2121 – Writing for MIT
Dr. Tim Freeborn
January 31, 2012
Gaming the Console – Rhetorical Essay
In Linda Bernstein’s informative article “Gaming the Console” she presents both sides to the ongoing debate about the possible consequences associated with playing video games. Some experts have concluded that gaming leads to negative outcomes such as an increase in violent behavior, or a decrease in academic and social skills. On the other hand, there is a belief that some video games can have positive educational and physical benefits. Bernstein touches on all of these aspects of gaming and leaves the ultimate decision up to the reader to form his or her own opinion on the matter. Throughout the article, there are three images displayed that effectively support the text and help develop the arguments presented. The initial picture that is splashed across the entire first page of the article seems to represent the type of teen who exhibits the potential for increased aggression as a result of playing video games. The photo depicts a male teenager with spiked hair, dark eyes, pierced ear, and stubble on his lip and chin. These characteristics are typically indicative of a more rebellious or aggressive individual. His concentration is evident in his wide-eyed expression and his grimacing face with his tongue in his mouth. He holds the console in a tight grip as shown by the redness of his skin around his thumbs, which indicates his level of intensity. All of these details compliment the notion that video games may be unknowingly impacting areas of the brain associated with aggression. Professor Craig A. Anderson of Iowa State University describes this as follows: “The effects aren’t huge or immediately noticeable by a game player, but they tend to increase over time” (Bernstein 14). The player may not feel more aggressive after playing a game, but there may be evidence to suggest the effect is still there none the less. The next image in sequence works well in...
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