Although video game sales have increased steadily over the past 3 years, we can expect a reversal of this trend in th...

Cingiz on November 5, 2018

Question

How can I solve thi

1 Reply

Ravi on December 27 at 07:04AM

@cingiz,

Happy to help.

The stimulus states that although video game sales have increased steadily over the past 3 years, we can expect a reversal of this trend in the very near future.

But why? The fact that we want to know why is our first hint that this is some sort of conclusion. The argument then states that historically, over three-quarters of video games sold have been purchased by people from 13 to 16 years of age, and the number of people in this age group is expected to decline rapidly over the next 10 years. The second sentence of the stimulus provides the premise of the argument, supporting the conclusion in the first sentence. This was the only conclusion we found in the argument, so we know that the overall conclusion of the argument is the second part of the first sentence ("we can expect a reversal of this trend in the very near future.").

The question stem asks us to select an answer choice that would most seriously weaken the argument. We're looking for an answer that makes the link between the premises and the conclusion weaker.

Answer A states that most people 17 years or older have never purchased a video game. This does not weaken the argument; in fact, it strengthens it because if this were true, then it would support the conclusion that there will be a reversal in the trend of video game sales increases in the near future.

Answer B does nothing to weaken the argument. It discusses rentals, which are not relevant to the point in the argument, as the argument is dealing with video game sales, not rentals. Rental figures have no bearing on the future of video game sales, so we can eliminate this answer.

Answer C is tricky, but it's wrong. What type of new technology is this? It could be that this new technology further displaces video games. If this were true, then the author's argument would be strengthened. This answer choice is too vague and certainly does not weaken the argument, as with the aforementioned interpretation, it could actually be strengthening it.

Answer D is incorrect because the topic it brings up, the number of different types of video games, is mentioned nowhere in the stimulus as a factor affecting video game sales. This answer does nothing to weaken the argument, so we can eliminate it.

Answer E states that most of the people who have purchased video games over the past 3 years are over the age of 16. If true, this would seriously weaken the argument because it would weaken the first premise the author introduces as support for her argument. The author brings up historical data that most (51% or more) of video games sold have been purchased by people from 13 to 16 years of age. However, with this new information, we see that even if this premise were true, more recent sales figures from the past 3 years show that people from 13 to 16 years of age actually purchased less than half of all video games. If true, this makes it much more likely that video game sales would continue to increase, rather than decrease, over the next several years. This casts serious doubt on the author's argument, and it's our answer.

Does this make sense? Let us know if you have more questions!