Gaming addiction

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Unit 1 - | Corpus Sujets - 1 Sujet   Gaming addiction

Séries générales • LV1



Idée de progrès


Liban • Mai 2013

Séries générales • LV1

text 1

I was a games addict


“Gaming was a place where I could be a hero...” Tom Meltzer. Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian

ph© Graeme Robertson/eyevine/abacapress

“I would say I was playing 15 hours a day at the peak,” says self-confessed gaming addict Daniel, now 24. “I kind of half block it out because I hated school so much but the worst year I can remember was when I was playing EverQuest. I was 16, and I was getting up at two in the morning and going downstairs on to my mum’s laptop to play. I was up until eight, and then I’d get back into bed saying I was ill.”

Daniel’s story is not so different from my own we were both miserable as teens, and we both played truant in the fantasy world of games: Daniel’s attendance fell from 100% in his first year of secondary school to 45% in his last. Mine was less extreme - I would miss, on average, a day a week. In both our cases, every day spent off school was a day spent playing video games.

At Widey Court primary school in Plymouth, teacher Richard Gribble made headlines this week after conducting a survey of the gaming habits of his class. Of the 26 children aged 10 or 11, he found that over three quarters were playing video games every night, and over a third were playing in the morning as well. Some were staying up until 4 a.m. to play, others waking up at 5 a.m. before school. They were, he said, so tired they couldn’t concentrate at all. A few were falling asleep in the classroom. Gribble wrote to his pupils’ unaware parents urging them to curb1 their children’s gaming time.

Tom Meltzer, in The Guardian, Friday 11 March 2011.

1. to curb: to reduce.

text 2

A week in December

She set about cooking. Twice a week, Sunday dinner and one other time, she tried to do proper cooking with fresh food. She’d collected steak and kidney from the butcher on the way back from the Tube1 and now set about making pastry while she listened to drive-time radio. She got the pie in the oven and peeled some potatoes to go with it she’d given up making greens for Tony, but there was a packet of salad in the fridge that she could have.

The furnishing of the flat meant a lot to her. She looked at celeb­rity magazines, not at the faces of the soap2 stars or weather girls but at the background of their houses, to see if there was anything she could copy or adapt. She even bought specialist monthlies, though she didn’t like the pictures with stainless steel and toneless colour schemes that looked like a factory she preferred a cosier look with bright fabrics that suggested somewhere you’d actually want to live. The look of a room through a half-open door and the way the light fell were more to her than house-keeping they suggested stories and lives: they awakened a longing in her.

That was almost as much reality as Jenni wanted. She ran a bath, lit a scented candle and slid beneath the surface with the winner of the ‘05 Café Bravo. The novel was still very thin to her way of thinking. The words didn’t seem to make any sort of music, they just told you facts, like a manual but she didn’t like to give up on books once she’d started and she plunged once more into its watery gruel. The characters were called Nic and Lilli. The whole thing was, like, tinny. Couldn’t one of them just be called Jake or Barbara, she thought, something with a different sound Even that would have helped.

After tea with Tony, Jenni did what she had been looking forward to all day: she logged on to Parallax3. She knew that Jason Dogg wouldn’t be online till later, but there was a lot to do first.

She loved being back in Parallax. The game’s owners and regulators (a syndicate of twelve Chinese Californians, Jenni had read) seemed to have solved one of the persistent problems of such worlds: the so-called “uncanny valley” effect4. People can identify with humans photographically reproduced they could also be interested in stick-figures or cartoons. But as representation of humans moved from rough towards complete there came a sudden loss of empathy: the graph started and finished high with stick-man or photo, but dipped badly in the middle. Most manufacturers lacked power to push on to verisimilitude, so pulled back towards the crude, thus reclimbing the empathy line. The Parallax geeks, however, had managed to harness something close to the technology used in epic cinema their coup was to have done it at real-life speed and at a reasonable cost.

So when Miranda went for a walk or met her neighbours or did some shopping, it was like interacting with people from the movies, real people, if a little smaller. She could bring their faces into extreme close-up and see the pores of their skin. It wasn’t like playing a children’s computer game it was like being a star in your own improvised film.

Sebastien Faulks, A Week In December, 2010.

1. the Tube: the London Underground.

2. Soap (opera): TV series.

3. Parallax: a videogame based on living a virtual life, like Second Life or The Sims.

4. “uncanny valley” effect: a strange feeling of repulsion when faced to a very “human” robot since its “inhuman” defaults will seem monstrous.


1 Say what kind of document

1. text 1 is.

2. text 2 is.

2 What is the common theme between both documents

Text 1

1 1. Say who the three main people are.

2. Give the names of the people the underlined pronouns refer to.

L. 1: “I would say I was playing 15 hours …”

L. 11-12: “I would miss, on average, a day a week.”

3. Who is the narrator

>Focus on the passage from line 1 to line 13.

2 1. Pick out two sentences showing that the two characters are addicted to games.

2. Explain in your own words the differences between the two games addicts.

>Focus on the passage from line 14 to the end.

3 Find out two main consequences related to pupils’ “gaming habits” (line 16).

Text 2

1 Through whose eyes is the story seen

>Focus on the passage from line 1 to line 30.

2 1. Explain in what way the main character leads a superficial life. Answer in your own words. (40 words)

2. Find out three elements which enable the main character to escape from her daily life.

3. The main character seems addicted to one of these activities. Which one Pick out a quotation from the text to justify your answer.

>Focus on the passage from line 31 to the end.

3 1. Explain in your own words what you can do on Parallax. (30 words)

2. Account for the main character’s addiction to Parallax. Give three reasons. (30 words)

4 How are Miranda and the main character related to each other Choose one of the following answers.

1. Miranda is the main character’s sister.

2. Miranda is the main character’s avatar in Parallax.

3. Miranda is the main character’s favourite movie star.

Both texts

1 Express the reasons why all the people mentioned in the two texts need to resort to games. Give at least four reasons taken in the two texts.

2 Describe what the common points and the differences between these reasons are. (50 words)


> Choose one of the following subjects: 1 or 2.
(300 words +/– 15 words)Give the number of words.

1 To what extent do you think that escaping from reality would necessarily mean refusing your responsibilities in real life Can it be a way out for another life Discuss and illustrate with examples. (300 words, +/– 15 words)

2 1. Text 1, lines 21-23: “Gribble wrote to his pupils’ unaware parents urging them to curb their children’s gaming time.”

Imagine the letter he writes, focusing on causes, consequences and solutions. (150 words, +/– 10 words)

2. Read the following cartoon and answer the question below.


Wasserman© 1995 Boston Globe Dist. by LA Times Synd.

Dan Wasserman, Boston Globe, 1995.

Do you think addictions such as those illustrated in the cartoon are like entering a vicious circle Discuss and give examples. (150 words, +/– 10 words)

Texte 1


The Guardian est un journal britannique considéré comme faisant partie de la presse dite « de qualité ». Fondé en 1821, devenu quotidien en 1956, il se veut politiquement indépendant. Tom Meltzer est un de ses journalistes.

Pour en savoir plus :

Le thème

Tom Meltzer, journaliste, rapporte l’histoire de Daniel, adolescent « accro » aux jeux vidéos, qui a un parcours quelque peu semblable au sien : au même âge, suite à sa dépendance aux jeux, son absentéisme scolaire a augmenté de façon considérable. Une étude menée par un enseignant auprès des élèves de sa propre classe, des enfants âgés d’une dizaine d’années, montre l’impact de ces pratiques de jeux sur leur sommeil, et par conséquent sur leur capacité de concentration.

Vocabulaire utile à la compréhension

To block out, l. 2 (essayer d’oublier)  a laptop, l. 5 (un ordinateur portable)  miserable, l. 9 (malheureux)  to play truant, l. 9 (manquer les cours, faire l’école buissonnière)  attendance, l. 10 (assiduité)  make headlines, l. 15 (faire les gros titres)  a survey, l. 15 (un sondage).

Texte 2


Sebastian Faulks (né en 1953) est un romancier à succès britannique (il a été choisi par les héritiers de Ian Fleming pour écrire une suite à la série des James Bond), également journaliste. L’action de son roman A Week in December se situe en 2007, après que le système bancaire ait été mis en cause par la crise financière mondiale.

Pour en savoir plus :

Le thème

Jenni est une femme à la vie ordinaire et sans surprise : cuisiner, décorer son intérieur, lire des romans sans consistance dans son bain, prendre le thé avec son mari Tony… Par contre, le soir, elle se connecte sur internet à Parallax, un jeu virtuel, où grâce au personnage qu’elle a créé, Miranda, elle mène le temps du jeu une vie différente, comme si elle jouait dans un film.

Vocabulaire utile à la compréhension

Kidney, l. 3 (des rognons)  pastry, l. 4 (de la pâte)  the furnishing, l. 8 (l’ameublement)  stainless steel, l. 12 (acier inoxydable)  fabrics, l. 14 (tissus)  a longing, l. 17 (un désir, une envie)  gruel, l. 24 (gruau)  stick-figures, l. 36 (des personnages filiformes)  to harness, l. 42 (exploiter).

Les points de convergence

Les deux textes abordent la question de l’addiction aux jeux vidéos en s’intéressant à son impact dans la vie réelle. Le premier texte est centré sur ce comportement addictif chez les jeunes, les conséquences qu’il a sur le sommeil et les résultats scolaires, tandis que le second met en scène une femme à la vie quotidienne ordinaire, et qui s’adonne à un jeu de rôle virtuel pour s’échapper de ce réel quotidien.

Le sujet d’expression 1

Pistes de recherche

Le monde virtuel face au monde réel : voici le thème proposé par ce sujet. L’alternative est-elle exclusive, ou bien peut-on vivre « bien » en passant de l’un à l’autre, et réciproquement  Évoquer le désir de s’échapper d’une réalité quotidienne ordinaire peut vous amener à évoquer d’autres choses que le jeu virtuel : ainsi le film Into the Wild, dont le héros, Christopher McCandless, quitte le monde moderne occidental pour vivre en Alaska, loin des cités. A priori, il est clair que s’échapper de la réalité amène à ne pouvoir assumer ses responsabilités dans la vie réelle – à moins que l’évasion hors du réel soit une modalité de vie bien délimitée dans le temps où il s’agisse de « décompresser », sans que le contact avec la réalité ne soit perdu.

Vocabulaire utile

The need to escape (le besoin d’évasion)  to take responsibility for one’s actions (prendre ses responsabilités)  to keep in touch with (rester en contact avec)  to be out of one’s depth (perdre pied).

Le sujet d’expression 21.

Pistes de recherche

Le sujet vous indique les points que Gribble pourra soulever dans sa lettre : causes, conséquences, solutions. Parmi les causes, il y a l’absence de contrôle parental et l’accès facile aux ordinateurs. Les conséquences contre lesquelles il pourra mettre en garde les parents sont mentionnées dans l’article : manque de sommeil, absentéisme, problèmes de concentration, mais aussi, et plus grave, agressivité et insertion sociale difficile. Parmi les solutions qu’il pourra proposer citons : code d’accès aux ordinateurs, limite fixée au temps passé sur écran, dialogue constant enfants-parents sur les bons usages de ces jeux. Il pourra également proposer un temps de réunion à l’école où il expliquerait tout ceci aux familles, avec documents, reportages et statistiques à l’appui.

Vocabulaire utile

To spend time V-ing (passer du temps à)  parental control (contrôle parental)  absenteeism rate (taux d’absentéisme)  to keep an eye on (surveiller)  aggressiveness (agressivité).

Le sujet d’expression 22.

Pistes de recherche

Montrez que vous avez compris la bande dessinée : le personnage cherche comment se déshabituer de l’ordinateur mais la solution qui lui vient en tête se trouve en ligne, et le maintient donc paradoxalement devant l’écran ! Parmi les addictions les plus courantes, citons la cigarette, l’alcool, le jeu… Comme toute addiction, elles font entrer la personne qui s’y adonne dans un cercle vicieux dont il est très difficile de s’extraire.

Vocabulaire utile

Gambling (jeux d’argent)  alcohol (alcool)  to get hooked on (devenir accro à)  treatment for drug addiction (désintoxication)  will (volonté).



1 1. Text 1 is a newspaper article.

2. Text 2 is an extract from a novel.

2 Both documents deal with computer addiction.

Text 1

1 1. The three main people are: Daniel, aged 24, a former computer addict Tom Meltzer, the journalist and Richard Gribble, a primary school teacher.

2. L. 1: Daniel.

L. 11-12: Tom Meltzer.

3. The narrator is the journalist, Tom Meltzer.

2 1. “we both played truant in the fantasy world of games” (l. 9).

“In both our cases, every day spent off school was a day spent playing video games” (l. 12-13).

2. The only difference is that Tom Meltzer attended school more often than Daniel: he was absent “only” one day a week, whereas Daniel was 45 % of the time.

3 First, it has an influence on their sleep: they go to bed late and sometimes wake up at night to play. Second, due to this lack of sleep, they find it difficult to concentrate at school.

Text 2

1 The story is seen through Jenni’s eyes.

2 1. Jenni doesn’t seem to experience anything really interesting or profound in the day. She merely runs the house. She doesn’t seem to pay much attention to food, her main focus in decorating is the impression it gives, and she reads superficial novels that are chick-lit rather than serious literature.

2. The furnishing of the flat, reading books in her bath, and Parallax, the computer game.

3. She seems addicted to Parallax: “Jenni did what she had been looking forward to all day: she logged onto Parallax” (l. 28-29).

3 1. Parallax is a simulation game, where you control a virtual character who evolves among other human-controlled characters, in a virtual world where nothing exceptional happens.

2. First, the characters’ appearance is very close to that of reality. Second, the control you have over the game is similar to that of a film producer over cameras and actors. Last, contrary to the novels she reads, the story is endless and you can decide everything, even the names of the characters.

4 2. Miranda is the main character’s avatar in Parallax.

Both texts

1 On the whole, all these people become game addicts in order to escape reality: Daniel hated school (text 1, l. 3), Tom Meltzer could thus become a hero (caption of the photo), Jenni is not really interested in reality (text 2, l. 18) and gets the impression that she was an actress in some epic movie (text 2, l. 49-50).

2 Similarly, in both texts, we find people who are bored with their lives and would like to be heroes, reach a higher status than in real life. But Daniel stands out because he actually hated his life and school, which doesn’t seem to be the case of the other characters. At any rate, for all of them, it’s a way to escape their unsatisfying realities.


1 Guidelines

Some people (like those in the texts) have so much difficulty coping with real­ity that they find an escape, a way out, one way or another.

If this escape becomes an addiction, an obsession, it seems obvious that it will lead to the refusal of one’s responsibilities in everyday life, like taking care of one’s family, keeping in touch with one’s friends or going to work – some addicts pretend they are sick in order to stay at home and do what they are addicted to. All addictions, if not taken care of, end up in destruction, of oneself or one’s family. But provided the time spent on your hobby is controlled and reasonable, and that you don’t get out of touch with reality, it is sometimes necessary to let go.

21. Guidelines

Dear parents,

I’m writing to draw your attention to an extremely worrying trend amongst your children. Indeed after noticing more and more tired and irritable children in class, I conducted a survey to find out more about what I suspected to be the cause: the time spent on their computers.

It seems obvious that children shouldn’t have free access to them, and nothing can replace parental control in the matter.

It results in a rise of the absenteeism rate, as well as in difficulties to concentrate in class, which endanger the kids’school life.

As parents, it is your responsibility to be liable for your children’s health. Most children don’t sleep enough, and even become aggressive.

As their teacher, who sees them and works with them every day, I ask you to be particularly vigilant and talk with them about the dangers of too much time spent on their computers.

Their school life, and their future, is at stake.

You are invited to join Mr X the headmaster and myself, for an information meeting at 6.30 p.m. Friday next week in the school hall, where we’ll both answer any questions you have regarding how to help your children.

Best regards

Mr Gribble