Thesis Topics

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Da_Man, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. Da_Man

    Da_Man L4: Comfortable Member

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    So, in order to graduate high school, I need to do a senior thesis. It has to be at least 12 pages long, and give a 7 minute presentation on it at the end of the year. The problem I'm having is topics.

    My general topic I thought of is "Why are video games stigmatized in American culture, and what can be done to reverse this trend?"

    The problem is that isn't argumentative enough.

    For argument's sake, this is kind of what I am talking about. Why do uniformed people think video games are such a bad thing and/or children's playthings? Why are they constantly being pointed at for causing horrible events? Why can I not phrase this correctly.

    Throw me a bone, TF2Maps.
     
  2. purequaternion

    purequaternion L3: Member

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    As the resident professor, I'll chime in.

    Depending on the precise requirements, you'll want to come up with a thesis which you argue and give refutations of possible counter-arguments. A "thesis" paper doesn't necessarily have to be an argumentative one...it could be more exploratory in nature. What you end up deciding on should be based on the requirements and structure for the thesis.

    I think you need to make the distinction between video games and ones which have violent components...typically it's the violent ones that everyone blames whenever there is a school shooting. You could, for example, argue that blaming violent video games is merely the scapegoat of the current times; teenagers have been doing stupid stuff (and shooting rampages have happened) long before video games existed. People have made the same sorts of arguments about rock music, etc.

    As to the example PDF you linked, this raises interesting angles to explore. Everquest had just come out when I was in high school; the MMO world has changed how we look at "addiction." I personally think that anyone can have too much of a good thing, and that for some, video games are the outlet. That's not to say necessarily that it's the fault of video games. However, one could argue about whether the same is true for drugs...some people can use marijuana responsibly, or even cocaine; at what point do we as a society make the distinction?

    I was in high school when Columbine happened. I remember at the time the news media making a big hoopla about the shooters having played Doom. Of course they had every detail about the game wrong , and it really made the reporting absurdly sensationalized.

    As part of any writing, you'll want to do a literature review of sorts to identify what arguments exist on your topic. I'm certainly no expert in the academic literature on this (I'm a mathematician). You can sometimes get good sources to read by looking at Wikipedia entries...see what reports, articles, books, etc. there are on the subject and then find them in a library.

    What's the timeframe for your work?

    -Colin
     
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  3. Da_Man

    Da_Man L4: Comfortable Member

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    I need to have a topic by next Monday, but the paper itself isn't due until the 2nd of April.

    And it specifically has to be argumenative, I debated the fact with my teacher for a solid ten minutes about the fact. I was going to cover video game violence, but its kind of hard to do so when so much of the articles are radically blown out of proportion or just plain bias. Got any other angles I could work off of?
     
  4. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    Why do people believe they will go to Hell if they don't believe in God?

    Fear.

    Why do video games have a negative stigma? Because of old people who don't know any better that rally behind suspicious concepts like violent influences through narratives in order to gain votes of superstitious and/or uninformed individuals.

    I did my third year dissertation on video game influences on current generation cultures and almost all the research pointed towards the fact that every incident of extreme violence (school shootings for one) had extenuating circumstances related to mental health.

    Out of 250 people i surveyed for my third year dissertation on video game influences, 17 had diagnosed mental health issues, 0 had criminal records and only 3 had never owned a computer game console; yet all had played a video game with violent content.

    Here was one of my surveys: http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=10884

    A small pool of candidates, but one of many surveys made on the general public through various schemes. Almost all research resolutions point to reasons other than the influence of violent interactive narratives.
     
  5. Da_Man

    Da_Man L4: Comfortable Member

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    One of my topics I was thinking of was to compare it to other hysterical claims such as this one. The one I can think of off the top of my head are rock'n'roll in the '50's and the whole bad lyrics debacle in the '90's. And if you have that dissertation somewhere public grazr, that would come in handy as a source in my research, if you don't mind.
     
  6. Sergis

    aa Sergis L666: ])oo]v[

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    write a thesis about how "so much of the articles are radically blown out of proportion or just plain bias"

    you seem to actually have an opinion on the matter and that should help you write a thesis a lot as long as you remain objective