I also believe that if children are exposed to violent media at an young age, it may affect their behaviors and decisions on what is right or wrong.

I read the Hunger Games trilogy almost right before I saw the movie that was just released, and I was actually surprised how tame the movie was compared to the book in terms of violence. Certainly some violence was present in the movie (considering this is a series about children being pit against one another in an arena where they fight to the death, it's not too surprising) but the camera did a good job hiding much of the violence, which minimized the amount of explicit violence; much of the violent scenes had to be inferred due to the camera being too far zoomed out, panned away or incredibly jittery (the last one made me nearly nauseous). Granted, this was a violent movie for a PG-13 rating. But remember that The Ring was also PG-13. Would you really bring your children to see that movie? They'd probably have a hard time sleeping for the next month.
I believe the violence that they do portray in the movie is justified, because there's actually an important theme in the series. However, little children should not be able to see this film (it is PG-13 after all). They should just read the book. It's way more violent, anyway.

I agree that the level of violence in the movie was much tamer than was presented in the books. However, if the movie is rated PG-13 it is up to the parents' discretion if their child should see it or not. Personally, I would not bring a young child to this movie unless they were able to read the books and understand the concepts of the movie. Ultimately, the parents know how their child would react. In my opinion, the movie was appropriately rated.

While The Hunger Games might be a bit too violent for younger audiences, I think this may have a good impact. If a kid goes and sees this movie and likes all the action, they may be intrigued to read this book or the sequels, and may find enjoyment in reading. If I was a parent, I would just be happy that my kid would want to read something. (Or you could make them read the book before the movie, another popular tactic some parents use)

At the end of the day, we cannot make broad judgments like "This movie is too violent". Each person responds to a stimulus different. Leave it up to the kid's parents. I agree with your assessment in your post.

I believe, like all concepts we have learned in psychology and with all concepts in general, we have to take other circumstances into consideration. For violent movies, such as the Hunger Games, it's not just the movie itself that could provoke violent or aggressive behavior in children, but also their genetics and their environments. The whole nature vs. nurture debate comes into play here. This situation seems to me more up to the parents of whether they will allow their children to watch such movies, but eventually if a child/teen really wants to see a movie, they will probably find a way to do so!

I haven't seen the hunger games yet, but it sounds like an awesome movie. I feel like although the movie is rated pg-13, imagine what they are playing in video games already. There are many violent video games that parents let their kids play. Also, yes it does depend on the child and how they take it. But no matter what, they will be exposed to it in the near future. I guess it just depends on the child and the parents to determine what they should watch.

I have a hard time believing that images are always more powerful than written words. Especially since, in my experience, the books are always more violent than the movie counter-part (Jurassic Park the novel has a man watching his own intestines being eaten by velociraptors while he is still alive. Even "The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo" had much more violence in the book, and it was quite the disturbing movie). Perhaps people are losing the ability to create images out of their own imaginations anymore.

I'm actually currently in the midst on writing an argumentative research paper about whether or not violent video games are responsible for violent and aggressive behavior.I feel like this topic is along the same lines to a degree. Keeping in mind many of the concepts we have learned in psychology, I am arguing that video games are not responsible. There are so many other biological and environmental factors to take into account when looking at why someone behaves the way they do, including genes and parenting techniques, which is why I don't think it's fair to point fingers at video games, or in this case, a movie.

I haven't read or seen The Hunger Games yet. I've actually had this conversation with a parent. I liked how you shared effects on children and teens that we learned in class and I do agree that the parents should have the choice to let their kids see it or not. However, I think the rating of the PG13 is for a reason and that children under 13 -or close to 13 should probably not see it -they rank the movies for a reason.

I think parents need to sensor what their children watch. If they think it is OK for their children to watch a certain movie or play a certain video game, then so be it. It is up to the parents. I remember once when I was little I got nightmares from Winny the Pooh! Winny the Pooh is a little kid show. I think it all depends on the child. I don't think seeing movies like The Hunger Games is going to make children aggressive. From the studies we have seen in class, I think it comes mostly from children's genes.

I agree that it is up to the parents to decide what is or isn't too violent for their children to watch. It is hard to judge this unless you really know the child. Of course there will probably be some parents who don't worry enough about what their child should be watching, but this will happen whether people try to sensor kids of a certain age or not. There's really no way to control what everybody watches and at what age other than possibly through the parents.

I also reread the books before the movie, and was surprised at how little violence was portrayed...Therefore, I believe that keeping children away from violence is a good thing, but if a 10 year old could pick up that book and imagine just as much, or more violence, where do we draw the line?

Personally, I think kids who actually go see this movie have a pretty good grasp on what violence is, and the kids who do not see this movie are those that aren't allowed by their parents. Kids are not going to act that violently just because they saw the movie The Hunger Games. Most of us watched Power Rangers as kids and yeah, it was fun to re-enact some of the scenes in the show, but we all knew that was not real life for the most part. So if parents think their kids will be more violent after seeing the movie, then just don't let them go.

I find this post extremely interesting. Millions of kids all over the world have watched violent films such as Harry Potter and the Hunger Games, and I believe these will definitely affect their actions. I remember being young and seeing Harry Potter and action heroes like the Power Rangers and wanting to be like them. But to be like them, you have to do violent acts and fight crime against the bad guys. Thus, it influences me, as well as other children, to partake in “fake violence”. The scary thing is that in some cases this violence may not be fake anymore. In one instance of media violence affecting children, a teenage boy played the video game, Grand Theft Auto, for a number of hours. After playing the game, he went out and shot a number of people and hit people with cars, similar to what occurs in the actual game. This is just one example of the horrors of media violence. I think parents need to monitor their kids greatly on what they are allowed to watch and play.

This is an interesting post. I think that it was good for the movie to have "fake violence" in it. The majority of the audience for these books were pre-teens so I think it is important that it stay rated PG-13. However, I also think that parents need to decide whether they think their children are too young to watch the movie or even read the book. The books are quite violent, so if a parent does not want their child to watch a violent movie, they should not allow them to read a violent book. Also, I think children can be influenced by viewing violent acts. However, I do not know if viewing acts of violence has a long-term or short-term effect on these children.

I saw The Hunger Games and absolutely loved the movie. But when I think about this topic of children seeing it, I have to think more deeply about it. The kids I know would be really scared if they saw this movie. My little cousins would definitely be upset and get too scared to watch the entire movie. The violent scenes can not only be traumatic for young kids, they can also influence them. My little cousin, who is a boy, would see these scenes, maybe be scared at first, but I know they would make him be hyper and violent and want to fight like the people in the movie. Movies like this allow young kids to open their minds to violence and put ideas in their heads.

I totally agree with your end verdict about how this type of situation should be handled. It is just such a controversial topic because in general, we should not be promoting violence at all to our future generations... period. But the plain fact is that no matter how we try to suppress or hide the truth, violence is a real thing, and it happens in real life. To ignore it is saying that it doesn't happen or affect the lives of millions around the world. Growing up, I have always been sheltered my whole life, and in a sense I feel that it has prevented me from seeing all the good that I have. So perhaps to stop violence, we need to teach that horrible things do and can happen to people, just like in the hunger games. But again, there is such a fine line between "teaching to do the act" and "teaching to learn and change the act".

I agree that responsibility for a child's content-viewing ultimately lies with parents. Unfortunately, lackadaisical parents who don't hold an authoritative stance over their children give rise to many of the reported cases of media-fueled violence we've heard about in the last decade. Long-term effects of violent media exposure are also much less documented than short-term, giving rise to the question of whether those who act out are different in some other way to begin with, whether through genetics or their nurturing environment.

I agree. It lies in the hands of the parents to control what their children are being exposed to. The Hunger Games movie was quite graphic and, to a certain extent, violent. Many young people have seen this movie and/or read the book... On the other hand, how much can a parent do to prevent the child from expressing levels of aggression.

I absolutely loved the book series and the movie was also very good, but I didn't really think about the violent aspect before. Until this course, I also didn't think about the effect of violent movies or games on children. I was more of an advocate that aggression was more from other aspects, including genetics, but this definitely made me think twice.

I haven't got to see the movie yet but it looks like an interesting plot. As far as violence video games affecting kids behavior, I really think it does desensitize kids to violent behavior.

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