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by ronnie1985 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:56 am
The following appeared in the editorial section of a national news magazine:

"The rating system for electronic games is similar to the movie rating system in that it provides consumers with a quick reference so that they can determine if the subject matter and contents are appropriate. This electronic game rating system is not working because it is self regulated and the fines for violating the rating system are nominal. As a result an independent body should oversee the game industry and companies that knowingly violate the rating system should be prohibited from releasing a game for two years."

Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Point out flaws in the argument's logic and analyze the argument's underlying assumptions. In addition, evaluate how supporting evidence is used and what evidence might counter the argument's conclusion. You may also discuss what additional evidence could be used to strengthen the argument or what changes would make the argument more logically sound.

The Essay:-

The argument says that an independent body should regulate the rating system of electronic game industry because it is similar to the rating system of film industry and it provides consumers with quick reference regarding the subject of the game. The argument directly jumps into the conclusion without supporting with substantial evidences. Moreover, it ignores the shortcomings of the independent body advocated by the argument to regulate the game industry.

Game industry and Film industry are similar because both of them are part of the entertainment industry, but the films are viewed by masses, whereas the games are played by individuals. Hence saying on the ground that they are from same industry, hence they need similar regulation is an overstatement. The author should have shown more similarities for the conclusion to be strong.

The argument also says that since the regulation is self regulated, it lacks the teeth for strong regulation, citing that the film industry is regulated by independent body. But the author completely ignores the shortcomings of the independent regulatory body. We know that the independent regulatory body is bribed by Film Industry Behemoths to pass certain films. The same will be the fate of the independent regulatory body regulating the game industry.

The author also says that the punishment of the company violating the regulation is minimal without providing any evidence of the same. The author should have clarified the what nominal punishment is. The author also argues that the punishment should be some 2 years ban for the companies violating the regulation. This is arbitrary statement without any ground. The author should have given some benchmarks from game industry of other countries to elaborate upon the punishment to be given to the violators of the regulation.

To conclude with, it can be very well said that the argument is flawed because it simply puts forth its conclusion without creating the ground for it. If the shortcomings elaborated in the previous paragraphs are addressed, the argument would have been sound to accept.
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by kartikshah » Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:16 am
Issues with your essay:

(1) Films - masses, games - individuals.
Do individuals not make up a mass? I think your point is valid but you should rather say films cater to a different audience than do video games. You could talk about the age group of video gamers, for instance!

(2) it lacks the teeth for strong regulation
The correct idiomatic usage would be 'to lack teeth' without the article. Also I think you are talking about enforcement rather than regulation.

(3) This is arbitrary statement without any ground
A better way to write would be: The suggested action is an arbitrary one which the author fails to explicate.

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by KapTeacherEli » Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:01 pm
Hi ronnie,

I give this essay a 5. It's solid, and it's analysis is complete and throrough. However, you have almost zero evidenciary support for your claims, and that will make it impossible for your to get a perfect score! In your second paragraph, don't just tell us the game- and movie- industries are different--explicate sepcific differences, and explain how those might impact a rating system. In your third paragraph, you make the bold claim that "everyone knows" that the film industry bribes the regulatory body. Well, we DON'T know that, since we don't even know what country is printing the "national" news magazines! Tell us when and where these bribes were alleged to occur. And, finally, don't just tell us that the author needs to address shortcoming. HOW can she do so, what type of evidence and sources of data should she tap to make her case.

In other words, specifics, specifics, specifics, and you're on your way to a great score!

Eli Meyer
Kaplan GMAT Teacher
Cambridge, MA