Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 61, Issue 4, pp 513–530 | Cite as

Fantasy as Addition to Reality? An Exploration of Fantasy Aggression and Fantasy Aggrace-ion in Violent Media

  • Gregory C. EllisonII


In a generation where the average American spends two-thirds of their waking hours before a digitized screen, the arc of media influence consciously and unconsciously informs thoughts and behaviors. So pervasive is media’s influence, that for some the lines between fantasy and reality are blurred. This interdisciplinary study examines the long history of research connecting exposure to violent media (i.e., television, videogames, music, social networking sites) with heightened aggression. Utilizing tools of narrative inversion in Jesus’ parable of the Tenants, a model of care, particularly designed for youth engagement with media, is introduced that reframes fantasy aggression into a more compelling narrative capable of individual and collective transformation. (For an audiovisual introduction to this article please see uploaded video at


Fantasy Aggression Fantasy aggression Media Violence Media violence Dragon*Con Bobby Tillman Sigmund Freud Parable of the tenants 



I am grateful to Brandon Maxwell, Reginald Wilborn, Jr., Michelle Ledder, and Toby Sanders for keeping me grounded and unplugging me from the Matrix when my research on virtual worlds made me a humanoid. Their willingness to labour with me in the vineyard of this study has been aggracing. For their support and care, I give thanks.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Candler School of Theology at Emory UniversityAtlantaUSA

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