Rhetorical techniques in “Be a gamer save the world”

Rhetorical techniques in “Be a gamer save the world” and

“You will lose your job to a robot.”

Scientific innovations have rapidly changed over the years; from decade to decade, the technology has transformed and advanced. The change has been brought about by sleepless efforts made by researchers to make human life comfortable. Human efforts are to ensure that all unanswered questions are solved. It is clear that technology has provided answers for the uncertainties, but think of a commonly used proverb each day ‘too much of something is poisonous”. Author Kelvin Drum believes this applies to technological artificial intelligence when he writes the article, ‘You will lose your job to a robot.’ He argues that in years to come, robots will replace humans in their careers. He gives detailed and reasonable arguments to ensure people understand the article. Drum builds his case on emerging issues in the society’s job market.

On the other hand, Jane McGonigal published an article ‘Be a gamer save the world’ on the wall street journal with contradicting opinions about technology. She is convinced that technology has a positive impact. Though Drum and Jane have opposing views, they base their credibility on facts and statistics, appealing to people emotionally, personal viewpoints, and opinions though within their articles, they seem to have self- contradicting thoughts.

Jane begins by showing us the critics that society poses towards gaming. She tells us that the community views videogames as a waste of time. Jane McGonigal tries to draw convincing explanations that show the significance of gaming to the lives of gamers. Capturing reader attention Is her priority as she tries to make reasonable reasons as to why gaming is suitable for people. Jane tends to arouse emotions when she uses the word ‘critic’ to describe what happens when people view gaming as a waste of time. By presenting video gamers as victims of criticism, he utilizes pathos. There is a possibility people sympathize with video gamers just because they are subject to ridicule and critics though this is a week approach. She uses examples of video game-like “Farmville,” “Guitar Hero,” and “world of craft” to make her pathos more appealing to videogame lovers.

Adding to her piece, Jane also tells us that Hundreds of millions of people are devoted gamers, which an evident demographic statistical data hence the use of logos. She utilizes logos and facts to prove her point. Jane indicates that we spend large chunks of time playing videogames. The use of actual figures boosts her credibility by showing that she has done enough research on the subject. The facts and figures prove her prowess in doing research. By indication that we spend three billion hours a day gaming, the reader gets the conviction on the credibility of the information. She also notes down that there are 183 million gamers worldwide; hence $15.5 billion were spent the previous year.

Precisely on the same point, she also uses logos when she tells us about her research at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Institute of the future. The study shows that video gaming provides people with ingredients that help them to have a happy and meaningful life. Through research, she shows logical reasons as to why she thinks gaming has a positive impact on video gamers. She talks about intrinsic rewards, which are an indication of the positive outcomes of gaming. She terms the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, and the University of California, Berkeley, as the foundations to optimal human experiences. By stating the number of gamers listed as authors for a research paper in the prestigious scientific journal Nature, a clear indication that he has done his homework correctly. Statistical facts increase her credibility. She introduces ‘Foldit,’ a 3D game that helps cancer patients and Alzheimer’s. However, to prove the amount of time used by gamers every year, she uses a bar graph. The article tries to show how video games can be of use in solving real-life situations. For instance, she states that Evoke, an online game she had created recently for the world -bank institute with the aim of food security, had more than 19000 players in more than 130 countries. Throughout the piece, the author has been able to utilize logos to her advantage, making it possible to show facts and figures that are more convincing as to how gaming is of use for real-life missions.

However, at the end of the article, Jane tries to use ethos hence giving a brief description of what expectations we should have in the future. She intends to point out to the audience that gaming is integral to each day’s advancements. He indicates that “we can create transformative games for ourselves and our families.” There is nothing wrong with how she feels about video games in the future, but this statement is less convincing. The inclusion of ‘family’ in this statement makes it weaker and ambiguous. She does not give satisfactory reasons as to why the family structure should adopt gaming because, throughout the article, she communicates to individual gamers. Neighborhoods and families are social structures involving more than one person with different perspectives on gaming. Jane has not shown how to harmonize the varied opinions of the people in the composition in supporting video games. She gives a non-convincing personal view at the end of the article

However, the debate about the effect of technology continues, Kevin Drum has a very different opinion about technology. He begins by showing that robots can do what we can do, even if we are more intelligent than them. He indicates technology has brought forth the most significant advancement called ‘artificial intelligence.’ Artificial intelligence is useful in making robots. He asks us not to view robots as just metal machines but as an advancement that has cognitive abilities as humans. He appeals to pathos, where he tries to use statements that threaten the working population by showing them their jobs are at risk. He tells the CEO’s that robots would run companies better than them. It might have some degree of truth, but his main idea is to win the readers’ approval on the subject matter. He categorically mentions several blue collars and white-collar jobs (digging ditches, CEOs, driving, and many more) hence arousing emotions of the working class towards technological advancements. He uses ironical statements to catch the readers’ attention and emotions. When he writes that we should let the robots have the same bed so that we can wake up late and have plenty of time to read, he does not necessarily mean it. He is just trying to tease human emotions to have convincing power on the subject. He gives an example of a google translation algorithm that works better than any human than though it is not entirely perfect. Artificial intelligence in machines has errors as he explains to us the difficulty in distinguishing random questions.

Additionally, he gives an example of self-driven cars that are under development. He proves that in the past, vehicles were for human drivers only. He poses the ability of technological artificial intelligence not as a benefit to human livelihood but as a threat. He appeals to pathos in the statement, “once artificial intelligence is good enough to drive a car, it will be good enough to do a lot of other things too.” The comments lead to unemployment fears, which would make the reader convinced of the drawbacks of technological advancements.

However, Kevin Drum appeals to logos to draw his arguments. He points out the progress of artificial intelligence in the past decades as stunning. Drum brings his conclusion and views from well-researched data and information, giving the reader facts. He states that early 2017 google announced to have reduced its word error rate from 8.5 percent to 4.9 percent in just ten months. The same year Google also announced that it had created a microchip called tensor processing, which 30 times faster and 80 times power-efficient than an intel processor. He points this out to show how technology is harnessing nearly efficient systems, like the human brain. If a system more powerful than a human brain will over the years undergoes production, implementation of human resources will not be required anymore, leading to unemployment. The author informs us that by 2017 the most potent computer had 40000 processors with 260 cores each. His approach to facts and figures convinces the reader because it is evident that he has done his homework. He draws a comparison between machines and robots. Machinery did not replace human resources; instead, they increased productivity and wealth, unlike artificial intelligence, which needs no human resources, which will lead to unemployed. The conclusion gets retrieval from documented books and articles. It is evidence of the author utilizing logos to gain facts and figures.

Though Drum knows that computers developed through technology have no intelligence, he does not base his argument on the same. He uses ethos, where he draws his personal opinion. Drum states that it does not matter to him if computers have souls or not; all the has focused on is the threat of mass unemployment that is likely to project in the coming years. He terms the opinions on computer intelligence as a “tedious philosophical debate” because, for employment, it doesn’t matter if a computer feels love, loyalty, or pain. All that matters is them acting as well enough as humans and the capabilities of them doing what a human can do. Kevin Drum seems to be disturbed by the unemployment of human beings by machines that we made ourselves.

Nevertheless, he admits that it is difficult to accurately study the effect of artificial intelligence because, by 2017, it was not universal. The use of logos appeal might be limited to the past, having less to find on how it is affecting employment. He could just conclude with the help of the few glimmers of smarter automation that had already been developed and put in place. He states that increasing computer strength might have no observable effect on employment, but robots will take over decades to come without humans noticing.

Despite Jane and Drum having different opinions, they can draw convincing arguments about their pieces. Kevin Drum and Jane give examples, facts, and figures supporting what they write on their articles. Throughout their writing, they utilize ethos, pathos, and logos to convince the reader on which opinion to believe. Even though they use rhetorical techniques, they are not able to make the targeted impression on the audience. Nevertheless, the articles “Be a gamer save the world” by Jane McGonigal and “You will lose your job to a robot” by Kevin Drum have based their credibility on facts and figures, emotional appeal, and personal facts and opinions.

Works Cited

McGonigal, J. A. N. E. “Be a gamer; save the world.” Wall Street Journal 22 (2011): 01-11.

Drum, Kevin. “You will lose your job to a robot—And sooner than you think.” Mother Jones (2017).

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