April 12, 2020
Books, movies, series, and games. The entertainment industry, increasingly, is full of violent stories; murders, revenge, robberies, kidnappings, suicides, and even terrorist attacks. Social networks are not out of this phenomenon. In late March, on Twitter, Illustrated Crimes was born, which is an interactive game that involves solving a mystery: murder or suicide? The story was conceived by the Spanish Modesto García in the narration and Javi de Castro in the illustrations. Unlike García’s previous stories published as threads on Twitter, the dynamics of this one is interactive.
First, he brought the whole story together in one image: the murder weapon, the blood, and the body. In it, he put several clues. In the same illustration, he added sub-accounts to interact with them, which, in turn, led to more clues. For example, when you enter the @AbreElArmario account, there is an enlarged illustration to discover what’s inside. The @Coge_elTelefono account is used to review recent calls, and the @MiraElMovil account is used to check the victim’s last conversation on his cell phone.
Despite the recommendations to avoid consuming violent content to maintain stable health, the game has been a success, to the point that the author has promised to release a couple of sequels. Why?
The human being is curious by nature. Many people want to know why criminals act in a certain way since they do not conceive of doing anything of a sort to no one. So, since there is no entity to explain it “they are looking for answers and drawing conclusions in these types of programs or games”, explains Psychotherapist and Forensic Expert Gabriela Coros de la Piedra.
Also, these are the very people who see news every day about murders, robberies, and rapes. What they see in the series not only happens on the screen but also in their cities. “People want to know why this is happening and they go to investigate. That is why television series continues to release these types of programs”, he adds.
Consuming violent content through a movie, game or book, “marks a distance, because you are not living directly the misfortune. There is indifference to these situations that is reflected, for example, in the indifference to femicides”, says Carmen Bravo de Rueda, Psychologist at Clínica Ricardo Palma. The saying goes “we are what we eat”, but, in this case, we are what we see. There is a strong trend for decades to consume violent content as entertainment. At the same time, crime reports are increasing worldwide. “The more crime series the more violence will increase. Television series, comic movies, and even the media are always a reflection of our society”, says Ms. Coros de la Piedra.
She provides a possible explanation for the great reception: the theory of catharsis. According to this theory, when the society sees this type of crime and violence content in series, movies, and games, it is expelling all the feelings it has of hostility, anger, and indignation for what it cannot solve. And, as it clears its emotions, it doesn’t hurt others.
While this happens, games like illustrated crimes continue to awaken followers for an additional ingredient: the fascination we all have to solve a mystery. For this reason, the public will continue to demand increasingly elaborate stories, and, as warned by specialists such as Ms. Coros de la Piedra, followers of these stories or products must know how to differentiate reality from fiction and ensure their mental balance.
Dr. Carmen Bravo de Rueda
Psychologist at Clínica Ricardo Palma