Verdict on video game violence

Verdict on video game violence

Carmel Secondary School edges out rival with more convincing argument

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Felix Yiu, Dorothy Kwok, and Janice Lee of Carmel
Felix Yiu, Dorothy Kwok, and Janice Lee of Carmel
Photo: Felix Wong/SCMP

The results are in! Carmel Secondary School defeated CCC Ming Kei College in the fourth round of the 14th Nesta-SCMP debating competition held before the Easter break. The two teams tackled the motion: "Violent video games make people more violent."

Carmel's team of Form Five students - Janice Lee Hoi-ying, Dorothy Kwok Hiu-lam and Felix Yiu Sumping - agreed with the motion. The Form Five students from Ming Kei - Cynthia Chan Hoi-yi, Joe Law Yiu-man and Rocky Chan Lok-ki - debated against the motion.

The adjudicators for the debate were Stephen Farmer from Pui Tak Canossian College and Vivian Tang from Diocesan Girls' School.

The affirmative side won due to a more convincing argument, plenty of supporting evidence and a clear team line, said the adjudicators.

Carmel strengthened their stand by giving examples of cases where young people turned violent after playing video games, imitating scenes from such games and committing violent acts such as shootings or stabbings.

Ming Kei stressed that there is no direct relationship between playing violent video games and behaving violently, and challenged their rivals to prove it. They said the cases Carmel cited rarely happened. Only a tiny percentage of people, perhaps those suffering from a mental condition, would be driven to violence after playing violent video games, they added.

They pointed out that Asia has a much lower murder rate than the United States, even though violent video games are very popular in the region. They suggested there are multiple factors that lead to violence; playing violent video games is only one of them.

In response, Carmel said that comparing the murder rate between Asia and the US is not relevant, as violent behaviour is not limited to extreme acts such as murder. Verbal abuse is also a form of violence.

They said that players of violent video games become violent when they discuss plans with other gamers to kill off rival characters, or become frustrated when their character is killed.

Carmel also said that violent games have become a concern mainly because governments have implemented policies to ban them.

The adjudicators were impressed by the presentation skills of both teams.

"All the speakers were confident, spoke fluently and were able to make use of rhetorical skills," said Tang. "Both teams challenged one another's point of view and were going pretty well back and forth arguing."

The debate was held at Carmel Secondary School in Ho Man Tin on March 25.

The contest, sponsored by The Edge Learning Centre, is organised by the Native English Speaking Teachers' Association and the South China Morning Post.

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