Rebuttal Argument–mercythyhealer

My Worthy Opponent is Wrong

Gaming has gotten massive over the last few decades. Video games, as a result of their increasing popularity have transformed from a hobby into a career, with all kinds of people being self employed to where they make content for their audience. Gamers of all kinds can play against others like them in different lobbies and work their way to the top of the leaderboard. Or they can take part in a tournament to show off their skills. Video games have come a long way since they have first come into fruition.

As gamers immerse themselves in the world of video games, some other people may be concerned about their behavior. Friends and family members of those gamers will sit and ponder on the behavior of their loved one, and whether or not they will put themselves before a virtual world on a screen. 

As previously discussed, there are different components of the video games’ nature that is at question. One of those components can be the pure pleasure that someone can get from playing the games. Another component is the positive reinforcement that the game offers to it’s players for completing a quest, a task, or from ranking high in a game. There are a plethora of different reasons as to why a player is compelled to come back and play the game even more, but that isn’t the topic at hand. 

There are people that will argue with the fact the video game addiction exists and the different causes of it. Regardless of if they don’t understand the concept or if they just don’t believe it, whatever the case may be, there are people that will disregard the idea of video game addiction. 

Take the authors, Christopher J. Ferguson and Patrick Markey, authors of the New York Times article Video Games Aren’t Addictive for example. In their article, Ferguson and Markey address the different parts of the claim that “Video games cause addiction,” while saying that playing video games “is a normal behavior that, while perhaps in many cases a waste of time, is not damaging or disruptive of lives.” They go one step further and address a study done by the American Journal of Psychiatry, which is a credible source, and go in a direction that most people don’t go into detail with when talking about the status of gamers that play video games excessively. 

While Ferguson and Markey give a compelling argument, there are a few different holes in their argument. The first part that needs to be mentioned is in the third paragraph. They say 

“[alcohol addiction] is terribly misguided. Playing video games is not addictive in any meaningful sense. It is normal behavior that, while perhaps in many cases a waste of time, is not damaging or disruptive of lives in the way drug or alcohol use can be.”

While no one argued that playing video games is a normal behavior isn’t the issue at hand here. Throughout the course of the article, the author’s don’t acknowledge that video games can even lead to any type of behavior that is out of the ordinary. In fact, they seem to double down and say the risk of the “immoderate playing of video games” is unethical and “we are pathologizing relatively normal behavior.” Playing moderate video games is not the problem at hand. Again the problem is if someone plays video games to the point of them putting the games before themselves. If they devote more time to playing video games then they do socializing or getting exercise, then it becomes a problem. 

Another hole in their argument is that Ferguson and Markey is that the people that were considered addicts in the study that they’ve referenced. They go on to say that the study done by the American Journal of Psychiatric Association only says that “at most 1 percent of video game players might exhibit characteristics of an addiction.” Using the results of the study is fine, but the study should apply to everyone. Saying that the one percent of people that participated in the study might have some characteristics of an addiction isn’t really enough to say that people don’t have it. 

The authors say that video people who are concerned for those who play video games to relieve stress or come home and relax shouldn’t be worried about their use of video games. Again, the authors making this point insinuates that they haven’t taken into account the fact that there are people who don’t do anything else, but play video games. Those people that only play video games and don’t exercise or have a social life can be considered addicts because they let their virtual worlds consume them. 

If they feel like everyone playing video games is “moderate,’’ then how do they address those that don’t take care of themselves. The authors of this article completely disregard that question and the groups of people that could fit in that category. 


Markey, P., & Ferguson, C. J. (2017, April 1). Opinion | Video Games Aren’t Addictive. The New York Times.

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