18-year-old Devin Moore, found in the driver’s seat of a car in Alabama at 7am, was driven to the local police station. He had no criminal record but was suspected of stealing the car. While being interrogated, he suddenly took the policeman’s gun and shot three men dead before escaping.
If those acts of violence had been a video game, Moore would have won. He’d played it before. For months he’d sat for hours in front of a video monitor stealing cars, beating prostitutes and finally killing policemen. The game was Grand Theft Auto, which has sold over 35 million copies worldwide.
A few years ago, video games were just fun, but now realistic games played at home have become an integral part of many people’s daily lives, especially for children. Child psychologists report that children’s school marks fall, they stop playing sports and stop socializing with their friends. Research shows that their brains learn to respond in certain ways to certain stimuli, like an arrest, in Moore’s case.
Video games cannot be separated from other forms of entertainment, such as magazines, books or films, many of which routinely show violence, and these games are one of many factors which could transform a player into a killer, such as a child’s home life. In fact, Devin Moore came from a broken home; his parents separated when he was young. When arrested, he asked the police to shoot him. When the sentence of death by lethal injection was read, his words were: “Life is like a video game. You have to die sometime.”
1. Write a summary of the text in English, including the most important points, using your own words whenever possible (maximum 40 words).
2. Explain in English the meaning of the following expressions as used in the text:
a) children’s school marks fall: Children do not get such good marks at school as (they did) before.
b) he came from a broken home: His family was broken and ruined because his parents had separated.
3. Complete the second sentence of each pair so that it has the same meaning as the first one.
a) He had no criminal record but was suspected of stealing the car.
4. Answer the following questions in your own words. The information must be taken from the text.
a) What are the negative effects of video games? Video games consume your time and consume your mind. If they are violent, sometimes people imitate them in the real world and cause problems for themselves and other people like in the text. Players also become less sociable and their marks at school become worse.
b) What other factors cause some people to become violent? If you come from a broken home you may become more violent: Devin’s parents had separated. Also, if he hadn’t been arrested he wouldn’t have killed the policemen.
5. What can parents do to help children spend their free time in a better way?
(Approximately 80 words)
Parents should help their children to make friends so they are not lonely. They should teach them children to fill their free time with activities like sports, music and languages. Also, if the children do some housework, like making their beds or washing their clothes, they will not have enough time for video games. Parents should talk to their children more, and finally they should share their time with their children, and do some activities together, like going on holiday.