This House Would Require All Game Companies or Manufacturers or Developers or Designers to Install a Bug or Feature or Code or Whatever Which Will Forcibly Disable Their Programs and Prevent Them from Running for Fifteen Minutes, Every Hour

The logo of Nintendo Co is pictured outside the company headquarters building in Kyoto, western Japan January 7, 2013. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

Ayy, (one of) my personal favorites! You know, being an addict and such, ha ha. I have made sure that the wording of the motion doesn’t create any bias nor multi-interpretation. Like your typical general motions, geographical context should automatically, and also, upon no setup, be in your standard liberal democratic countries. And, also, again, like your typical general motions, geographical context shouldn’t generally face any problem at all, but Team Negative could always argue a rebuttal by borrowing perspectives from third-world countries. Still valid. Mind you. Adjudicators would buy it. But, then again, it’s kind of uncommon to see a specific motion like this expanded in that way anyway. So, yeah, depends on the creativity (or craziness) of your Team Negative. As Sun Tzu said, know thy self, know thy battlefield, and lastly, also know thy enemies, right?

So, before we start, points to ponder (and cover):

  1. Is this course of action justifiable? As in, is it really within the jurisdiction of the government?
  2. Is the goal of this motion to find the best way to cure addiction? Or, at least, the phenomenon of this overwhelming number of addicted gamers? Supposing if that is so, is this course of action the best solution?

Team Affirmative

  1. Because government control.

Concede the second point, let Team Negative have it, debate under your worst-case scenario and their best-case scenario. Assume that this course of action has not undergone any prior research yet and its outcome (to solve your urgency) is still undetermined.

There have been numerous cases where governments pass bill based on pure instinct and up to the dismay of the society. Some failed, others (we should say, luckily) succeeded. Before going to your examples, talk about why. AREL/PEEL, remember? Reasoning/Elaboration first before your Examples.

Social contract has always been the weapon of all debaters. Run that. Expect to have experienced debaters on Team Negative that will challenge your social contract with their body autonomy. By this point, expect to have clashes regarding issues of “(+) the government was elected by the people, and in the process of doing so the people surrender some of their rights” “(-) the rights surrendered by the people do not include their freedom to play games” “(+) we do this because you stupid and government clever” “(-) government no clever, and even if, stupid still can carry their free will because reasons”

We can’t help you any further past this point. The best course of action you could do is practice and join sparring sessions. Because this clash is so classic it will happen on almost all debate motions especially the ones having the tone of banning something. Clashes will also vary very much (pun intended) depending on the debaters characteristics, personality, and more importantly, knowledge regarding those two issues (social contract and body autonomy). So, yeah, we can’t help you much past this point. There are plenty of scholarly articles and/or papers etc. talking about them, though. We highly recommend you to surf around the web, find and read them, then choose the ones (explanations) that are more likely to be convincing.

  1. Because there is a problem and this is the solution.

Okay. Now retract your concession and attack them on the second point. Address the problem, exaggerate it any way you wish. Cases where game addiction is the worst might be in PRoC, The Philippines, and Indonesia. Instances cover a wide range of scenarios, ranging from death in internet cafés (brain death, blood clot, others), gang fights (funnily enough, this theoretically would mean a group of scrawny gamers from one particular internet café assaulting yet another group of scrawny gamers from a different internet café – I wonder how MMA/UFC fighters would react upon witnessing one), breakups (brokenhearted girlfriend leaving gamer boyfriend). Ah, whatever, you choose your own urgency then explain it. Too many to mention.
And now, to explain the process of this model on how it can solve the situation, you should rely on (well, you can only capitalize on this – this is the only one anyway) the fifteen minutes.

Addiction, for one, comes from the release of the dopamine hormone. Continuous exposure through prolonged period towards the source of the addiction will heighten brain activity which in turn releases more dopamine. Thus comes the model that makes a halt of hormone production for fifteen minutes. On another aspect, there is also the forced feeling of “okay, now what?” sensation being injected to these gamers, hopefully making them do something else, that bladder they have been holding in that would otherwise turn into urinary stones without this motion, for example.

You can run aplenty of other arguments, but the nature of these arguments and what they have in common would require explanation, and no ordinary explanations. Sure you can still run cheesy ones, but what you need to support your arguments are biological and psychological theories and laws. The nature of studies like biology and psychology circle around debatable researches and statistics and facts anyway. Anyway, the best part: when the clashes in this debate reaches this point of different biological and psychological theories being delivered, attacked and defended, the debate gets REALLY interesting and informative and we personally would rage if the chair dares to give anyone a speaker score of less than 80.

You can further extend this argument into a goal, as in, what is your ideal picture of a country? How are its gamers, what are they like, and how do they live and behave? And, lastly, how does your model help these gamers and this country reach that utopia of yours?

  1. Because games are harmful.

Remember that this is THE LAST godblessed assertion you should think of. Same reason why affirmative teams debating the motion “THW ban smoking in public places” are discouraged from running the argument “because smoking is bad for your health”: you don’t forking say.

Nonetheless, this is still a viable argument to run if you run out of words and still have time.

Remember to have explanations that cover the ambiguity of this assertion: define harmful properly, and set quantifiable parameters. Provide comparisons of games towards other items/activities that are as equally, if not more, jeopardizing and explain what most, if not all, governments’ past and current actions towards them are and have been. The games part would serve as the trickiest part to explain, though. It is a no-brainer that there are lots of different games out there, which pose varying levels of addiction, and thus, threat.

Team Negative

  1. Because body autonomy.

Please read Team Affirmative Argument 1 before coming here.

Done? So fast? Good. Now, on top of what has been explained over there, things are expanded for Team Negative, lucky you. The body autonomy argument goes into two different layers with two different actors having different vested interests: body autonomy for game companies-manufacturers-developers-designers, and body autonomy for gamers.

For the former, it is more of a political-economic philosophy issue – when governments intervene on the business practices of the private sector, they are no longer – they betray the idea of liberal-democracy. Remember, this is not a tax, this is a bill. For the latter, yea, well, you know.

  1. Problem-solution mismatch.

Prove that Team Affirmative’s proposed solution is, one, ineffective, and, second, harmful. Try clashing Team Affirmative’s arguments with your own arguments backed up by your arsenal of knowledge in biology and psychology. For one, you could run the numbers (numbers, yeay!) – it is quite unlikely that a 15 minute period of “rehabilitation”, so to speak, could recuperate the addiction caused by a 45 minute period of prolonged exposure to games. And that is only us talking about the first starting hour. Supposing that this first starting hour leaves an untreated 30 minutes of addiction, then a gamer who regularly plays for 4 hours in a day will have an accumulated 120 minutes of untreated addiction. You could also run the argument of nature vs nurture – the fact that there are some individuals which are more prone to addiction compared to others prove that the threshold to overcome addiction varies by person. On some certain extreme cases, this might have something to do with genes, the nature part. Now, Team Affirmative’s proposal is a “nurture-style” treatment. That is harm number 1. Harm number 2, Team Affirmative’s proposal is curative, not preventive – not an ideal course of action to tackle “nature” problems. Harm number 3, the degree of change is negligible at best, on top of its “nurture-style” – like, 15 minutes? Seriously?

Second, harm. This argument can be further expanded by identifying the harms: game freezes will cause gamer rages, whilst that game serve as a catharsis for them in the very first place, this rage will need another one for them to vent, etc. etc. – there could be other forms of harms as well, either that, or, you could identify the problem posed and the goal wished upon by Team Affirmative, then point out a different solution that would sound more logical and credible. However, there is a catch! Beware when trying to explain the ineffectiveness and the harm at the same time – at one point there will a part where these two arguments contradict each other. If you have said that a period of 15 minutes is unlikely to provide any substantial change, the adjudicators are less likely to believe you (or worse, any of your arguments on top of that) when you say that the freeze will cause these gamers to rage and start WWIII.

  1. Because games could actually benefit people.

Author’s comment: “I can connect with this assertion so much! Excuse my subjectivity, sorry. And I’m sure that at least quite a portion of debaters are also gamers.”

There are aplenty of educational games out there Cendant’s Knowledge Adventure, Hasbro’s Furby, etc. – and let’s make this convenient for Team Affirmative by dismissing the existence of these educational games. Then we have games created for entertainment that would at least train the English abilities of non-native English speakers who game. Let’s make this yet again convenient for Team Affirmative, go to our worst-case scenario and then talk only about games that are the worst of their kinds – Flappy Bird (brain-dead game), Mortal Kombat (excessive gore content), and mostly FPS and MOBA games (high propensity to promote addiction). Playing brain-dead games is still beneficial to people (people, as, in, the gamers – the benefits for the game companies-manufacturers-developers-designers should be already quite obvious enough) in the form of simple yet enjoyable entertainment – this market niche has quite its demand, because not everybody wants to be entertained by watching detective movies or solving puzzle-riddle games which further burns their brains when they have been exercising their minds like hell all day. Some gamers could also resort to entertainment and advertisement, as the pro gaming scene is quite popular (and has generated its own cult following at this point, I’m presuming).

Aand lots of others, really.

Extra Assertions for You!

  1. (-) Attack the number 15, like, as in, why is it fixed and not arbitrary? Also, when does it recalibrate its starting point?
  2. (+) Governments have a vested interest in prolonging private enterprises and business. In this case, this government wants to “force” a CSR (corporate social responsibility). CSR helps business.
  3. (-) This motion can’t cover the ultra-nerds. The ones who are not only addicted but are also studious to the extent that they delve into the coding of the game (usually in order to improve their gameplay, skill, and performance via their knowledge of game mechanics).
  4. (-) This motion imposes an unnecessary burden to aspiring game designers and developers who, let alone making bugs, they still couldn’t even manage to make their games properly.

“Is the hormone that causes addiction called cortisone, cortisol, or dopamine? I’m really confused.”