Исследовательская работа по английскому языку: «Полезны ли компьютерные игры подросткам?»




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Муниципальное бюджетное образовательное учреждение

«Шахунская гимназия имени А.С. Пушкина»



Исследовательская работа по английскому языку:

«Полезны ли компьютерные игры подросткам?»



Выполнил:

ученик 8 «А» класса

Комиссаров Антон

Научный руководитель:

учитель английского языка

Держурина Е.Н.

г. Шахунья

2012-2013 учебный год

CONTENTS

Introduction ………………………………………………………………………….. 2 – 3

From the history of computer games ………………………………………………..……4

Teenagers and computer games (opinion poll) ……………………………………….5 – 7

The advantages of computer games ………………………………………………… 8 – 9

The disadvantages of computer games …………………………………………… 10 – 11

Computer games: disaster or hope for learning English? ………………………… 12 – 14

How to play computer games to avoid problems? ……………………………………... 15

Conclusion .……………………………………………………………………………... 16

Resources used………………………………………………………………………….. 17

Are Computer Games Useful For Kids?”

INTRODUCTION



Тема моей исследовательской работы – «Полезны ли детям компьютерные игры?» Идея исследования возникла из противоречивой ситуации, в которой оказались многие дети и подростки моего возраста, когда взрослые (родители и учителя) не всегда одобряют увлечение «геймеров» и считают, что более полезным времяпрепровождением могло бы быть чтение, прогулка или занятие спортом. Как же обстоят дела на самом деле? Так ли вредны компьютерные игры? Есть ли в них какая-то польза для детей? Как грамотно и цивилизованно объяснить взрослым, что компьютерные игры при умелом использовании могут быть полезны? На это нацелено моё исследование.

Итак, я выдвигаю свою гипотезу: при разумном использовании компьютерные игры могут развивать человека и положительно влияют на его личность.

Я считаю, что данная исследовательская работа очень актуальна. Во-первых, компьютерные игры «завоевали» весь мир и проблема увлечения подростков играми носит глобальный характер. Вот почему английский язык может стать необходимым инструментом исследования. Знание английского позволят мне познакомиться с мнениями не только русскоговорящих, но и англоговорящих детей и взрослых. Во-вторых, я сам интересуюсь компьютерными играми и хочу доказать, что моё увлечение вполне безвредно. В-третьих, мои исследовательские интересы полностью совпадают с интересами моего руководителя. Учитель обращается ко мне за знаниями и опытом, так как желает получить ответ на вопрос: полезны ли компьютерные игры при изучении английского языка.

Цель моего учебного исследования – выяснить, какое воздействие компьютерные игры могут оказать на детей и подростков и есть ли какая-то польза в этом времяпрепровождении.

Задачи:


  1. изучить историю появления компьютерных игр;

  2. выяснить, какие компьютерные игры и почему популярны среди детей и подростков;

  3. найти положительные характеристики компьютерных игр;

  4. найти отрицательные характеристики компьютерных игр;

  5. проанализировать, влияет ли увлечение компьютерными играми на знание английского языка;

  6. сформулировать правила использования компьютерных игр.

В своей работе я использую такие методы исследования, как изучение литературы и ресурсов Интернета, проведение социологического опроса, интервьюирование учителя английского языка, наблюдение.

It's difficult to imagine our life without computer and computer games. In the 'older days', computer and video games were very simple. Kids played them for fun. Nowadays, computer and video games have great graphics. Lots of people spend hours playing them forgetting about everything. At the first glance on the computer screen, children fall in love with it. More than that, after they discover computer gaming, some of them really become addicted. The gaming industry is now a growing multimillion dollar industry. Computer and video games have been very popular among children and teenagers aged between seven to sixteen. The strategies used to build the games, the graphics, the quality of sound, the interactivity all make them quite irresistible among the younger generation. Is such activity useful for children? Are the adults right when they disapprove of such games? Let's carry out a research to find the answers to these questions.

To start with, I have studied different opinions on the website www.computing.net . I have noticed that these opinions are rather controversial.


  1. I read somewhere from professions that watching TV and playing games might be good for your mind because you need to process the information. (Roman)

  2. I think you can make time for all the above, sports, clubs, games, etc. Too much of any one thing can be bad, no matter which one it is...the main thing is to be able to balance them all & enjoy them all. (Jam)

  3. Being the father of three teenagers, I am of the opinion that any use of a computer, including playing games, is good, since it makes you familiar with the technology. Also many games train you to make decisions fast.

However to get a good physical life you also need to make use of your body, for example, sports and outdoor games. (Nigel Spike)

  1. Gaming enhanced my problem solving skills. (Max)

Which of these opinions are true? So, I am going to use my research methods, find some examples and decide if computer games bring more troubles or profit to teenagers.

FROM THE HISTORY OF COMPUTER GAMES

The first question I have asked in my research was “When did computer and video games appear?” I also want to know who has invented these games and why they have become so popular. I have studied the Internet resources and I have learnt that video games started to become part of popular culture in the late 1970s. Over the decades, they have become very popular, either in the form of hand held consoles, or with games that run on computers or attached to TVs. The genres available are also immense, with action, strategy, adventure, and sports games being very popular.

These are the main events in the history of the computer games. 1947 is believed to be the first year when a game was designed for playing. This very simple game was designed by Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann. Many people attribute the invention of the video game to William Higinbotham who, in 1958, created a game called “Tennis For Two” to entertain visitors at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York.

In 1961 a group of students programmed a game called “Spacewar”. The game involved two players. The game pitted two human players against each other, each controlling a space ship capable of firing missiles. This game was the first widely available and influential game. It was soon distributed and traded throughout primitive cyberspace. In 1966, Ralph Baer created a simple video game called Chase that could be displayed on a standard television set. Baer continued development, and in 1968 he had a prototype that could play several games, including table tennis and target shooting.

The rapidly evolving home computers of the 1970s and 80s allowed their owners to program simple games. 1972 saw the release of the first video game console for home market, the “Magnavox Odyssey”. The console was connected to a home television set. Home video-game systems became popular during the 1970s and 80s. In the early 1980s, the computer gaming industry experienced its first major growing plans. Publishing houses with many honest businesses appeared.



The 1990s saw the increasing of computing power and the decreasing cost of processors, the rise of 3D graphics, as well as :multimedia” capabilities and the beginning of Internet gaming. Gamers in the 90s began to take their fates into their own hands, with the creation of modifications.

In 2008, social network games began gaining the popularity after the release of “Happy Farm” in China.

To sum up, since the beginning of computer gaming, a lot has happened. In the development of computer technology and equipment there was a significant jump. Almost every month released a new, more perfect and efficient equipment and accessories: video cards, processors, memory. The development and improvement of computer technology has led to an equally powerful and rapid development of the computer games industry. A lot of companies and businesses around the world are engaged in professional development and advancement of computer games. Thanks to modern powerful, high-performance computer technology programmers and developers can implement their most creative ideas: great special effects, interesting gameplay, more complete and detailed game world.

To continue my research, I have carried out an opinion poll to know more about teenagers and their attitude to computer games. I have asked my friends questions online:


  1. What genres of computer games do you prefer?

  2. How much time a day do you spend on playing computer games?

  3. Do you think that computer games are:

  • helpful for teens;

  • harmful for teens.

  1. What language do you use in computer games?

  2. Do you play individually or with other players?

  3. What improves in your English when you play computer games:

  1. the ability to listen to and understand other people speaking;

  2. the ability to read fast and understand written texts;

  3. knowing the vocabulary for games.

  1. Why do you play computer games?

I have summed up the results of the survey:











So, I can conclude that although 100 % of teenagers play computer games for fun, they get some useful life skills and abilities through this hobby. Unfortunately, most of them don’t use the English language. In my opinion, we should use all the opportunities of video and computer games more widely.



THE ADVANTAGES OF COMPUTER GAMES

I have been playing computer games since I was a primary school pupil and according to my experience I can say that such games have a lot of advantages.



  1. They are so entertaining! For example, when we play the game “Minecraft”, we enjoy cyberspace opportunities and have a lot of fun.

  2. They improve hand and eye coordination, which means you can think and do things more quickly and correctly. For example, when we play the game “Call of Duty”, we practise visual reaction and train our coordination. When we play shooting games, we always have to act quickly and correctly.

  3. You feel good when you can move up the levels and see how well you are doing. You feel satisfied every time you reach a new level or fulfill a more difficult task and you are sure that you can become a winner one day. So, many games help you to remember things like, "last time I went this way and it didn't work out - this time I'll try that way."

  4. Most games make you think about what you are going to do, and they help your problem-solving skills. Such games make us pay more attention to important details.

  5. You can play games with a friend, talk about games with others, swap ideas and 'cheats' - it is a good way to be part of a group. Computer games can be a starting point of a new friendship helping teenagers to socialize better with the people of the same age.

  6. You can play games in the internet sometimes with people from all over the world. For example, when you play the online game “World of Tanks”, you can talk with people from other countries and use real spoken English.

  7. Anyone can play computer games. Even if some children are not very good at sport or have a disability, or find it hard to talk to others, they can express themselves in cyberspace.

  8. You can play whenever you want.

  9. You can start all over again if you lose, for example, in such games as “Far Cry”, “Serious Sam”, “Call of Duty”, etc.).

  10. Computer games are more visual and audible than a book or a board game. So, it’s more suitable for children to get new information and entertain.

  11. The market of computer games offers a wide variety of ideas for people of all ages and abilities. So, when we choose a game, we learn to analyze things and make the right choice.

  12. Some games are educational and can improve our study skills in English, Maths, Computing, Drawing etc. Some computer games are focused on a particular issue; kids can learn more about the ancient Greeks, the flora and variety of animals of the world, the differences between cultures and so on.

  13. When children play computer games in English, they start memorizing lots of words, phrases and idioms. They begin to understand using spoken English more fluently. They get more interested in English and ask the teachers questions. Some of them look the new words up in dictionaries.

  14. People who play computer games can navigate in the cyberspace. Any computer programme is easy for computer games players. They understand more about modern technologies than other children. They can give advice and offer help to other kids and even adults.

To conclude, researchers have found out that frequent game players score better at vision tests than non-players do. It has also been found that playing these games can improve children's logical thinking ability and problem solving skills. Games such as “SimCity”, “Age of Mythology”, etc. where gamers have to build houses, cities and develop war strategies help them to develop their logical skills and also helps in decision making. Educational games help to improve their communication and problem solving abilities, alertness, locating things easily without straining too much and so on. American teachers have also found improvement in their students' mathematics, spelling and reading amongst children who play these games. The governments this country is researching ways to integrate such games into the academic curriculum.



Screenshot from game “World of Tanks”





THE DISADVANTAGES OF COMPUTER GAMES

During my research I have found some bad points in computer games. Unfortunately, many computer and video games are very violent, like the game “Far Cry”, and research shows that this violence can affect kids in many ways. Many games are about beating everyone else, not about working together or helping others. That’s why some people worry that kids may keep these values in their daily life, by being unhelpful, rude, not wanting to share or take turns. Sometimes, frequent gamers have a tendency to lose control and become more aggressive in real life.





Screenshot from game “Far Cry 3”

To begin with, doctors have found a possible threat to frequent gamers, affecting their health. It is so because children don't get out and exercise enough. Doctors worry about kids being overweight and unfit, and eating unhealthy snack foods while they play games. People who spend hours in front of the screen, suffer from weak eye sight, such people might need glasses. Common complaints found among children obsessed with games are wrist, neck and back pain, sometimes even more – epilepsy, headaches, hallucinations, nerve and muscle damages. Specialists also believe that playing games can cause obesity.

Besides, game playing is like an addiction to children. The time passes quickly while gaming, so most children might easily forget about homework or other duties. They play or think about playing games and how they can win for most of their time, which means that they don't learn well at school, don't socialize with others and can become really boring people to be around. The “dark” side of computer games is when children start to prefer playing virtual games instead of games in the park. If he or she prefers sitting in front of the computer, instead of running out with friends, then the effect of computer games is isolation. Children might get too shy in interaction.

Then, playing computer games too much can cause low imagination: nothing to imagine, everything is on the screen. People stop thinking, they don’t make their imagination work, games make players lazier.

Sometimes gamers waste money especially when they play in internet cafes.

Finally, some computer and video games are very violent. Teenagers who are involved in such games become rude, cruel and aggressive. Children see blood and dead bodies in the scree. To win they have to shoot, to fight against enemies and to kill cyber heroes. Unfortunately, it develops negative qualities in teenagers’ character. Very ofte these children attach their classmates and bully weaker students at school.





Some of computer games players believe that they won’t do any harm to other children if they hurt them. They mix up virtual reality and real life and think that humans have several lives like cyber heroes.



COMPUTER GAMES: DISASTER OR HOPE FOR LEARNIG ENGLISH?

It's hard to deny that computer games are an essential part of our lives. So, should we fight with new technologies in education? In my opinion, computer games can be inspiring for students, and a good teacher can use it. Some games really give us loads of vocabulary and even somehow improve our critical thinking skills. Nowadays many games are made very professionally and with good taste: they show different countries, traditions, explain some notions. I think that such high-quality games can be used in teaching English.

I have tried a lot of games and can say how useful they are for my language studies.

The name of a game

Skills and Qualities Developed

Words and phrases I have learnt playing this game

«Call of Duty»

English Pronunciation

(Phrases of heroes of the game)



Listening skills

(Orders, instructions, speech of the main heroes)

The game develops patriotic feelings. Players get proud of their country.


Articles of missions

(Black Tuesday – Чёрный Вторник, Sins of Fathers – Грехи Отцов, etc.)

English words:

separate – отделяться



«Minecraft»

Learning useful vocabulary

English words:

wool - шерсть, craft - ремесло, mine – шахта, minerals – полезные ископаемые, iron – железо, gold – золото, diamonds - бриллианты, ore – руда, instruments - инструменты, axe – топор, sword – меч, etc.



«Crysis»

English Pronunciation

(Phrases of heroes of the game)



Listening skills

(Orders, speech of the main heroes)



English phrases and words in English subtitles

«Far Cry»

Listening skills

(Speech of heroes of the game)



English phrases and words in English subtitles

English words:

kill – убивать, blood - кровь


«Dawn of War»

Skills of strategic ways of thinking and immediate decision making

English phrases and words in English subtitles

«World of Tanks»

On English server you can interact communicating with players from English-speaking countries




«Serious Sam»

Children want to be like the main hero (unusual, funny, courageous)




To sum up, thanks to computer games, we can improve our language skills. For example, we memorize the new words and expressions better. I have learnt the meaning of the words “Mine, duty, craft, weapon, knife, etc.)” thanks to computer games. Besides, gamers can chat when playing (usually with foreigners). As for me, I have got acquainted with some foreigners. All players can do it in games with multiplayer such as “World of Tanks”. When you play this game on English server, you can talk with people from English-speaking countries. When we play, we become more competitive, self-confident and brave (especially while playing games about war, for example “Call of Duty” or “Battlefield”).





Screenshots from game “Call of Duty Modern Warfare”

I think that computer games help me in my English studies. I have interviewed my teacher of English in order to support my opinion.









HOW TO PLAY COMPUTER GAMES TO AVOID PROBLEMS?

Many people say that adults need to keep an eye on how much time their children spend in front of the screen playing games and parents and teachers should know what type of games children play. I don’t think it’s a good idea to be controlled all the time by grown-ups. I advise all teens to work out the set of rules for computer gaming.



RULES FOR COMPUTER GAMING

The computer has the potential to be educational and the potential to be terribly harmful to children’s social development. What should be done to avoid problems while playing computer and video games? I have worked out a set or rules for children.

1. Use the computer as a social motivator rather than a break from social interaction. This means finding ways to interact with others while using the computer so that the computer could be used as a social tool.

2. From the beginning, teach yourself how to stop spending too much time in front of the screen. Use timers, the clock, or Duration Charts to know how much time you will spend on the computer. Use a written or picture schedule to know what you will be doing after leaving the computer. If you need, put a large paper stop sign close to the computer and place it in front of the computer when it is time to stop playing and leave it.

3. Use new knowledge or skills learnt in cyberspace in other places and in social situations.

4. Don’t play games that increase aggressive behavior. This is very destructive for your personality!

5. The computer is a wonderful tool for children, and many of us love to act in cyberspace, but we all have to learn to use a computer moderately and wisely.

6. There are nearly endless creative ways that you can use a computer to learn skills and information, to connect yourself to others, to enjoy time with exploring common and new interests.

Follow these rules for using the playing computer games and then enjoy this opportunity!

CONCLUSION

We can’t imagine our life without computer games. They attract children by challenging tasks, graphics, the quality of sound and interactivity. My hypothesis was confirmed. I have found out that computer games can be useful. If children use the computer wisely and don’t spend too much time in virtual reality, they will take some profit from gaming. Computer games can have a good influence on teenagers’ development. Thanks to these games children can expand their knowledge and learn to process information. Video and computer games make us familiar with information technology and teach us interact with partners and opponents. Children who play computer games solve problems and take decisions faster than those who are not good at it. Nowadays a lot of children have already taken up gaming as a hobby. Why not using this modern “instrument” to improve knowledge and skills?



I agree that computer games bring some troubles: addiction, health problems and isolation. To avoid these problems I want all my friends to have more than one hobby. If you spend 2 hours a day in cyberspace, you must spend 2 hours doing some sport, 2 hours preparing for lessons and, of course, you should go out with friends.

RESOURCES USED

  1. www.computing.net

  2. www.vliyatelnye.ru

  3.  www.igromania.ru

  4.  www.shkolazhizni.ru



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