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June 21, 2009

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New Warnings For Video Games

Britain will soon start using a new ratings system for video games. Government officials have decided to use the PEGI (Pan-European Game Information) warning symbols so parents know what games to buy their kids. There are eight easily recognizable icons, in addition to coloured signs that represent ages 3, 7, 12, 16 and 18 and over. The symbols will show if the game contains any bad language, discrimination, gambling, drugs, horror, sex, and dating. There is another symbol to show the game is only online. Dr. Richard Wilson, an industry expert, said: "Game developers will welcome the new PEGI system, as it makes classification easier.” The PEGI website says companies like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo support the symbols.


TIGA, the video game trade association, created the PEGI system. Its website says: “Interactive computer game playing is now a mass-market leisure activity, with millions of players throughout Europe. While most games are suitable for players of all ages there are many that are only suitable for older children and younger teenagers.” Alongside the new symbols PEGI will also offer additional advice to parents. This will help to explain different types of violence in games. Examples include "extreme violence,” the showing of “criminal techniques” and the “glamorization of crime”. The system is now used throughout Europe. It is a model that shows how Europe can work together to protect children.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. VIDEO GAMES: Walk around the class and talk to other students about video games. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

ratings systems / video games / symbols / bad language / industry experts / welcome / trade associations / mass market / leisure activities / violence / protecting children

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. GAMES SYMBOLS: Match the symbol with the meaning Complete this table with your partner(s). Talk about what you wrote to your partner. Change partners and share what you heard.

Symbol

Meaning

A good symbol?

Gambling

 

Sex / nudity

 

Online game

 

Bad language

 

Discrimination

 

Violence

 

Fear

 

Drugs

 

4. AGES: Students A strongly believe there should be no age limits for video games; Students B strongly believe there should be very strict age limits on video games.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. RATINGS: Do you think everything should be rated? Rate these and share your ratings with your partner: 10 = adults only; 1 = anyone OK. Change partners and share your ratings again.

  • people using drugs
  • songs with explicit lyrics
  • scenes of people smoking
  • kissing
  • blood
  • news containing images of dead people
  • shooting
  • nudity

6. ICON: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘icon’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

7. MY GAME: With your partner(s), choose the name of your video game. Select one word from each column. Talk about

  • what kind of game it is
  • how you win
  • what games console is best for this game
  • the characters
  • the best thing about it

Killer

Fantastic

Mystery

Project

The Adventures of

Mega

Strawberries

Me

Ocean

Internet

Space

Hamster


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

Experts have warned video games are dangerous for teenagers.

T / F

b.

New logos on games will help parents choose correctly for their kids.

T / F

c.

One symbol means the game can only be played over the Internet.

T / F

d.

Big game makers are against the new symbols.

T / F

e.

A trade association says computer games are massive in markets.

T / F

f.

The association said there are games that anyone of any age can play.

T / F

g.

Extra information will tell people about the kind of violence in games.

T / F

h.

The symbols provide an example of the world working together.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

1.

ratings

a.

made

2

officials

b.

back

3.

recognizable

c.

extra

4.

expert

d.

representatives

5.

support

e.

right

6.

created

f.

classification

7.

leisure

g.

across

8.

suitable

h.

free time

9.

additional

i.

clear

10.

throughout

j.

specialist

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one. combination is possible):

1.

Britain will soon start using

a.

any bad language

2

warning symbols so parents know what

b.

recognizable icons

3.

There are eight easily

c.

leisure activity

4.

The symbols will show if the game contains

d.

support the symbols

5.

Microsoft and Nintendo

e.

a new ratings system

6.

game playing is now a mass-market

f.

advice to parents

7.

most games are suitable

g.

throughout Europe

8.

PEGI will also offer additional

h.

games to buy their kids

9.

the glamorization

i.

for players of all ages

10.

The system is now used

j.

of crime

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

Britain will ___________ start using a new ratings system for video games. Government officials have ___________ to use the PEGI (Pan-European Game Information) warning symbols so parents know what games to buy their kids. There are eight ___________ recognizable icons, in addition to coloured signs that ___________ ages 3, 7, 12, 16 and 18 and over. The symbols will show if the game contains any ___________ language, discrimination, gambling, drugs, horror, sex, and dating. There is another symbol to ___________ the game is only online. Dr. Richard Wilson, an industry expert, said: "Game developers will ___________ the new PEGI system, as it makes classification easier.” The PEGI website says companies like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo ___________ the symbols.

 

 

 

show
represent
decided
support
welcome
soon
bad
easily

TIGA, the video game trade association, ___________ the PEGI system. Its website says: “Interactive computer game playing is now a mass-market leisure ___________, with millions of players throughout Europe. While most games are ___________ for players of all ages there are many that are only suitable for older children and younger teenagers.” Alongside the new symbols PEGI will also offer ___________ advice to parents. This will help to explain different ___________ of violence in games. Examples include "___________ violence,” the showing of “criminal techniques” and the “glamorization of crime”. The system is now used throughout Europe. It is a ___________ that shows how Europe can work together to ___________ children.

 

 

additional
activity
protect
created
extreme
suitable
model
types

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the gaps.

Britain will ______________________ new ratings system for video games. Government officials have decided to use the PEGI (Pan-European Game Information) warning symbols so parents ______________________ buy their kids. There are eight easily recognizable icons, in addition to coloured ______________________ 3, 7, 12, 16 and 18 and over. The symbols will show if the game contains any bad language, discrimination, gambling, drugs, horror, sex, and dating. There ______________________ show the game is only online. Dr. Richard Wilson, an industry expert, said: "Game developers ______________________ PEGI system, as it makes classification easier.” The PEGI website says companies like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo ______________________.

TIGA, the video ______________________, created the PEGI system. Its website says: “Interactive computer game playing is now a mass-market leisure activity, with millions ______________________ Europe. While most games are suitable for players of all ages there ______________________ suitable for older children and younger teenagers.” Alongside the new symbols PEGI will also ______________________ to parents. This will help to ______________________ of violence in games. Examples include "extreme violence,” the showing of “criminal techniques” and the “______________________”. The system is now used throughout Europe. It is a model that shows how Europe can work together to protect children.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘video’ and ‘game’.

video

game

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • soon
  • kids
  • 18
  • bad
  • developers
  • support
  • created
  • activity
  • suitable
  • advice
  • extreme
  • protect

STUDENT VIDEO GAME SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about video games in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

VIDEO GAME DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘video’?

c)

Are you concerned about the dangers of video games?

d)

Do you think the new ratings symbols are a good idea?

e)

Would you stop your children playing video games?

f)

Do you think video games can be good for kids?

g)

Are there any symbols missing from the eight made by PEGI?

h)

What’s your favourite video game?

i)

Why do you think Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo support the symbols?

j)

Are there any kinds of game you would avoid?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

How has game playing affected your life?

c)

Do you think playing video games is a good leisure activity?

d)

At what age do you think it’s OK for kids to start playing video games?

e)

How long should people play video games each day?

f)

Should games that have extreme violence or glamorize crimes be banned?

g)

What do you think of the idea of video games that show criminal techniques?

h)

Do you think the new PEGI symbols will do good?

i)

Do you think this is a good example of Europe acting together?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Dr. Richard Wilson?

LANGUAGE

Britain will (1) ____ start using a new ratings system for video games. Government officials have decided to use the PEGI (Pan-European Game Information) warning symbols (2) ____ parents know what games to buy their kids. There are eight (3) ____ recognizable icons, in addition to coloured signs that represent ages 3, 7, 12, 16 and 18 and over. The symbols will show if the game contains any (4) ____ language, discrimination, gambling, drugs, horror, sex, and dating. There is another symbol to show the game is only online. Dr. Richard Wilson, an industry expert, said: "Game developers will (5) ____ the new PEGI system, as it makes classification easier.” The PEGI website says companies like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo (6) ____ the symbols.

TIGA, the video game trade association, (7) ____ the PEGI system. Its website says: “Interactive computer game playing is now a (8) ____ -market leisure activity, with millions of players throughout Europe. While most games are suitable (9) ____ players of all ages there are many that are only suitable for older children and younger teenagers.” Alongside the new symbols PEGI will also offer additional advice (10) ____ parents. This will help to explain different types of violence in games. Examples include "extreme violence,” the showing of “criminal techniques” and the “(11) ____ of crime”. The system is now used throughout Europe. It is a model that shows how Europe can work together to (12) ____ children.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

soon

(b)

sooner

(c)

soonish

(d)

soonest

2.

(a)

sew

(b)

sow

(c)

so

(d)

such

3.

(a)

easy

(b)

easier

(c)

ease

(d)

easily

4.

(a)

badly

(b)

bad

(c)

worse

(d)

badness

5.

(a)

greet

(b)

hello

(c)

salute

(d)

welcome

6.

(a)

supports

(b)

supportive

(c)

support

(d)

supporters

7.

(a)

creation

(b)

created

(c)

creative

(d)

create

8.

(a)

mass

(b)

miss

(c)

mess

(d)

moss

9.

(a)

for

(b)

on

(c)

to

(d)

of

10.

(a)

with

(b)

on

(c)

to

(d)

by

11.

(a)

glamorously

(b)

glamorized

(c)

glamorous

(d)

glamorization

12.

(a)

protects

(b)

protect

(c)

protection

(d)

protective

WRITING: 

Write about video games for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about video games. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. VIDEO GAMES: Make a poster about video games. What are the pros and cons of them? Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. RATINGS: Write a magazine article about rating systems for video games. Include imaginary interviews with a young teenager and a strict parent.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to Dr. Richard Wilson. Ask him three questions about video games ratings. Give him three more symbols that PEGI should use. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

T

c.

T

d.

F

e.

F

f.

T

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

ratings

a.

classification

2

officials

b.

representatives

3.

recognizable

c.

clear

4.

expert

d.

specialist

5.

support

e.

back

6.

created

f.

made

7.

leisure

g.

free time

8.

suitable

h.

right

9.

additional

i.

extra

10.

throughout

j.

across

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

Britain will soon start using

a.

a new ratings system

2

warning symbols so parents know what

b.

games to buy their kids

3.

There are eight easily

c.

recognizable icons

4.

The symbols will show if the game contains

d.

any bad language

5.

Microsoft and Nintendo

e.

support the symbols

6.

game playing is now a mass-market

f.

leisure activity

7.

most games are suitable

g.

for players of all ages

8.

PEGI will also offer additional

h.

advice to parents

9.

the glamorization

i.

of crime

10.

The system is now used

j.

throughout Europe

GAP FILL:

New warnings for video games

Britain will soon start using a new ratings system for video games. Government officials have decided to use the PEGI (Pan-European Game Information) warning symbols so parents know what games to buy their kids. There are eight easily recognizable icons, in addition to coloured signs that represent ages 3, 7, 12, 16 and 18 and over. The symbols will show if the game contains any bad language, discrimination, gambling, drugs, horror, sex, and dating. There is another symbol to show the game is only online. Dr. Richard Wilson, an industry expert, said: "Game developers will welcome the new PEGI system, as it makes classification easier.” The PEGI website says companies like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo support the symbols.

TIGA, the video game trade association, created the PEGI system. Its website says: “Interactive computer game playing is now a mass-market leisure activity, with millions of players throughout Europe. While most games are suitable for players of all ages there are many that are only suitable for older children and younger teenagers.” Alongside the new symbols PEGI will also offer additional advice to parents. This will help to explain different types of violence in games. Examples include "extreme violence,” the showing of “criminal techniques” and the “glamorization of crime”. The system is now used throughout Europe. It is a model that shows how Europe can work together to protect children.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - a

2 - c

3 - d

4 - b

5 - d

6 - c

7 - b

8 - a

9 -a

10 - c

11 - d

12 - b

GAMES SYMBOLS

Symbol

Meaning

Online game

Violence

Bad Language

Fear

Sex / nudity

Drugs

Discrimination

Gambling

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