Analyze This

Sometimes, your professor will begin with an argument analysis and have you select topic ideas from class readings. When you are writing from readings, it can be nice because the readings you are analyzing for your class will be full of potential topic ideas.

In this Analyze This video, watch as one student uses a reading he analyzed for class to take the next step and look for topic ideas.

To read the full article the student analyzes, click here.

Then, click to watch the video below.

Video Transcript
Student says:

My professor has assigned us a series of readings on the benefits of gaming. We are supposed to read through five articles and look for possible argumentative topic ideas within the readings. Essentially, our readings can give us a starting point for our argument.

The reading I chose to focus on for this exercise is one about the game Minecraft. It is an article from The Atlantic that our professor gave us to read.

The article does not contain much research, though some is referenced, and is really just about personal experience. It is not technically an argumentative article. It is mainly informative, but the author does make an interesting argument about the appeal of Minecraft and some of the benefits he sees for his son.

Here, the author describes the game and why it stands out. He writes “It is a sandbox game, which means that—unlike, say, Pac-Man—the player is not trapped in a deterministic nightmare of pursuit and predation. Rather, he or she roams a digital flaneur, essentially creating his or her own game.”

I am interested in this point because I am thinking about the value of a game that lets you create your own world and promotes creativity. I am going to highlight this because I think this might something I can look into more.

Here, the author writes, “You can build anything you want, to the limit of your building skills, manipulating the simple cubes into endless complication. Building is what it’s all about, if you ask the kids. Building, and now and again destroying. . . . But always the direction of the game is toward more building, greater complexity, higher levels of personalization.”

I think the author is making a case here about why the game is so appealing to children, and I am wondering about taking this idea further into how this kind of freedom and creativity helps children in their development.

I noticed in the next paragraph, the author hints at some arguments here about the benefits of a game like Minecraft and mentions another study and another article.

I am going to look into both of these, but digging into this article has definitely given me some topic ideas. I have a lot of research left to do, but I am interested in seeing how certain games really can help children in their development.

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