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Read the passage carefully. Then choose the correct answer.
 
Children today spend hours in front of the television playing video games. Video games were first introduced in the 1970s, but it wasn't until the 1980s that they became very popular. A recent study shows that the two most preferred categories are games that involve martial arts and sports. If we take a look at some of the games available, we will see that many of them have violence as the underlying theme.

What makes these games so popular? According to experts, these games allow children to be destructive without fear of being reprimanded. Recent psychological experiments have shown that playing these violent games stimulates some degree of cruelty in children and adults. It increases aggressive behavior. Another effect of the violence in these video games is that it can desensitize children to violence. It can give them the idea that violence is an acceptable way to deal with problems and conflict.

However, not everyone views video games negatively. Some people believe that it is better for a child to actively play video games than to passively watch television. Speculations have also been made by some professionals who claim that by playing video games, certain children can develop a sense of proficiency which they might not otherwise achieve. Some video games have educational value. Some programs are designed to allow children to explore different places or environments while others are developed to teach and drill specific facts or academic skills.

As a leisure activity, playing such games can be fun, challenging, exciting and it is also a part of a `kid's world'. When a child owns a PC or a video game system, it opens up opportunities for him or her to invite other kids to play, therefore enhancing or forming friendships.

So, what can parents do? Parents should limit playing time as well as monitor their children's game selection according to developmental level and game content. While playing video games is fun, it can be
addictive. Thus, it is important for parents to draw the line. Take them outside and involve them in other activities. Set aside a quiet time for reading. Parents should also set the example. They should not use video games as babysitters. Parents and professionals should also seek creative ways to increase the acceptance, popularity and availability of games that are relatively pro-social, educational and fun.

In recent years, computer games have attracted much attention. There have been questions raised on whether computer games have had negative effects on children or whether society has overreacted. Thus, the potential effects should be looked into.

     
  1. From paragraph 1, when did video games become popular ?
     
  2. From paragraph 2,
    (a) what makes video games so popular ?
    (b) name the effects of playing violent games on children.
     
  3. From paragraph 3, why do some people believe that it is better for a child to actively play video games than to passively watch television ?
     
  4. From paragraph 4, how do video games help enhance friendships ?
     
  5. From paragraph 5,
    (a) explain the phrase 'to draw the line' in your own words.
    (b) what is one disadvantage of playing video games ?
     
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    Answers
     
  1. Video games became popular in the 1980s
     
  2. (a) They are so popular because they allow children to be destructive without getting scolded.
    (b) Children become aggressive and think that violence is an acceptable way to deal with problems and conflict.
     
  3. The children can develop a sense of proficiency.
     
     
  4. When a child owns a video game system, it opens up a chance for him or her to invite other kids to play.
     
  5. (a) To set a limit
    (b) It can be addictive
     
 
 
 
 

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