In his article “when life imitates a video” John Leo has a very firm view on the impact of video games on children. Leo takes into account nothing else except that his belief is right. His audience are the parents of small boys since they are the ones who play video games. His other audience is our cultural belief, “we are now a society in which the chief form of play for millions of youngsters is making large numbers of people die”(62). In this article, Leo uses unsupported facts to persuade the reader to accept his ideas. However, he does give a few examples of teenage violence caused by video games according to his view.
The main purpose of the article is to convince the reader that video games only have adverse effects. He aims to convince his audience (parents of boys and the society) that video games jeopardize the well-being of children. From the beginning, Leo utilizes vivid imagery to portray horrid scenes into the Colorado massacre. The murderous scene in his article portrays events accurately and depicts both shooters attentively. Phrases like; “Pleas of mercy, the pools of blood, and screams of agony” all give a clear description of the shooting event (Leo p 62).
I believe that Leo fulfills his goal to reach out to his audience. Through his evidence from Los Angeles Times that address their aggressive behaviors by imitating murder-violence modeled on the game, the author further strengthens his insights. Leo uses logical, emotional and ethical appeals in his article to empathize with the reader. By evoking violent images in the readers mind about the Colorado massacre, the author ensures that they are on the same page with the reader.
The other purpose of this article is to correlate between the playing of murderous video games and aggressive. He argues that prolonged exposure to video games leads to violence in real life. Using chilling descriptions, the author indicates how the two shooters in the Colorado massacre indulge in simulated killings that desensitize them as actual killers.
Use of evidence from the Los Angeles Times to further strengthen the insight of the author. By providing evidence, the author allows hiss reader to confirm his words from another source. Use of evidence in most cases helps to further convince the reader. In this case, the author succeeds in persuading the reader to agree with his insights. The Los Angeles Times is a trusted source of information thus the reader will be persuaded easily if it is used as evidence. Though Leo does not use many sources of evidence, or give his own childhood experiences, his one piece of evidence is unbiased, and it is not from his point of view.
As mentioned above, parents are Leo’s targeted audience. Leo says that it is the responsibility of parents to prevent children from playing video games. A parent is in most cases responsible for their children. They are, therefore, in place to limit what their children are watching. A parent is in a position to restrict some of the things their children consume in the name of entertainment. Targeting parents for his audience for the article is a nice strategy since parents will empathize with his insights. A parent will want what is best for their children. No parent will want any harm to come to their children or for their children to end up as violent adults. Parents are, therefore, a good audience for this article as they will likely sympathize with the insights of the author. The traditional society is also another target for this article. The society wants the best for itself and violence is not acceptable in the society. The society will thus empathize with Leo’s article.
Leo argues that even though many people like to blame the entertainment industry, parents should take responsibility for their children’s actions since these children are under them. Leo worries that children might not differentiate the violence in video games and real life situations. He argues that it is wrong how children nowadays re entertained by making people die in video games. Leo states that these games are referred to as harmless jokes yet there is nothing innocent about killing innocent pedestrians even if it takes place in a video game.
Maiming and hurting other is the central fun in video games according to John Leo. Head shots even earn the shooter a bonus in these video games. Leo calls upon parents to mind what is going in their children’s minds. Violent games are everywhere, and it is almost impossible to shelter children from their influence.
Finally, the author has used illustrations to represent that violent games can give rise to aggressive thoughts. The author uses the word “dress rehearsal ”is to convey the impression that children practice “make believe killing” in real life. The author has used both emotional and rational appeals in his article to persuade his audience. The selection of parents and the society as a whole is also a good strategy on the author’s part. The author has succeeded in reaching out to the reader through empathy (62).
Leo J. “When Life Imitates Video.” Kirszner, Laurie G, and Stephen R. Mandell. Practical Argument: A Text and Anthology. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2011. Print.