Bandura's experiment with a BoBo doll involved children observing a person acting aggressive to a blow up BoBo doll. When it was the children's turn to "play" with the BoBo doll, the children imitated the same movements toward the same targets and also said the same angry statements that they observed. The aggression was stronger if the child observed reinforcement of the actor's violent behavior while the children who observed the actor being "punished" for being violent were less likely to show aggression.
In the text Introduction to Learning and Behavior, Powell and colleagues (2013) describe how Bandura's experiment showed that people learn socially through observation. Observations can be direct through actions of their families or within their communities, but also through television and video games.
Children's exposure to violence has drastically changed since television and other technology has become accessible. Children are exposed to more and more types of violence at younger ages. Television and video games have also become more and more graphic. For example, Powell et al. (2013) describe how in the 1980's, Pac-Man concerned parents because the video game involved eating other characters where as recent video games, such as Grand Theft Auto, depict murder, rape, and theft and other violent criminal behaviors in detail. Even games involving warfare are incredible detailed with weapons and injuries.
In my opinion, I feel young children need to be censored from such graphic violence, since young children have difficulty distinguishing between fantasy and reality and are more observant and imitating in their behaviors. Just as a child might imitate and observe the good qualities of their environment, such as "I want to be a firefighter just like daddy" or "I love to read like mommy," etc., children also observe and imitate the poor behaviors they observe. For example, my friend's niece would screamed "JERSEY SHORE, B*TCHES" because she observed an episode of the MTV show with a cast member saying that phrase. The same can be said about violence. As people age, they develop the ability to distinguish reality from fantasy. People are able to think critically and have started to develop a stronger sense on ethics and morals. For example, most children think in terms of punishment and consequences instead of the intentions or what is morally "right." In the same breath, I feel violence can be attributed to many other factors other than just media. There are children who are exposed to violence, whether in their family or media, who do not grow up to become violent people or exhibit aggressive behaviors as a child.
Powell, R. A., & Symbaluk, D. G. (2013). Introduction to learning and behavior. Australia: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.