The Instigator
Harman
Pro (for)
Winning
52 Points
The Contender
Albatross
Con (against)
Losing
20 Points

"Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" is more Educational than any Video Game Advertised to be Educational

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 12 votes the winner is...
Harman
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/23/2010 Category: Technology
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,284 times Debate No: 12401
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (12)

 

Harman

Pro

"Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" or "SA" as I will now refer to it as, will contain more information beneficial to a person ages 6-16 than any other game marketed as, labeled as, or designed to be educational. While many educational games teach children common themes already being taught in public schools, such as math and reading, SA shows children skills that will be used in everyday life, regardless of their academic success. I will list the lessons SA teaches below. Also, the game's protagonist whose persona the player assumes is referred to as CJ.

How to Eat Properly: Many children struggle with with obesity. (1) SA incorporates a system that allows the player to choose CJ's diet. (2) CJ can choose from a variety of different foods, such as pizzas, burgers, fried chicken, or salads. If a player eats too many of the pizzas, burgers, or fried chicken, his character will become overweight. Becoming overweight in the game is problematic, as it limits CJ from being able to do certain physical activities, such as jumping, biking, and swimming. Becoming overweight also puts CJ at risk for heart attacks. (2) However, if CJ does not eat enough, he will become too skinny. His svelte figure will also cause the same problems, aside from the heart attack. However, he will die randomly, which in terms of game play mechanics, is the same as a heart attack. SA teaches children about balanced dieting, even if not in depth. See (3).

The Importance of Exercise: SA teaches children about the rewards of exercise. If the player exercises enough, he will become muscular, allowing him to do certain activities better. (4) For instance, if CJ does enough cardio, he will be able to run and bike faster, which is beneficial to the player, as CJ will need to be able to get to certain destinations quickly.

The Importance of Sleep: While most children have parents to guide them through this lesson, many teenagers have trouble with sleep. (5) In SA, when the player needs to save, he goes to bed. The game's internal clock advances, and the players health is fully restored. (6)

Basic Urban Navigational Skills: The average man will need to be able to read a map at some point, and this game not only teaches children how to read maps, but how to get from point A to point B as well. Almost every mission in SA involves going from one point to another, so knowing how to navigate through the complex environments is essential. The maps in this game are very intricate and realistic, giving children much real life experience. (7)

The Importance of Avoiding Drugs: Kids need to avoid drug usage. While we could argue all day on whether on not drugs are bad, the fact that they are illegal remains. CJ is a "cool" role model for staying out of trouble, and remaining drug free. For instance, one of the minor characters in SA, Big Bear, becomes infatuated with cocaine. Loosing all of his money to the drug, he becomes a slave to his dealer, B-Dup, and let's his life become consumed by his addiction. (8) As a side note, the major characters who consume/deal drugs are killed because of their addiction. (9) (10)

As you can see, SA illustrates many important life lessons to children. Thank you for reading, and good luck to whoever takes up this debate.

(1) http://www.cdc.gov......
(2) http://www.mightyape.co.nz......
(3) http://gta.wikia.com......
(4) http://gta.wikia.com......
(5) http://parentingteens.about.com......
(6) http://gta.wikia.com......
(7) http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net......
(8) http://gta.wikia.com......
(9) http://gta.wikia.com......
(10) http://gta.wikia.com......
Albatross

Con

I would like to first say that all the reasons my opponent stated are good lessons for children to learn, but the game does not simply end with good eating habits and a stay away from drugs message. The game also incorporates and encourages the use of vigilantly violence, disrespect for law enforcement officers, use of weapons, gang affiliation, prostitution, stealing, and a myriad of other less then beneficial lessons.

I myself am a proponent of the games industry, but i would be ling to myself if I said that GTA SA is more educational then say "the Sims" or another real-world simulator. What I will say about GTA games in general is that they are fun and they do no adverse damage to children, but by no stretch of the imagination are they "educational" for anyone besides someone who aspires to be a career criminal
Debate Round No. 1
Harman

Pro

My opponent seems to nonchalantly assume that the game forces the player to become associated with the in-game elements that appear malevolent, such as the violence and prostitution. However, it should be noted that the game does not force its players to use violence, steal, have sex with prostitutes, hijack a car, or fire weapons. (1) In fact, the entire game can be completed without doing any of these things. (2) The player simply begins the game on a bike, and from there, the player is free to do as he/she pleases. If the player's moral compass leads them to murder, they can not blame the game, for they chose their own actions. And with an adult helping them play, they can confront them about morally objectionable things the player has done, and ask them why they choose that action, allowing for bonding between the player and the adult. (3) (4) This also allows the adult to get to better understand the child on a psychological level, which in turn, allows the child to prosper. (4)

My opponent appears to contradict himself, he states early in his argument that my examples are good lessons for children to learn, while later in his argument, he denies that, and states that these lessons are only educational for those who aspire to be a career criminal. I ask my opponent, are the lessons I previously listed in round one beneficial for those who do not aspire to be career criminals? If the answer is no, I ask for him to justify how could a person who doesn't aspire to be a career criminal not benefit from these lessons.

My opponent states that "The Sims" is more educational than Grand Theft Auto. First off, I must ask my opponent to relate this game to the resolution. Has The Sims been advertised as an educational video game? Was it designed to be educational? If it has been for either of later, what about the game is more educational then GTA SA? If it is not related to the resolution, can my opponent find another game that relates to the resolution and is more educational than GTA SA?

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(2) http://www.gamefaqs.com...
(3) http://www.thecutekid.com...
(4) http://www.childdevelopmentinfo.com...
Albatross

Con

Thank you Pro,

I am new to this site and perhaps was not as precise in my argument as i should have been, let me clear this up. I did not mean to contradict myself even if i did appear to do so, I was simply trying to say that the lessons Pro stated are good lessons to learn, but all the other "lessons" someone might take away from it are not, I probably should not have said "career criminal" but i see no other real world context were conducting illegal activity could be very beneficial.

Pro stated that you are not "forced" into doing anything morally questionable, this is in some ways true, you are not "forced" into doing anything but the missions which may or may not entail anything illegal, what you are though is "influenced" into doing these kinds of illegal or morally questionable activities. If you are put into a environment such as the game provides where you are not only rewarded for but expected to do illegal activities then you will in all likely hood commit these activities. Pro also neglected to mention that at certain points in the game you are indeed required to commit illegal activity to move forward in the game, such as when you are asked to kill a crooked cop. This type of situation does not give the player a choice in the matter, there is no way to circumvent this activity, which is to say he is forced to kill. Pro would then be wrong in his assumption that your own moral compass leads all decisions and you can avoid illegal activity

Finally I will address my "Sims" comment, I will now answer the questions I was posed.

"was The Sims marketed as an educational game"....No the sims was not marketed as an educational game, but that does not mean it cant have educational benefits, you have stated that GTA SA has educational value even though it was not marketed as such. I was simply using it as an example of a game that was not marketed as educational that teaches the same good benefits you say exist in GTA SA without the threat of the morally questionable aspects of the game.

"Was it designed to be educational".....once again no, but for the above reason I don't believe it has to be.

"what about the game is more educational then GTA SA".....Many things pro stated as good lessons to learn from GTA SA can be found in the Sims and even some that exist only in the Sims. You are required to manage a home,clean up and keep it in good order,hold a job and advance your chosen career, manage your diet, manage a healthy work/social life relationship, and all of these things have positive and negative consequences which the player has to account for without being forced or influenced to commit any kind of illegal activity, which I believe makes it a superior game for strictly educational value.

"If it is not related to the resolution, can my opponent find another game that relates to the resolution and is more educational than GTA SA? ".....while it is not a marketed educational game, the Sims fits the definition, "an electronic medium with all the characteristics of a gaming environment that have intended educational outcomes targeted at specific groups of learners.". The Sims fits into this definition of an educational game where as GTA SA does not. while GTA SA may have some educational benefit, it does not match or exceed that of a game that fits into the definition.

In closing when we look a the resolution "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" is more Educational than any Video Game Advertised to be Educational then we have to say no, for the simple reason that even games not marketed as educational have more educational value then that of GTA SA and if we were to find a game marketed a educational it would surely exceed that of even the Sims and using logic exceed that of GTA SA
Debate Round No. 2
Harman

Pro

I would like to thank Con for his clarification on the issue of the benefits I have listed in playing GTA: SA. However, I still have reason to believe that Con is still a bit misguided. My opponent states that "missions" within the game force the player to commit acts that would be illegal and wicked in reality, and that the player is rewarded for committing these acts. This is untrue, as I have stated and proved in the previous round. The entire game can be completed without doing any of the missions, and all of the rewards obtained from completing the missions can be earned without having to commit heinous acts such as killing cops. (1)(2) In fact, the entire game can be completed without killing anyone. (1)(2)

Not only can all the benefits given to the player by winning the in-game missions be awarded to the player without doing anything morally questionable, the player can also receive exclusive rewards for doing benevolent things for his city, such as playing mini-games where the player works as a firefighter or a ambulance driver. (1)(2)(3)(4)(5) The rewards obtained by doing these acts are completely exclusive, unlike those obtained by doing the missions. This means that the player can only obtain these rewards by being morally "good", while the rewards awarded by the missions Con referred to can be awarded by either being evil or entering a code. (4)(5) Ergo, there are other things to do in GTA: SA than shoot people; a player can be a firefighter, police officer, ambulance driver, or valet operator. (3)(4)(5)

Con himself stated that "The Sims" does not present itself as an educational game, and nor does it advertise itself as one. The resolution clearly stated that a game that is advertised as educational must be presented and proven as more educational than GTA: SA. While Con may interpret his game to be more educational than GTA: SA, he concedes to the fact that it was not advertised to be educational, making it unable to coexist with the resolution. Con's game does not even match his definition for an educational game, which was not cited, as a side note. "An electronic medium with all the characteristics of a gaming environment that have intended educational outcomes targeted at specific groups of learners" was the definition Con gave for an educational game. However, Con has admitted that "The Sims" was not advertised as educational, ergo, it does not target a specific group of learners.

Con appears to assume that because a game that is not advertised as educational exceeds GTA: SA in educational value within his own mind, an educational game would logically surpass GTA: SA in educational value.

To further illustrate the thought process, Con believes that because his game, which is not advertised as educational, has more educational value than another game which is also not advertised as educational, a game advertised as educational is, by default, more educational than GTA: SA. This leads me to believe that Con assumes that because a game is advertised as educational, it is innately more educational than a game not advertised as educational. This abomination of logic has no basis in fact, and shows that Con does not understand that the purpose of this argument was to prove that a non-educational game can be more educational than a game advertised as educational.

In conclusion, Con's claims that the game rewards players for violence and that wicked acts are inevitable while playing the game are false. The game Con suggested to be more education than GTA: SA has been proven to not even match his own definition for an educational game, ergo, because the game was not advertised as educational, it can not be used to negate the resolution. The benefits of GTA: SA I listed in round one still stand and have yet to be disproven, and Con has yet to even suggest a game that is advertised as educational and surpasses my game in educational value, making myself the undeniable victor. A vote for Pro is encouraged.

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(2) http://www.gamefaqs.com...
(3) http://gta.wikia.com...
(4) http://gta.wikia.com...
(5) http://gta.wikia.com...
Albatross

Con

Pro has continually demanded a educational game and be advertised as such to be presented, so i will try and appease him. Peacemaker(1) is a geo-political simulation of the Arab-Israeli conflict, it is marketed as a "serious" game, a sub genre of educational game(2). It fits my presented definition of a educational game that I will cite now due to his displeasure with a lack of appropriate source(2). Peacemaker's benefits may not include healthy eating habits as in GTA SA,but it does help the user develop better critical thinking skills in Problem/solution type format. Its educational content is also not hidden behind a game that was designed with no educational purpose in mind, it i right up front. In the game the player takes on the role of either the Israeli prime minister or the president of the Palestinian authority and is required to solve the conflict using the two state solution, something which no real-world diplomat has been able to do to date. Despite the near impossible goal, the game makes allowances so the factions appear more agreeable with varying levels of difficulty. The player once in his given role is in almost complete control of his countries government and is supposed to use all available resources to reach this goal.

The game teaches many things, from the aforementioned critical thinking skills to other benefits like being diplomatic and making compromises. it also exposes the player to real world politics and contemporary international issues. I will once again try and correct Pro as he seems to be under the false impression that you can complete the game without killing anyone, this is wrong. I have personally played and completed the game several times, he seems to not understand what "complete" means. 100% completion requires the player to do all of the missions in the game, even the car theft mini game, not to mention all the missions, most of which require the player to involve himself in illegal activity. I reaffirm that it is impossible to attain 100% completion without committing any crimes, so pro is wrong in his assumption that you can complete the game without committing a crime.

For my closing arguments I will say directly to Pro, that the voters will decide if the game I present has any educational value that exceeds that of GTA SA, you cannot contend with my choice because you stated "any" game that was marketed as educational could be used. And finally I hate to be frank and informal with you, but the game is called "grand theft auto", a crime is depicted in the title, even if by some chance you could complete the game without committing a crime(which you cant), the game already presents its self as a crime-simulator.

(1) http://www.peacemakergame.com...
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by lidia.watzktyshoov 3 years ago
lidia.watzktyshoov
Back in my day, there were no video games. All the hoodlums of rural Slovakia, had to take out their in another median. They would go into the local rivers and go noodling for catfish. I had a large catfish pond behind my house, so these hoodlums gathered around the pond every weekend to capture these magestic beasts. But me being the chupacabresque woman of the community I dashed down yonder to force the boys out of my yard. But I was to afraid to pack a punch to them, so they overtook the pond. I told them to go do something else, but they said, "there ain't nothing else to do." If they had a violent median, like GTA SA, then I believe they would have left me and my catfish alone.
Posted by Lamza61 6 years ago
Lamza61
LOL, this was the very debate that made me join this site.
Posted by Harman 6 years ago
Harman
Yes, that was before I deleted that account. I rejoined this year because I have some more time to debate now. I just re-used the debate because I guess it's a lot harder to find debates now, no one seems to be creating them.
Posted by sherlockmethod 6 years ago
sherlockmethod
Before I RFD, is this your debate from last year?
http://www.debate.org...
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Lamza61
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