ARG-032

The following appeared in an editorial in a business magazine.

"Although the sales of Whirlwind video games have declined over the past two years, a recent survey of video-game players suggests that this sales trend is about to be reversed. The survey asked video-game players what features they thought were most important in a video game. According to the survey, players prefer games that provide lifelike graphics, which require the most up-to-date computers. Whirlwind has just introduced several such games with an extensive advertising campaign directed at people ten to twenty-five years old, the age-group most likely to play video games. It follows, then, that the sales of Whirlwind video games are likely to increase dramatically in the next few months."


Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.


In this editorial, the author suggests that the sales of Whirlwind video games which have declined over the past two years is about to rise dramatically in the next few months. In order to support this prediction, the author illustrates that Whirlwind has introduced several games that provide lifelike graphics, which is a feature video-game players prefer according to a recent survey. And the company has also launched extensive advertisements focusing on the age-group of ten to twenty-five, who is most likely to play video games. However, the lines of reasoning of this argument are based upon several unsubstantiated assumptions, which, if prove unwarranted, will seriously challenge the author’s prediction.


Firstly, the sales of a company can be influenced by all sorts of reasons, and whether the product is attracting or not may only play a part in it. Here, the author loosely assumes that either Whirlwind’s sales have declined just because they do not provide consumers with the game-type they like, or the introduction of game with lifelike graphics will be able to salvage the sales of Whirlwind video games adversely affected by other factors. Therefore, if evidence proves that the sales drop was caused by Whirlwind’s bad reputation in after-sale services, then without solving its problem, Whirlwind’s sales cannot embrace an increase.


Alternatively, the second assumption mentioned above needs to be questioned. Specifically, it is possible that other external factors can substantially reduce the sale of Whirlwind’s game sales despite the introduction of new games. Let’s consider two scenarios. First, a national ban on the sale of video games to teenagers is in effect. Second, there are other strong competitors in this game market, who possibly also offer video games with lifelike graphics and have higher market dominance. Either case, if true, would challenge the author’s conclusion.


Additionally, when discussing the finding of the survey, the author assumes that people who prefer games with lifelike graphics will have or can afford the most up-to-date computers on which Whirlwind’s new video-games are going to run. Based on that, the author therefore concludes people’s preference over games with lifelike graphics will contribute to Whirlwind’s sales raise. However, this assumption is potentially problematic because we are not informed with the popularity of the most up-to-date computers. For instance, if the evidence shows that little of those video-game players have the most up-to-date computers because its price is beyond their consumption level, then the author’s argument will be clearly weakened.


Finally, Whirlwind has advertised their games with lifelike graphics directing at people ten to twenty-five years old, who are most likely to play video-games. In this case, the author easily endorse that this campaign will be successful based on the assumption that people from this age-group are financially independent. However, this assumption will remain questionable before we learn more details about those potential game consumers. For instance, if evidence indicates that video-game players from ten to twenty always need to ask their parents for money before they buy some video games, and their parents hold the power to make final consumption decisions, the advertisement aiming at this age-group may not work well as expected.



Consequently, while the author’s prediction seems promising, the questionable assumptions discussed above may deprive it of its feasibility.



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