The House Debating Bucket competition got off to a fine start on Tuesday with an impressive contest between Dalmeny’s Liv N & Kate C and College East’s Abi M & Maria W. None of these debaters had taken part in the competition before but that was not obvious – they were confident and clear as well as courteous throughout. The theme of the first round this term is Pop Culture and East were proposing that the Harry Potter books have had a positive influence, and arguments included their contributions to wider reading among young people and the wholesome messages promoting values of bravery, intelligence, friendship and loyalty. Dalmeny responded with a critique of the Potterverses’s allegedly dubious record on equality and diversity, with some powerful and sophisticated arguments. There was some good to-and-fro arguments as well as interesting audience contributions. It was also nice to see CE veterans Bengu C and Ianthe F come along to support their successors. In the end, the last argument standing was East’s central point about the spread of reading, which gave them the victory. We were impressed by all of the debaters and look forward to seeing them in action again.
Meanwhile, next door Moredun's Torran E and Lucas M proposed The House believes that video games are an art against Glencorse's Fergus B and Elliot W. This pop culture debate was so popular that some audience members had to be turned away. In front of a packed house, Moredun proposed that art creates emotion and that art requires a creator - on which grounds, games emphatically are art. Not so, countered Glencorse: games are really sport, since gamers participate and seek to complete a challenge. Taking the cultural high ground, Glencorse insisted that fine art must be preserved from Moredun's populist dumbing down. But what, countered Moredun, about our point about the creative, imaginative minds behind the development of the games? We were impressed by the sophistication of the ideas. By a narrow margin, Glencorse won through.
IJ Loudon, DB McDowell & A Thonrnbury
We wait in anticipation for the next debate!