Desensitization – Splatterpunk Articles

© S.B. “LullaDIEs”

We’ve mentioned this a few times in previous articles but haven’t gone into exactly what it is. If you’re following me, you might have noticed my slight obsession with the phrase “desensitized audience“, as that is who I primarily write for. While many have proudly taken the label of a desensitized horror fan, what exactly does it entail?

Wikipedia defines desensitization as:

the diminished emotional responsiveness to a negative or aversive stimulus after repeated exposure to it.

Basically this means that the first time you see someone get shot you’d probably have a strong emotional reaction (fear, discomfort, disgust, etc.) as well as a physical one (increased heart rate, perspiration, or nausea). After the hundredth time however, you would most likely become desensitized to it and may not have any response at all.

Desensitization comes from many places; war, criminal lifestyles, and it’s debated to arise from different media sources as well, including TV, video games, and movies. Scientists generally agree that the media does perform an unknown degree of desensitization, but some argue as to wether media violence desensitization transfers over to real-life violence desensitization.

When used within the horror community, the term is used to reference media violence desensitization, and those who fall under this category of horror fan are known as Splatterpunks. It refers to the ability to view, read, or listen to a horror story and not feel the fear, disgust, or dread it’s meant to inflict. Some desensitized fans enjoy their form of media violence and simply go, “yup.” Others laugh.

Either way if it didn’t cause some feeling of discomfort to stir within you, then it wasn’t horrific enough to be considered horror. If it’s as horrible as it gets, you’re probably a Splatterpunk.

Thanks for reading!  As always, if I left anything out OR if you disagree with me, then please make your knowledge/opinions known. These articles cannot be helpful unless made complete, and it can’t be complete without ALL viewpoints included!


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