Phase One

Week 4:

Audacity Pitch

The opinion piece I have chosen is “WHO and critic’s panic over video games is unfounded,” written by Kaelan Dorr. The piece discusses on how video games should be seen in a positive outlook, being looked upon as a solution rather than a problem in society.

Remember Pac-Man? You, the player, had total control of a tiny yellow character who would move around in endless mazes to collects points, while also dodging colourful enemies. These small opponents, known as “Ghosts,” had one sole goal in mind; to stop you. No matter how fast you ran, or how quick witted you were, these ghosts eventually caught up. If we think about it, what was the overall purpose of this game? To collect the points? To outrun the ghosts? Or, were we so focused on the game that we never considered what we, the player, would get from it?

Maybe zooming around as Pac-Man gave us the ability to strategize our movements, making us think before we act. Just as the game, it’s a puzzle waiting to be solved. Dorr describes games to be a form of learning, one good for the mind, but also a key form of strategy building, thinking, and simply a hobby (WJLA).

A study/experiment was taken by the University of Geneva (UNIGE) where they spanned an analysis of those who played shooter games vs control games, such as SIMS (Global News). With this research, the results came back that those who played shooter games more often than control games actually had a better cognition, the ability to take in knowledge through sense, than the control players. Not only were they able to take in knowledge easier, but their overall senses increased due to the games. Even so, good follows bad.

First person shooters (FPS), such as Call of Duty and Overwatch, are famous for their spectacular mechanics of FPS, showing stunning visuals and team-based coordination. What we don’t see is how this can affect others mentally.

One of the most leading news to date follows the issue of school shootings, how violence in children arises, and that possibly video games may be the source of this. A game by the name of “Active Shooter” has begun to rile up the media, particularly the families of school shooting victims. Acid Software, the company which holds the game, refuses to take down the game because it does not violate any Terms of Service (Chicago Tribune). Of course, this angered many families and loved ones of past shooting victims who felt the game promoted extreme violence, along with ridiculing the idea of school shootings.

The big question is - “Do games like these wish to promote violence or prevent it?” Do we want our games to display action and violence, or rather perform strategic tasks for the brain? In my opinion, they must work side by side. What good would Pac-Man be if it was just about you collecting the points in a never-ending loop, but what good would it be if twenty ghosts stopped you every five seconds? It’s not a fact of supporting violence; it’s looking at both sides of the picture, and thinking - “Yes, we can learn from this.”

References

“Action video games could have a beneficial effect on the brain: study.” Global News, AFP/RelaxNews, 15 December 2017, globalnews.ca/news/3918731/video-games-beneficial-brain/.

Collins, Dave. “Develop of school-shooting video game defends it as victims complain.” Chicago Tribune, 14 June 2018,  www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-school-shooting-video-game-20180614-story.

Dorr, Kaelan. “OPINION: WHO and critics’ panic over video games is unfounded.” WJLA, 20 December 2018. wjla.com/news/bottom-line/opinion-who-and-critics-panic-over-video-games-is-unfounded.

Snider, Mike. “Study confirms link between violent video games and physical aggression.” USATODAY, 1st October 2018, www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2018/10/01/violent-video-games-tie-physical-aggression-confirmed-study/1486188002/.

Week 3:

Summary

For the article “WHO and critics’ panic over video games is unfounded,” it describes the opinion of the author on their stand point of video games in society. The controlling idea or main claim in the article is how the concept of video games is not a form of addiction towards laziness and destructive behavior, but rather a learning tool that can be used in subjects relating to learning, work and creative exercises. The types of evidence the author provides are positive examples of video games, such as, the ability to build communities alongside others, be provided as learning tools in school, offer the chance to be creative, allow us to become competitive, as well as educate us on the use of technology in the present world. Not only just for us, but for the rest of the world, games initiate memory for medical patients, stimulating their thoughts as a form of therapy. Identified as an opinion, because, as listed before, all of these points were not supported by any statistics or cited so. In addition, the author themselves is a avid gamer since childhood, so their own bias developed through their writing of overshadowing negative with positive.

What I find that makes this piece topical is how popular games are nowadays. With the growing gaming community, along with new technology being released each day, games are becoming more and more enjoyable. While many may support the creativity that gaming brings, there are others who go against the concept of video games. Sensitive issues, such as cyber bullying and school shootings, are often linked to be the result of “too many video games”; this can be up to debate. For the podcast, I can choose to talk about both sides, as well as point out both of their problems.

Week 2:

The Nature of Opinion

I find that knowledge cannot avoid being claimed as a matter of opinion. As I speak about this matter, this is my own opinion. While many of us may use facts or ideas in order to prove that an idea is not just an opinion, being able to compress multiple ideas as a way of proving an idea is “correct” can be taken as a form of opinion. “I want others to think this is right and just, so I will use examples to prove it is in fact right” - this does not make it right; it just means you want others you believe in what you find is right. Don’t get me wrong, that said idea may be right, but then won’t that just be my own opinion? Everyone has their own thoughts and mindsets, while knowledge is constantly around us to learn. Just as an example given in “is philosophy just a matter of opinion?”, if all opinions were equally good, then there would be no point in having doctors, since simply asking for medical advice would be just as fine. Why bother hiring an engineer, if anyone was just as capable of designing an airplane?

Even so, if this is the overall idea of “an opinion,” then no matter what, despite our toughest efforts to produce a “non-opinion related claim,” it is still our own matter of opinion overlapped with knowledge.

Week 1:

Hello everyone!

I’m Paola Toaquiza, a first year English & Professional Writing student at YorkU. When I was applying to universities, this program caught my eye immediately. My two passions have always been to read/write, along with painting. Despite aiming for a graphic design major in the past, I feel like I made the right choice on deciding on this program. I’m comfortable in this program, if that makes sense. After graduating high school, I took a gap year before applying for university, and in that year, I began to recognized my love for writing all over again. From poetry to short stories, I wanted to try them all. Since I pour my heart into anything related to writing and art (along with video games), a future combining all three, maybe in the game development business, would make me ecstatic. When I head that we would be developing a podcast, I was overjoyed. “Something I can make~” is what I thought, and although I have very little knowledge on podcasts themselves, having the chance to make such a project from this type of program, it’s very exciting.

A recent shortcut or tactic I have learned has to be the power of “key words.” Especially towards research-related papers that involve scholar articles, key words can be a gigantic change in what, or what not to use in a paper. Despite being a English & Professional Writing major, reading can be tiresome at times. By looking up key words through article searching, themes or topics related to your work can be found. Even so, it can often mix completely different topics together, so make sure to be direct on your research. One word searches are the best, but remember to read over articles, even if it is over 100 pages long, better safe than sorry.