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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of computer games from the real IELTS exam.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Computer Games

Many adults nowadays prefer spending their free time playing computer games.

Why do they do this?

Is this a positive or negative development?

A large proportion of adults now enjoy playing computer games during their free time. In my opinion, this is a result of developments in mobile technology and is decidedly negative since computer games encourage passivity.

The primary cause of increased interest in games is their availability. In the past, computer games could only be played on desktop computers at home. Now, it is possible to play the same essential games on laptops, tablets, and smartphones. This means that individuals are more likely to become addicted over time as research has shown the strength of intermittent rewards in forming addictive habits. For example, the average worker can play games on their phone while on the commute to work, during work on a desktop or laptop, and throughout the day whenever they have a break. This creates a powerful feedback loop in the same way as other drugs.

In my opinion, the entertainment value of such games pales in comparison to their impact on sedentary lifestyles. Before computer games became pervasive habits, individuals were more likely to spend time talking with friends, reading books, participating in physical activities, and being generally more productive. All these habits were better for mental and physical health. Computer games, on the other hand, require a minimal level of mental activity and feed users small bursts of dopamine that keep them occupied and entertained for hours. The cumulative effect, particularly when coupled with other passive activities such as using social media and watching streaming sites, is a generation of less active and creative individuals.

In conclusion, adults play computer games more often these days because of the availability of mobile technology and this is harmful as it fosters passivity. It is therefore important for adults to set limits for themselves.

Analysis

1. A large proportion of adults now enjoy playing computer games during their free time. 2. In my opinion, this is a result of developments in mobile technology and is decidedly negative since computer games encourage passivity.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. The primary cause of increased interest in games is their availability. 2. In the past, computer games could only be played on desktop computers at home. 3. Now, it is possible to play the same essential games on laptops, tablets, and smartphones. 4. This means that individuals are more likely to become addicted over time as research has shown the strength of intermittent rewards in forming addictive habits. 5. For example, the average worker can play games on their phone while on the commute to work, during work on a desktop or laptop, and throughout the day whenever they have a break. 6. This creates a powerful feedback loop in the same way as other drugs.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific or hypothetical examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. Extend with some short sentences as well.
  6. State the furthest possible result.

1. In my opinion, the entertainment value of such games pales in comparison to their impact on sedentary lifestyles. 2. Before computer games became pervasive habits, individuals were more likely to spend time talking with friends, reading books, participating in physical activities, and being generally more productive. 3. All these habits were better for mental and physical health. 4. Computer games, on the other hand, require a minimal level of mental activity and feed users small bursts of dopamine that keep them occupied and entertained for hours. 5. The cumulative effect, particularly when coupled with other passive activities such as using social media and watching streaming sites, is a generation of less active and creative individuals.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Continue developing it…
  5. as fully as possible!
  6. Continue the hypothetical example.

1. In conclusion, adults play computer games more often these days because of the availability of mobile technology and this is harmful as it fosters passivity. 2. It is therefore important for adults to set limits for themselves.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

A large proportion of adults now enjoy playing computer games during their free time. In my opinion, this is a result of developments in mobile technology and is decidedly negative since computer games encourage passivity.

The primary cause of increased interest in games is their availability. In the past, computer games could only be played on desktop computers at home. Now, it is possible to play the same essential games on laptops, tablets, and smartphones. This means that individuals are more likely to become addicted over time as research has shown the strength of intermittent rewards in forming addictive habits. For example, the average worker can play games on their phone while on the commute to work, during work on a desktop or laptop, and throughout the day whenever they have a break. This creates a powerful feedback loop in the same way as other drugs.

In my opinion, the entertainment value of such games pales in comparison to their impact on sedentary lifestyles. Before computer games became pervasive habits, individuals were more likely to spend time talking with friends, reading books, participating in physical activities, and being generally more productive. All these habits were better for mental and physical health. Computer games, on the other hand, require a minimal level of mental activity and feed users small bursts of dopamine that keep them occupied and entertained for hours. The cumulative effect, particularly when coupled with other passive activities such as using social media and watching streaming sites, is a generation of less active and creative individuals.

In conclusion, adults play computer games more often these days because of the availability of mobile technology and this is harmful as it fosters passivity. It is therefore important for adults to set limits for themselves.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

large proportion of a lot of

computer games games played on the computer – such as Minecraft, Axie Infinity, etc.

free time spare time

result consequence

developments changes

mobile technology smartphones, etc.

decidedly definitely

encourage passivity make people less active

primary cause main reason

increased interest in caring more about

availability access to

played on desktop computers on a computer at home

same essential games basically the same games

laptops portable computers

tablets thin computers, iPads

smartphones mobile phones

addicted can’t stop playing

strength power

intermittent rewards receiving something every once in a while

forming addictive habits make you addicted

average worker normal person

while on during

commute travelling

during while

throughout the day all day

whenever at any time

creates fosters

powerful feedback loop cycle

in the same way as similar to

other drugs narcotics, stimulants

entertainment value interesting and engaging

pales in comparison not as strong as

impact effect

sedentary lifestyles passive ways of living

pervasive habits common practices

participating in doing

physical activities sports

generally overall

productive active

mental and physical health emotional and body health

require a minimal level need just some

mental activity brain at work

feed users give playerse

small bursts little bits

dopamine a drug that creates pleasure in the brain

occupied busy

cumulative effect all combined

particularly when especially as

coupled with combined with

watching streaming sites websites like Netflix

generation people of the same age

harmful not good

fosters passivity makes you less active

therefore thus

set limits have clear boundaries

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

lɑːʤ prəˈpɔːʃən ɒv 
kəmˈpjuːtə geɪmz 
friː taɪm
rɪˈzʌlt 
dɪˈvɛləpmənts 
ˈməʊbaɪl tɛkˈnɒləʤi 
dɪˈsaɪdɪdli 
ɪnˈkʌrɪʤ pæˈsɪvɪti
ˈpraɪməri kɔːz 
ɪnˈkriːst ˈɪntrɪst ɪn 
əˌveɪləˈbɪlɪti
pleɪd ɒn ˈdɛsktɒp kəmˈpjuːtəz 
seɪm ɪˈsɛnʃəl geɪmz 
ˈlæpˌtɒps
ˈtæblɪts
ˈsmɑːtfəʊnz
əˈdɪktɪd
strɛŋθ 
ˌɪntə(ː)ˈmɪtənt rɪˈwɔːdz 
ˈfɔːmɪŋ əˈdɪktɪv ˈhæbɪts
ˈævərɪʤ ˈwɜːkə 
waɪl ɒn 
kəˈmjuːt 
ˈdjʊərɪŋ 
θru(ː)ˈaʊt ðə deɪ 
wɛnˈɛvə 
kri(ː)ˈeɪts 
ˈpaʊəfʊl ˈfiːdbæk luːp 
ɪn ðə seɪm weɪ æz 
ˈʌðə drʌgz
ˌɛntəˈteɪnmənt ˈvæljuː 
peɪlz ɪn kəmˈpærɪsn 
ˈɪmpækt 
ˈsɛdntəri ˈlaɪfˌstaɪlz
pɜːˈveɪsɪv ˈhæbɪts
pɑːˈtɪsɪpeɪtɪŋ ɪn 
ˈfɪzɪkəl ækˈtɪvɪtiz
ˈʤɛnərəli 
prəˈdʌktɪv
ˈmɛntl ænd ˈfɪzɪkəl hɛlθ
rɪˈkwaɪər ə ˈmɪnɪml ˈlɛvl 
ˈmɛntl ækˈtɪvɪti 
fiːd ˈjuːzəz 
smɔːl bɜːsts 
ˈdəʊpəmiːn 
ˈɒkjʊpaɪd 
ˈkjuːmjʊlətɪv ɪˈfɛkt
pəˈtɪkjʊləli wɛn 
ˈkʌpld wɪð 
ˈwɒʧɪŋ ˈstriːmɪŋ saɪts
ˌʤɛnəˈreɪʃən 
ˈhɑːmfʊl 
ˈfɒstəz pæˈsɪvɪti
ˈðeəfɔː 
sɛt ˈlɪmɪts 

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

A l______________________f adults now enjoy playing c______________________s during their f___________e. In my opinion, this is a r_______t of d__________________s in m____________________y and is d______________y negative since computer games e__________________y.

The p________________e of i____________________n games is their a______________y. In the past, computer games could only be p_____________________________s at home. Now, it is possible to play the s___________________________s on l__________s, t__________s, and s______________s. This means that individuals are more likely to become a____________d over time as research has shown the s_________h of i_________________________s in f_________________________s. For example, the a_______________r can play games on their phone w___________n the c_____________e to work, d_________g work on a desktop or laptop, and t__________________________y w_____________r they have a break. This c____________s a p_______________________________p i____________________s o__________________s.

In my opinion, the e____________________________e of such games p_______________________n to their i_________t on s_____________________s. Before computer games became p___________________s, individuals were more likely to spend time talking with friends, reading books, p____________________n p______________________s, and being g_____________y more p____________e. All these habits were better for m_____________________h. Computer games, on the other hand, r_____________________________l of m_________________________y and f________________s s________________s of d______________e that keep them o______________d and entertained for hours. The c____________________t, p____________________n c__________________h other passive activities such as using social media and w_______________________s, is a generation of less active and creative individuals.

In conclusion, adults play computer games more often these days because of the availability of mobile technology and this is h_____________l as it f_____________________y. It is t___________e important for adults to s______________s for themselves.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic by watching videos from The New York Times YouTube channel below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/03/computer-games-dont-rot-the-brain-they-help-us-learn/72972/

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Games

  1. What kinds of games do kids play now?
  2. How have habits towards games changed?
  3. Do girls and boys play the same kinds of games?
  4. What can children learn from games?
  5. What types of games can the whole family play together?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

Computer games are very popular for all ages and nationalities. Parents think this has little educational value and it will be harmful for children.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


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