In my most recent essay I wrote of the violence attributed to video games in light of various shootings and other tragedies that occurred in the past year or so. In this essay I argued that despite their violent content, video games are not completely to blame for acts of violence committed by children. Throughout this essay I tried to convince the reader by, first, establishing my own credibility with video games, then sharing my own experiences with violent games, and providing both empirical data and valuable insight from trusted sources.
In identifying my target audience, the reader must first ignore the fact that this was written for my English professor, and imply that it was meant to be written for a blog on the internet so that its location could be accessed by all groups equally, and so that everything inferred about the essay comes from what the essay gives. Considering that the writer is a teenage male, who plays video games and believes that video games are not the cause of violence in children, we could say that I’m writing to arm fellow teenagers regarding the issue. I feel that my target audience should have been parents and other concerned adults who could use this information when buying their kids video games, or voting for something that had anything to do with censoring or banning video games. Although adults and parents should have been my target audience I feel that the essay may not have influenced their opinion regarding video games due to my sarcastic tone when asking rhetorical questions, my absurd comparisons with regard to any opinions that were contrary to my own, and my inability to yield any credit to evidence that disagreed with my position. I may have alienated possible converts to my side of the argument by arguing in a childish manner. So the target audience may have been the adults but, based on my style of writing, the only affected parties may be the teenagers who already agreed with my position.
I opened my essay with an exert from the opening of one of my favorite game, Fallout 3. I included this quote for multiple reasons, the first being that it talks about human nature, to me it helped show that humans have always been prone to violence, even before video games people have found reasons to kill each other. I thought this quote would also show that violent video games can have an artistic aspect to them. I hoped to show that video games were a little more than just mindless entertainment. I attempted to help the reader see that video games could be a form of art which may help readers change their opinion on violent video games. I also thought the quote was a good introduction to my opening paragraph.
In my first paragraph I mention that in the past rock and roll, radio, television, and jazz had, at one point, been blamed for past acts of violence or for corrupting the youth. I hoped to ally myself with older generations whom may have liked rock or jazz when it was considered taboo in hopes that they might make a connection between the two forms of media and be more inclined to listen to my side of the argument. I also wanted to associate the plight of video games with that of now accepted forms of media and associate its critics with those that in the past believed that rock and roll was the devil. I thought that by associating critics of violent video games with entertainment critics of the past that the reader would be more ready to disregard the arguments of the opposition and prepare them to take my arguments seriously. I finish the first paragraph by saying “video games are not these violence spewing hate machines” I used the harshest, most extreme, and absurd opinion of video games I could think of in order to make the other side of the argument seem emotional and unreliable. So, in putting these ridiculous opinions into the mouths of the opposition it makes the reader start to not trust their opinions, and makes my arguments seem more logical, agreeable...
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