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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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IELTS Essay: Computer Games

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?

Computer games have become increasingly popular in an age of mobile devices and advancing graphical interfaces. While some claim there is educational value in these games, I would side with those decrying the propagation of a passive lifestyle.

Supporters of gaming can point to its alleged benefits for cognitive functioning. It is difficult to do good research in this area, but many recent studies have found optimistic results not only related to hand-eye coordination but also mental development. This is also supported by common sense because as games have become more advanced, players must now follow intricate storylines, figure out difficult puzzles and outsmart progressively intelligent artificial intelligence. Depending on the age of the gamer and the game in question it is very likely there are legitimate cognitive gains that can be attributed to the extensive playing of games.

Nonetheless, the marginal advances listed above pale in comparison to the effects of a passive lifestyle on both physical and mental health. Mobile devices and the internet generally, but videogames in particular, are the leading causes of the more sedentary lifestyles that most children and teens now lead, often extending into adulthood. This leaves them at risk of developing bad habits that could later translate into more serious health conditions. Added to this is the mental aspect. Playing games is, next to watching televisions shows, one of the least active forms of entertainment. It would be more beneficial for people of all ages to play a team sport, read a book, spend more time with family, or take up a productive and creative hobby.

In short, computer games may offer a limited range of intellectual benefits but they also come at great physical and mental cost. It is therefore up to parents and individuals themselves to opt for more constructive pastimes.

Analysis

1. Computer games have become increasingly popular in an age of mobile devices and advancing graphical interfaces. 2. While some claim there is educational value in these games, I would side with those decrying the propagation of a passive lifestyle.

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

1. Supporters of gaming can point to its alleged benefits for cognitive functioning. 2. It is difficult to do good research in this area, but many recent studies have found optimistic results not only related to hand-eye coordination but also mental development. 3. This is also supported by common sense because as games have become more advanced, players must now follow intricate storylines, figure out difficult puzzles and outsmart progressively intelligent artificial intelligence. 4. Depending on the age of the gamer and the game in question it is very likely there are legitimate cognitive gains that can be attributed to the extensive playing of games.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific examples.
  4. Continue to develop it as fully as possible.

1. Nonetheless, the marginal advances listed above pale in comparison to the effects of a passive lifestyle on both physical and mental health. 2. Mobile devices and the internet generally, but videogames in particular, are the leading causes of the more sedentary lifestyles that most children and teens now lead, often extending into adulthood. 3. This leaves them at risk of developing bad habits that could later translate into more serious health conditions. 4. Added to this is the mental aspect. 5. Playing games is, next to watching televisions shows, one of the least active forms of entertainment. 6. It would be more beneficial for people of all ages to play a team sport, read a book, spend more time with family, or take up a productive and creative hobby.

  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. Switch to a second main idea if you have one.
  5. And develop the second idea fully.
  6. Conclude the paragraph or finish developing your last idea.

1. In short, computer games may offer a limited range of intellectual benefits but they also come at great physical and mental cost. 2. It is therefore up to parents and individuals themselves to opt for more constructive pastimes.

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

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

Computer games have become increasingly popular in an age of mobile devices and advancing graphical interfaces. While some claim there is educational value in these games, I would side with those decrying the propagation of a passive lifestyle.

Supporters of gaming can point to its alleged benefits for cognitive functioning. It is difficult to do good research in this area, but many recent studies have found optimistic results not only related to hand-eye coordination but also mental development. This is also supported by common sense because as games have become more advanced, players must now follow intricate storylines, figure out difficult puzzles and outsmart progressively intelligent artificial intelligence. Depending on the age of the gamer and the game in question it is very likely there are legitimate cognitive gains that can be attributed to the extensive playing of games.

Nonetheless, the marginal advances listed above pale in comparison to the effects of a passive lifestyle on both physical and mental health. Mobile devices and the internet generally, but videogames in particular, are the leading causes of the more sedentary lifestyles that most children and teens now lead, often extending into adulthood. This leaves them at risk of developing bad habits that could later translate into more serious health conditions. Added to this is the mental aspect. Playing games is, next to watching televisions shows, one of the least active forms of entertainment. It would be more beneficial for people of all ages to play a team sport, read a book, spend more time with family, or take up a productive and creative hobby.

In short, computer games may offer a limited range of intellectual benefits but they also come at great physical and mental cost. It is therefore up to parents and individuals themselves to opt for more constructive pastimes.

Answers

increasingly popular more and more common

an age of mobile devices people using smartphones

advancing graphical interfaces newer machines and graphics

educational value importance of education

side with agree with

decrying criticising

propagation spreading

passive lifestyle not living an active life

supporters people in favour of

point to argue about

alleged benefits supposed advantages

cognitive functioning intellectual development

research studies

recent studies new research

optimistic results hopeful findings

hand-eye coordination reacting quickly

mental development brain functioning

supported in favour of

common sense logical

follow intricate storylines understand complex plots

figure out understand

outsmart be smarter than

progressively intelligent artificial intelligence more smart computers

depending on it concerns whether or not

gamer person who plays games

in question being discussed now

legitimate cognitive gains real intellectual advances

attributed to caused by

extensive long time, detailed

nonetheless regardless

marginal advances small gains

listed above detailed before

pale in comparison not important relative to

passive lifestyle not active living

physical and mental health related to the body and mind

mobile devices smartphones, tablets

generally in general

in particular especially

leading causes main reasons behind

sedentary lifestyles not active

lead live

extending into adulthood getting older

at risk worried

later translate after that become

serious health conditions important health problems

added to this is combined with

aspect part

next to behind

least active forms very passive

all ages kids, teens, grownups, elderly

take up start doing

productive useful

creative imaginative

may offer a limited range give some

come at great physical and mental cost hurt a person in terms of physical and mental health

therefore thus

opt for choose

constructive pastimes better hobbies

Pronunciation

ɪnˈkriːsɪŋli ˈpɒpjʊlə 
ən eɪʤ ɒv ˈməʊbaɪl dɪˈvaɪsɪz 
ədˈvɑːnsɪŋ ˈgræfɪkəl ˈɪntəˌfeɪsɪz
ˌɛdju(ː)ˈkeɪʃənz ˈvæljuː 
saɪd wɪð 
dɪˈkraɪɪŋ 
ˌprɒpəˈgeɪʃən 
ˈpæsɪv ˈlaɪfˌstaɪl
səˈpɔːtəz 
pɔɪnt tuː 
əˈlɛʤd ˈbɛnɪfɪts 
ˈkɒgnɪtɪv ˈfʌŋkʃənɪŋ
rɪˈsɜːʧ 
ˈriːsnt ˈstʌdiz 
ˌɒptɪˈmɪstɪk rɪˈzʌlts 
hænd-aɪ kəʊˌɔːdɪˈneɪʃən 
ˈmɛntl dɪˈvɛləpmənt
səˈpɔːtɪd 
ˈkɒmən sɛns 
ˈfɒləʊ ˈɪntrɪkɪt ˈstɔːriz laɪnz
ˈfɪgər aʊt 
aʊtˈsmɑːt 
prəʊˈgrɛsɪvli ɪnˈtɛlɪʤənt ˌɑːtɪˈfɪʃ(ə)l ɪnˈtɛlɪʤəns.
dɪˈpɛndɪŋ ɒn 
ˈgeɪmə 
ɪn ˈkwɛsʧən 
lɪˈʤɪtɪmɪt ˈkɒgnɪtɪv geɪnz 
əˈtrɪbjuːtɪd tuː 
ɪksˈtɛnsɪv 
ˌnʌnðəˈlɛs
ˈmɑːʤɪnəl ədˈvɑːnsɪz 
ˈlɪstɪd əˈbʌv 
peɪl ɪn kəmˈpærɪsn 
ˈpæsɪv ˈlaɪfˌstaɪl 
ˈfɪzɪkəl ænd ˈmɛntl hɛlθ
ˈməʊbaɪl dɪˈvaɪsɪz 
ˈʤɛnərəli
ɪn pəˈtɪkjʊlə
ˈliːdɪŋ ˈkɔːzɪz 
ˈsɛdntəri ˈlaɪfˌstaɪlz
liːd
ɪksˈtɛndɪŋ ˈɪntuː əˈdʌlthʊd
æt rɪsk 
ˈleɪtə trænsˈleɪt 
ˈsɪərɪəs hɛlθ kənˈdɪʃənz
ˈædɪd tuː ðɪs ɪz 
ˈæspɛkt
nɛkst tuː 
liːst ˈæktɪv fɔːmz 
ɔːl ˈeɪʤɪz 
teɪk ʌp 
prəˈdʌktɪv 
kri(ː)ˈeɪtɪv 
meɪ ˈɒfər ə ˈlɪmɪtɪd reɪnʤ 
kʌm æt greɪt ˈfɪzɪkəl ænd ˈmɛntl kɒst
ˈðeəfɔː 
ɒpt fɔː 
kənˈstrʌktɪv ˈpɑːstaɪmz

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Computer games have become i__________________r in a_________________________s and a_____________________________s. While some claim there is e___________________e in these games, I would s_____________h those d_________g the p__________n of a p________________e.

S______________s of gaming can p________o its a________________s for c_________________________g. It is difficult to do good r_______h in this area, but many r___________________s have found o_____________________s not only related to h____________________n but also m_______________________t. This is also s____________d by c________________e because as games have become more advanced, players must now f_______________________________s, f____________t difficult puzzles and o________________t p____________________________________________________e. D_________________n the age of the g_______r and the game i________________n it is very likely there are l____________________________s that can be a_____________________o the e_____________e playing of games.

N__________________s, the m___________________s l___________________e p_________________________n to the effects of a p_____________________e on both p________________________________h. M____________________s and the internet g_____________y, but videogames i____________________r, are the l__________________s of the more s_______________________s that most children and teens now l______d, often e__________________________________d. This leaves them a______k of developing bad habits that could l________________________e into more s_______________________________s. A_______________________s the mental a________t. Playing games is, n______o watching televisions shows, one of the l______________________s of entertainment. It would be more beneficial for people of a____________s to play a team sport, read a book, spend more time with family, or t________p a p___________________e and c______________e hobby.

In short, computer games m___________________________e of intellectual benefits but they also c_________________________________t. It is t_______________e up to parents and individuals themselves to o________r more c__________________s.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

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

https://www.brainandlife.org/articles/how-do-video-games-affect-the-developing-brains-of-children/

Speaking Practice

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

Playing

  1. When you were a child, where did you like to play?
  2. Did you prefer playing indoors or outdoors?
  3. What kinds of games did you play?
  4. Do kids benefit more from playing outside?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related topic below and then check with my sample answer:

Some people believe that smartphones are destroying social interaction today.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


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