The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
7 Points

"Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" is more educational than any video game designed to be educational.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/6/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,501 times Debate No: 9440
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




"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. By the way, CJ is the protagonist in the game, for those who have not played it.

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.



I wish my opponent the best of luck in this debate.

I believe that if I can disprove my opponents contentions/sub contentions, I can win this debate. After all, I do have the Burden of Clash.

Let me begin my argumentative testimony by pointing out to my opponent that there are certain aspects of the game that hold falsehood in reality. For example, you are not likely to survive 10+ gunshot wounds, even if you eat a hamburger or you can collect a token to lower your criminal warrants. But I digress to Pro's points.

1) How to Eat Properly: In the game, if you eat something (often from street vendors or fast food places) it will make your health go up. We all know how prone to accidents children are, and may eat something just because they get a scratch or a "Boo-boo". Or when they are just feeling under the weather. When they see that this fails, they may try to indulge themselves in more fast food, hot dogs, etc.
2) On a side note: I wasn't aware CJ could have heart attacks. Now, to be serious. I've never had problem getting overweight in the game, because I was always running from the law after going on a killing spree of innocent civilians because I either wanted to take my girlfriend out or buy some "bling". I found the easiest ways were gambling on horses or just killing people.
2)) If you are too skinny, you can die. But in real life, there is no second chance. In the game, if it teaches them a lesson, is that they do not truely die, they are just charged (100$?) and sent to the nearet hospital. We all know how expensive health care is and it is NOT 100$.
SA is rated M for mature. You state the ages between 6-16, but the ESRB that rates most games states that the minimum age for M games is 17, if I am mistaken, then 18. They learn their first lesson as soon as they pick up the controller with the game in the console: They CAN break the law and get away with it!! Why not get away with something else the game teaches?

The Importance of Exercise: The only thing I can say to this, is who doesn't want buff six year olds? Besides that, they can become overly consearned about muscular growth. When they realize that their bodies likely haven't developed the capacity for the appearance they desire, they turn to drugs like steroids. You also said "CJ will need to be able to get to certain destinations quickly." For what? Drug runs? Robberies?

The Importance of Sleep: Why would a child save the game, and quit just because their character goes to bed? Why not stay up all night and play it?

Basic Urban Navigation Skills: "The maps in this game are very intricate and realistic, giving children much real life experience." Indeed, the maps in the game are specifically designed to be easy-to-read so that mere children can understand it. But are today's maps like this? No, some adults can't even understand maps. Often times maps/atlas's are used to travel long distances. In the game, a long distance takes about 7 minutes, but in real life, a long distance is hundreds of miles! "Why not commit "Grand Theft Auto" and just drive for 7 minutes," children may think, "I can out run the cops. I'll try to flip him over this car or crash him into the semi. Hey! It's not your turn John! Oh, look! You made me get busted! Now I have to start the drug run over!

The Importance of Avoiding Drugs: How can you avoid drugs, when you are delivering them? Note that you didn't say USING drugs, just avoiding them. Not only that, but you state that drugs are illegal. Not all over the world and since you are comparing the game to all the ones created all over the world, it is subject to the entire world's reality.

1) Children do struggle with obesity, but I have proven this game does not help. I just realized, they are playing the game instead of getting exercise. It must not be a very powerful message, if there is one.
2) "(Weight) will also affect...ability in fights..." I believe this is a self-explanatory excerpt from your own article.
3) Statistics: 1) ...Health can be regained by eating food, saving, or picking up a health "power-up" or first-aid kit. (not in real life) 2) Armor counts as an extra "layer" of health. (again, not in real life) 3) Wanted Level : It doesn't go away in real life when you comitt mass murders in front of SWAT with 'god mode' on
4) Same as 3
5) The chart only states the ages between 10-16, and most children go to bed before 10 pm. Not only that, but children 15+ only need 6 hours sleep to function on a normal level. This is only on school nights as well. The chart doesn't even say if some of this children have a sleeping disability either.

For some reason, my computer will not open up these files. It was acting strange a moment ago. However, I do not believe that I need to clash any further to discredit my opponents "evidence", because I have effectively clashed and disproven my opponents points or pointed out an obvious, mortal flaw.

I wish my opponent they best of luck as well.
Debate Round No. 1


Well, I guess this is the part where I argue, right?

1) Truly, any child over the age of eight deluded enough to believe that he/she has a "health bar" that can be restored by consuming quantities of food probably shouldn't be playing ANY video games, regardless of their educational value. Let that child play Pokemon, and we have Michael Vick. Usually, most children understand that the more illogical and abstract concepts of video games aren't real. While I cannot prove that, as a child of the 90's, I never once looked for a "hyper potion" when I fell off the swing set. I simply cried and waited for my mother to return with a band-aid. Also, concerning the children under the age of eight, most of them don't have the ability to change their diets anyway, so I guess these children are exempt from both sides of the argument. So, am I to believe that there is a child over the age of eight who thinks a "Cluckin' Huge Meal" can restore his "health bar?"

2) Because I lack video recording technology of my own, I can't show the in game heart attack. The closest thing I could find was the in game warning shown in the video to my right. In case you were curious, I know what it's like being an overweight protagonist because one of the in game girlfriends wants you to get fat. If you don't, she won't date you. In an ironic twist, I had the heart attack as I was driving her to the nearest Well Stacked Pizza.

3) Point taken. But, at least it illustrates a more realistic lesson. In Mario, there isn't even any health care, there's just green mushrooms. I'm sure the idea of multiple lives offends you deeply. By the way, your estimates are wrong. I'm pretty sure it's 15% of your cash on hand.

4) I believe you are mistaken. The ESRB ratings, with the notable exception of the AO ratings, are all simply suggestions. Anyone can play an M rated game, but not everyone can buy one. (11)

5) Truth be told, six years old probably shouldn't be lifting. However, their parents could easily intervene, and restrict them from access to exercise devices, like they should be doing already. However, many teens could use this friendly reminder. Also, CJ never condones recreation drug use at any point during the game. Not once has CJ done a drug run, either. In fact, the game's plot revolves around stopping drug dealers to make San Andreas a more peaceful society.

6) I believe you misunderstood what I was saying there. CJ is simply being a good role model for sleep.

7) "No, some adults can't even understand maps." This is probably because they didn't have enough experience in the area. Maybe if they played some San Andreas, they would be able to better understand the concept. And once again, there are no drug deals in SA. If a child has access to a car, it's the parents fault for giving them access to it, and not explaining to the child that not everything in San Andreas is real. As a side note, not once in San Andreas are you ever forced to crash a car.

8) There are no drug dealing missions in SA. You may be thinking of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. I would love to see you prove there is, however. I would enjoy a good drug dealing mission. It would give me a good reason to break out my original Xbox. Also, you weren't very articulate with your last point, I'm afraid I didn't understand what you wrote.

I think you spent a bit too much time bashing SA, and not enough time finding a game that is more educational than SA. Even if you can disprove all of my points, you still have to find a game that has more educational value than SA.

I eagerly await your response, Con.



James.ticknor forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Mr.Bitterness forfeited this round.


Foremost, I would like to point out that we both forfieted a round, so that should not be a factor in voting. I will now move to rebuttals.

1) Health Bar Contention- You said " I simply cried and waited for my mother to return with a band-aid" I remember something similar my mother did to my "boo-boo's". She kissed them to make the pain go away, and I believed her. Children of that age are impressionable to unrealistic ideologies. So no matter how illogical it sounds to us, children may believe it. I may have only provided one example, but I provided a universal example as well. This also proves that children, while food may not provide relief from pain or health damage, kisses will and if they believe that, should they not have mothers?

2) Heh, I have no comment on that and I'll take your word for it =)

3) (It offend me a bit, rofl...excuse the slang) Oh, well I didn't know that either. Still, it's not very realistic.

4) Well if they are just suggestions, why was I asked when I wanted to buy a GTA game, to bring a parent or else I couldn't buy it? Why do I have to bring a parent to R rated movies? These are self-explanatory questions...

5) No, but you are forced to DESTROY cars. And you can't blame the parents!

6) Ah, not a very good one...

7) Still, the game map is quiet different from real maps and will provide hardly any real experience

8) Even if you're right, I've still made my point.

Good luck! I'm late for class!
Debate Round No. 3


Mr.Bitterness forfeited this round.


My arguments still stand and my opponent has forfieted, so I must assume he/she accepts them.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Volkov 8 years ago
Why San Andreas? GTA 4 is much more educational.
Posted by Maikuru 8 years ago
Thought so =D
Posted by Mr.Bitterness 8 years ago
I'd say I came up with it. The fact that the previous debater and I used the same topic, same resolution, and same arguments is purely coincidental.
Posted by Maikuru 8 years ago
Is this a common debate topic or did you come up with it? I ask because an identical topic was posted a few months ago and I'd like to know if we're dealing with an incredible coincidence, an older member on a new account, or something more normal.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by CHS 7 years ago
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