Are Arcade Games teaching young children to gamble?
1. Anecdotal evidence and real-life story:
The author uses anecdotal evidence relating to a nine-year old girl, Jill Smith. The first-person narrative account proves that arcade games can be captivating and thrilling for young children. Jill appears to have a very naïve and innocent attitude towards arcade games. She appears as a typical child who is highly susceptible to persuasion and the author suggests that this is a prime time for many to condition such youngsters to recognise the fun that they can enjoy.
2. “Hard” evidence: a recent study by the University of Adelaide.
The author refers to the University study and the statistics of a control group of 2500 teenagers. It appears as a credible and trustworthy source.
The study proves that early exposure to arcade games can significantly increase a person’s chance of becoming a gambling addict.
- Mr X Smathey’s example is cited as a typical case study. As soon as he turned 18 he gravitated towards the “read deal”. His example proves that gambling addicts may have started playing arcade games when they were younger.
- Mr Smathey’s story proves that as a result of early exposure to arcade games he was more susceptible to a gambling addiction.
- By using cause-and-effect reasoning strategies, Mr Smathey contends that early exposure to games clearly had a link to his gambling addiction.
3. “Hard” evidence (expert): Mr Charles Livingstone from Monash University – credible expert.
Mr Livingston criticises Australia’s gaming laws that are relaxed compared with international models. Comparison: he uses the comparison to criticise our gaming laws and to suggest that they are too lenient, and should be more rigorous.
The expert states that the more entertainment options there are for children the more likely they are to become hooked on games.
Mr Livingstone thereby criticises /censures those who condone the addictive nature of their children’s enjoyment of arcade games.
- Mr Livingstone censures/discredits Australia’s gambling laws because they are the “most relaxed” in the world owing to their lack of rigour. (In other words, he suggests that Australian gambling laws are designed to normalise /encourage rather than to prevent gambling.)
- Mr Livingstone impugns the motives of hotel owners such as Mr Spicer because they have a commercial interest in increasing entertainment options.
4. “Hard” evidence (expert): Mr David Spicer, Australian and Hospitality fanfare Group “expert”
As an “expert”, Mr Spicer seeks to use his privileged position to defend the arcade games. However, as a hotel owner, he has a self-interested commercial motive and defends the use of arcade games as part of “family” enjoyment.
- He states that the games are designed to provide some fun for families and are not designed to “hook” them.
- As such, Mr Spicer minimises (condones) the harm and maximises the enjoyment.
- The fact that he is a hotel owner undermines his credibility, as he has a vested interest in encouraging patrons to patronise his gaming machines.
- Mr David Spicer rationalises his defence of arcade games by suggesting that they are just some “innocent family fun”.
5. “Hard” evidence (expert): Mr Bendat, anti-poker activist
Mr Bendat states that the games deceptively give children the idea that they might be able to win something if they improve their skills.
- Mr Bendat uses the real-life example of the game Stacker to suggest that the games are deceptive. He uses cause-and effect-reasoning strategies to suggest that the games have the potential to morally corrupt the young players by giving them the illusion of skill.
- He is critical of an industry that conditions young children to a false or unrealistic sense of hope.
- He uses the comparison between arcade games and the lottery to highlight the insidious/deceptive nature of the games.