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  #1  
Old 03-09-2010, 02:23 PM
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Default Video Game speech


This is a speech I wrote a coupla years ago for English. I'm not really putting it out for critique, more just for people to read, but if you're going to, remember it was intended as a spoken delivery, so some sentences are tailored for that


Video games – do they deserve the bad press?



Computer games.

Much has been said on this subject, little of it good. Many supposedly “learned” people have spoken out against them, notably the gamers’ Anti-Christ, disbarred lawyer Jack Thompson, a name whispered in fear wherever geeks gather. Many statements have been made dismissing computer games because of “excessive violence”, “time-wasting” and that they have “taken imagination” from children.

Er… what? How does that work? Let’s think about this for a minute. A computer game is, by definition a game, same as any other. Have people claimed that Cluedo or Monopoly waste time or restrict imagination? No. Is it likely they ever will? Er… no. But what makes these games different from computer games? Lets see: No sense of immersion in the character – check. No attempt to make you empathise with the character – check. No visual realism – check. So. So far what we have ascertained is that “traditional” games have no way to immerse the player or players in the game.

What about violence? Surely these games are calm, peaceful affairs, suitable for family play? Er… no, again. Let’s take Cluedo. A game where at the start there is a dead body, killed in any one of nine rooms, either bludgeoned, shot, hung or stabbed. Is it just me, or is this making most first-person shooters look peaceful by comparison?

A new variant on this is a form of Anti-Cluedo called Don’t Drop the Soap, where the advertisement promises the ability to “slip glass into a mob boss' lasagna”, and warns you to avoid “being cornered by the Aryans in the Shower Room”. What makes this worse is that this game’s designer and manufacturer is the son of an anti-video game US governor, who supported legislation against violent video games. Apparently she’s proud of her son’s “creativity and talent”. Oh, the hypocrisy. Even at its worst, Grand Theft Auto never featured rape.

And yet, here we get to the nub of the matter, what appears to be the most violent video game ever created. True, it offers you the chance to gun down innocents in the street, but not without incurring the wrath of the police and armed forces. Kind of like real life really. And even in this supposed travesty of entertainment, there is still little physical damage to dead characters. Blood, yes, but by the reaction of anti-game lobbyists you almost expect to see entrails everywhere. But apparently, even this blood is enough, when combined with some sex references to gain the game an 18+ rating.

And yet Jaws, the iconic shark attack film is only a PG, even with blood and severed legs galore. As for the supposed “sexual themes” in it, it is only ever implied, with no nudity at all. Switch over to the film Airplane, which has two topless shots. The rating? PG.

Fair? I think not.

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Old 03-09-2010, 02:59 PM
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Many statements have been made dismissing computer games because of “excessive violence”, “time-wasting” and that they have “taken imagination” from children.

Should be

"and because they have "taken imagination" from children."

As a sometimes-gamer, I agree with you, although my arguments on the subject tend to focus more on the fact that anyone likely to commit a crime because of a video game was most likely already a very disturbed individual in desperate need of psychiatric attention, and anything could have set him/her off.

I think it's a bit unfair to bring up Jaws and Airplane, as Jaws was made in 1975 and Airplane in 1980, when the film rating system/criteria was likely very different. I do think that there's plenty of sex in violence in media other than video games, but those examples pointed out because of their PG rating aren't exactly fair.

Anyway, it's a nice enough little speech.
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Old 03-09-2010, 03:05 PM
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I think your points are well taken, Drama King. Your argument is cogent. I would avoid excessive "" marks except when actually quoting a speaker. It's a common habit writers fall into. Break it. I'm a big video game fan. I have been since the first time I played Pong. Or I should say, raided my mother's purse for every quarter she had. My brother and I used to play for hours on end. Games have come a long way and yes there's violence and sex and blood and other outrageously realistic aspects, but hey where's the outrage over movies? And no one can argue (not with any honesty) the creativity. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:45 PM
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I'm not a gamer, myself, but another good point to bring up in your argument is development of hand-eye coordination. Obviously, a skilled gamer must possess good hand-eye coordination to effectively operate the game controller while playing the game. Reaction times are part of this, too.

You raise a valid point that video games are still just games. However, I might recommend giving some thought to the difference between multi-level video games and common board games like Monopoly. One of the raging arguments by video game haters has been that kids spend way too much time on video games. Most video games (other than racing games, etc) are going to take longer to play, start to finish, than a game of Monopoly. You might want to address this, and throw in a few mentions of self-discipline while you're at it. Time spent on video games is an argument I've heard over and over again.

WomensMemoirs has a good point, too---why aren't people up in arms about the movie industry? Or even the music industry, for that matter?
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:47 PM
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Because Hollywood is a more daunting opponent than the game industry? :P
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by opposablethumbs View Post
Because Hollywood is a more daunting opponent than the game industry? :P
I won't debate that :P
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:58 AM
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I omitted certain points because of time restraints and the target audience in the original speech and the quotation marks were more of a visual cue for reading it aloud

Oh and opposablethumbs, I did consider the rating system differences, but considered that if anything it would have been stricter 30 years ago...
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Last edited by Dragon King; 03-10-2010 at 04:42 AM..
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Old 03-10-2010, 05:14 AM
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Nice speech, DKOD.

I have little else to add apart from on the topic of movie ratings. 'PG' can have brief topless shots as long as the action involved isn't sexual (can you believe). Also as long as there is little or no swearing you can get away with more violence. Violence and the occasional "F**K" thrown in results with a 15 rating, to get yourself an 18 rating just have one of the characters utter the 'C' word.

The original Star wars trilogy only had a U rating, and that included an arm getting loped off and a bloody great monster eating people. Which as a child taught me one thing - its ok to commit acts of violence unchecked against Ugly Aliens and faceless Stormtroopers.

One of the biggest storms-in-a-tea-cups in recent years was the addition of the 12 rating, as to why - originally in the UK they were not going to have this rating available for the video/dvd market. Forcing the companies to re-cut for a PG or put the film out as a 15.

This has all been from memory, and its been awhile.
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Old 03-24-2010, 03:41 AM
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if it's an informal essay, take out the "Er"'s. It just doesn't fit in with the formal tone you establish at the beginning. Great essay though. I did an essay like this in Grade 10. Man I hate Jack Thompson
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Old 03-24-2010, 03:46 AM
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it's not an essay, it's a speech. I did mention this

Like the quotation marks, the "ers" were more of a visual cue, a form of melodramatic puzzlement if you will...
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Old 03-24-2010, 06:37 PM
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Crap lol sorry. You're right. Okay. Right on. I like it lol As I read it, I totally forgot it was a speech.
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