Deconstructing Logic & Argumentation: The Political Power of Play

Today, I chose to read and discover an essay written by Adeline Koh entitled The Political Power of Play. Her essay was very interesting, and although she and I do have differing views, she made some interesting points that I agree with.


1.   What is the thesis or main claim that the author is making?

The thesis that that author is making is: Play is not always frivolous, as most people think.

2.   Does the author make sub-claims? If so, which ones?

It is not only frivolous, but it is also capable of producing serious intellectual work and an activity that possesses deep political power.

3.   What kinds of evidence does the author use? (Scholarly? Peer-reviewed? Secondary?)

The author utilizes primary sources as well as secondary sources such as scholarly books and secondary sources similar to her own work.

4.   Is the evidence credible? Why or why not?

The evidence is credible because the authors of all the sources are academicians and/or professionals in nature. Additionally, some of the sources are secondary and are peer-reviewed, but they carry weight because they are very relevant to the topic and they contribute good ideas to the conversation.

5.   What kinds of rhetorical strategies does the author use?

The author uses rhetorical strategies such as metaphors (when comparing the game concepts to real life people), she mentions satire as a way of referencing the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, and she uses logos (logic), and ethos (credibility) very heavily as a way to make her claims.

6.   Does the author make a logical argument? If so, why?

Yes, as aforementioned, the author does make a logical claim because she refrains from using pathos (emotion) in her argument, thus ensuring that her claims are focused solely around factual information and the expertise of others.

7.   Did you find any logical fallacies?Yes, and in fact, I found that the author used two logical fallacies––an anecdotal response and a bandwagon response––both of which may apply to certain situations. After reading a particular portion of the essay, I could instantly tell that the author was against the war in Iraq because she used pathos to argue her claims, and she also used both a bandwagon and an anecdotal response because she her own personal experience and her political views influenced her reasoning as to why the board game that is a satirical reference to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. Furthermore, she stated that the U.S. Iraqi invasion was supposed to be “liberating,” when it was actually propaganda.

8.   Overall, did you find the argument persuasive? Why or why not?

Overall, I found the author’s response to be persuasive because she made some interesting points that I agree with regarding play being something that is not always frivolous as most make it out to be. However, certain aspects of her argument went against my grain because she has different views than I do.