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  1. #1

    Default Why Do We Find Violence/Misfortune Funny?

    I was reminded of this distubring fact of life as my husband played the Sims 2 earlier. He had made a redneck couple which he named the Simbies (a name I came up with the first time I played).

    All was going well until I kept hearing the sounds of his two Sims falling asleep from sheer exhaustion. (The game plays the tune of "Go To Sleep" every time this happens.) He explained to me that both his Sims were miserable and he was trying to let them die because one of Mrs. Simby's desires was to be saved from death (by having her husband beg the Grim Reaper not to take her when he comes). He then explained to me that both of them were probably going to die. I asked him, "Why both?" and he really couldn't answer. Eventually a fire was set in the game, and I had to listen to them screaming for their lives as he watched, laughed, and did nothing to save them.

    Now, I realize the Sims are completely fictional. "They're actually just programs," he pointed out. And, yeah, I can completely understand taking pleasure in killing a program - say Microsoft Word or AOL - but not simulated humans.

    We talked about this some after church, and I guess we see each other's point of view a little bit better, but I think, me being a girl, and him being a guy, it's basically something kinda natural and will probably never change. He will always see it as "just a game", and I will always see that it is essentially simulated torture.

    Now, I'm not saying Wallie's a bad guy at all. I don't mean to say anything bad about him. I realize this is simply a male phenomenon I will probably never fully relate to. But, is there any explanation for it? I mean, like I told him, since he's an INFP and I'm an ISTJ, he should technically be more feeling than I am. (And, admittedly, he pretty much is in real life, lol.)

    Also, he pointed out - all humans tend to laugh at smaller catastrophes, as evidenced by America's Funniest Home Videos. What is WRONG with us???
    By the way, I'm the girl in the picture, lol.... happily married though, so don't even...

  2. #2
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    This sort of situation has been around throughout human society.

    This is generalization, admittedly, but males play games for sport and don't generally personalize the violence. (That's why they can sit around and play shoot-em-up games obsessively without any bad dreams about it later.)

    Females are nurturers and naturally want to protect/keep people from harm.

    Psychology researchers have long noted that girls gravitate towards the dolls or neutral toys, while boys can very easily turn a doll into a gun or weapon of violence. This isn't socialization, this is brain wiring. (There's some overlap there, obviously; but generally that is how it plays out.)

    This is that age-old conflict butting heads. Don't feel bad that the game makes you feel bad; but don't feel bad that he deals just fine with it.

    And, honestly, everyone of either gender can watch slapstick or Warner Brothers cartoons and be able to laugh at the violence that occurs... because it's more the juxtaposition or extremity of what is going on that is funny, not the violence itself. The characters are just vehicles for the humor.

    Another good quote: "Comedy is when bad things happen to others; tragedy is when they happen to us."
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #3

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    Well, see, I can actually deal with shooter games better than this 'cause they're less personal, and usually don't involve the more personalized screams of simulated humans. (When they scream, they screaming to him btw, almost as their god of sorts.)

    I mean, shoot, one of his favorite games lately was Serious Sam, an older shooting game involving blasting the crap out of aliens in the desert. This didn't bother me 'cause they didn't pretend to be humans.
    By the way, I'm the girl in the picture, lol.... happily married though, so don't even...

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Well, i admit I was taking a more generalized view rather than looking carefully at the Sims example. I don't know, since the Sims people were more personal/real. Sometimes the whole absurdity of the thing can be laughable, even if the event itself is a little traumatic.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Have you read of the Romans and the Colosseum? Even women and children often watched the contest without shame or disgust. What we consider repulsive is definitely in part determined by our culture and expectations. Hence, the differing expectations might have contributed to why he is less disgusted by such an event. That purely biological argument may or may not be true, but it makes me uneasy enough that I want to present the other side more completely, to avoid the possible validation of certain stereotypes (especially since she used the absolute phraseology "are/is," rather than "tends to be.")

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    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I think I remember my INFP daughter putting Sims in the swimming pool then deleting the ladder so they would fall asleep in the pool and drown.

    She really liked the little cemeteries, I think.

    I'm not really sure why suffering is funny, to be honest. Maybe we're just relieved it isn't us?
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  7. #7
    Wait, what? Varelse's Avatar
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    Because it happens, and it's easier to be amused then to be reminded of my own misfortunes.
    We are not poets
    We have no right to make amendments

  8. #8
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    If Roman gladiatorial combat still existed, I would watch it (and it would probably be one of the most watched televised sports). But then...I am a guy, and an INTJ.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  9. #9
    Senior Member snegledmaca's Avatar
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    I find something funny if there are no serious consequences. I cannot enjoy another's suffering. Even if it is simulated.

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    Senior Member celesul's Avatar
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    I hate watching people suffer actually. I don't understand them, but I want them to be happy. I hate TV shows where people suffer, and I usually leave the room if someone is being bullied in a movie, and I come back later.

    However, I've played a bit with the Sims, and tortured them at times, but my favorite part was building their houses, so I stopped. Slapstick humor is funny for the absurdity though. Who doesn't like Looney Toons? And I love the video game Super Smash Bros. Melee, but no one dies... Everyone just smacks eachoth with big metal sticks! (and we did that in gym class when we learned fencing).

    And snegledmaca, your avatar is awesome.
    "'You scoundrel, you have wronged me,' hissed the philosopher. 'May you live forever!'" - Ambrose Bierce

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