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ielts reading test 154

Computer games for Preschoolers Nintendo’s Research and Design Process

Designing computer games for young children is a daunting task for game producers, who, for a long time, have concentrated on more “hard core” game fans. This article chronicles the design process and research involved in creating Nintendo DS for preschool gamers.

After speaking with our producers who have a keen interest in designing for the DS, we finally agreed on three key goals for our project. First, to understand the range of physical and cognitive abilities of preschoolers in the context of handheld system game play; second, to understand how preschool gamers interact with the DS, specifically how they control the different forms of play and game mechanics offered by the games presently on the market for this platform; third, to understand the expectation of preschooler’s parents concerning the handheld systems as well as the purchase and play contexts within which game play occurs. The team of research decided that in-home ethnographies with preschoolers and their families would yield comprehensive database with which to give our producers more information and insights, so we start by conducting 26 in-home ethnographies in three markets across the United States: an East coast urban/suburban area, a West coast urban/suburban area, and a Midwest suburban/rural area.




The subject is this study included 15 girls and 11 boys ranging from 3 years and 3 months old to 5 years and 11 months old. Also, because previous research had shown the effects of older siblings on game play (demonstrated, for example, by more advanced motor coordination when using a computer mouse), households were employed to have a combination of preschoolers with and without elder peers. In order to understand both “experienced” and “new” preschool users of the platform, we divided the sample so that 13 families owned at least one Nintendo DS and the others did not. For those households that did not own a DS, one was brought to the interview for the kid to play. This allowed us to see both the instinctive and intuitive movements of the new players (and of the more experienced players when playing new games), as well as the learned movements of the more experienced players. Each of those interviews took about 60 to 120 minutes and included the preschooler, at least one parent, and often siblings and another caregiver.

Three kinds of information were collected after each interview. From any older siblings and the parents that were available, we gathered data about: the buying decisions surrounding game systems in the household, the family’s typical game play patterns, levels of parental moderation with regard to computer gaming, and the most favorite games play by family members. We could also understand the ideology of gaming in these homes because of these in-home interviews: what types of spaces were used for game play, how the system were installed, where the handheld play occurred in the house (as well as on-the-go play), and the number and type of games and game systems owned. The most important is, we gathered the game-playing information for every single kid.

Before carrying out the interviews, the research team had closely discussed with the in-house game producers to create a list of game mechanics and problems tied to preschoolers’ motor and cognitive capabilities that were critical for them to understand prior to writing the games. These ranged from general dexterity issues related to game controllers to the effectiveness of in-game instructions to specific mechanics in current games that the producers were interested in implementing for future preschool titles. During the interviews, the moderator gave specific guidance to the preschooler through a series of games, so that he or she could observe the interaction and probe both the preschooler and his or her parents on feelings, attitudes, and frustrations that arose in the different circumstances.

If the subject in the experiment had previous exposure to the DS system, he or she was first asked to play his or her favorite game on the machine. This gave the researchers information about current level of gaming skill related to the complexity of the chosen one, allowing them to see the child playing a game with mechanics he or she was already familiar with. Across the 26 preschoolers, the Nintendo DS selections scope were very broad, including New Super Mario Bros, Sonic Rush, Nintendogs, and Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground. The interview observed the child play, noting preferences for game mechanic and motor interactions with device as well as the complexity level each game mechanic was for the tested subject. The researchers asked all of the preschoolers to play with a specific game in consultation with our producers, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. The game was chosen for two major reasons. First, it was one of the few games on the market with characters that appeal to this young age group. Second, it incorporated a large variety of mechanics that highlighted the uniqueness of the DS platform, including using the microphone for blowing or singing.

The findings from this initial experiment were extensive. After reviewing the outcomes and discussing the implications for the game design with our internal game production team, we then outlined the designing needs and presented the findings to a firm specializing in game design. We worked closely with those experts to set the game design for the two preschool-targeted DS games under development on what we had gathered.

As the two DS games went into the development process, a formative research course of action was set up. Whenever we developed new game mechanics, we brought preschoolers into our in-house utility lab to test the mechanics and to evaluate both their simplicity, and whether they were engaging. We tested either alpha or beta versions of different elements of the game, in addition to looking at overarching game structure. Once a full version of the DS game was ready, we went back into the field test with a dozen preschoolers and their parents to make sure that each of the game elements worked for the children, and that the overall objective of the game was understandable and the process was enjoyable for players. We also collected parent’s feedback on whether they thought the game is appropriate, engaging, and worth the purchase.

Questions 1-5
Complete the sentences below. Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer.

Exploratory Research Project

Main Objectives:
Determine the relevant (1)……………….in the context
Observe how preschoolers manage playing
Investigate attitudes of (2)…………………towards games

Subjects:
26 children from different US (3)…………………
Age range: 3 years and 3 months to 5 years and 11 months
Some children have older (4)……………………
Equal number of new and (5)……………..players
Some households have Nintendo DS and some don’t

Length of Interview: 1-2 hours

Questions 6-9
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage? In boxes 6-9 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN If there is no information on this

6. One area of research is how far mothers and fathers controlled children’s playing after school.
7. The researchers are allowed a free access to the subjects’ houses.
8. The researchers regarded The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure as likely appeal to preschoolers.
9. The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure is operated entirely by hand controls.

Questions 10-13
Complete the flow-chart below. Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.

• Using the results of the study
• Presentation of design requirements to a specialist (10)………………….
• Testing the mechanics of two new games in the Nintendo lab (assess (11)…………….and interest)
• A (12)………………………..of the games trailed be twelve children
• Collection of (13)………………….from parents




The History of Pencil

The beginning of the story of pencils started with a lightning. Graphite, the main material for producing pencil, was discovered in 1564 in Borrowdale in England when a lightning struck a local tree during a thunder. Local people found out that the black substance spotted at the root of the unlucky tree was different from burning ash of wood. It was soft, thus left marks everywhere. Chemistry was barely out of its infancy at the time, so people mistook it for lead, equally black but much heavier. It was soon put to use by locals in marking their sheep for ownership and calculation.

Britain turns out to be major country where mines of graphite can be detected and developed. Even so, the first pencil was invented elsewhere. As graphite is soft, it requires some form of encasement. In Italy, graphite sticks were initially wrapped in string or sheepskin for stability, becoming perhaps the very first pencil in the world. Then around 1560, an Italian couple made what are likely the first blueprints for the modern, wood-encased carpentry pencil. Their version was a flat, oval, more compact type of pencil. Their concept involved the hollowing out of a stick of juniper wood. Shortly thereafter in 1662, a superior technique was discovered by German people: two wooden halves were carved, a graphite stick inserted, and the halves then glued together – essentially the same method in use to this day. The news of the usefulness of these early pencils spread far and wide, attracting the attention of artists all over the known world.

Although graphite core in pencils is still referred to as lead, modern pencils do not contain lead as the “lead” of the pencil is actually a mix of finely ground graphite and clay powders. This mixture is important because the amount of clay content added to the graphite depends on the intended pencil hardness, and the amount of time spent on grinding the mixture determines the quality of the lead. The more clay you put in, the higher hardness the core has. Many pencils across the world, and almost all in Europe, are graded on the European system. This system of naming used B for black and H for hard; a pencil’s grade was described by a sequence or successive Hs or Bs such as BB and BBB for successively softer leads, and HH and HHH for successively harder ones. Then the standard writing pencil is graded HB.

In England, pencils continue to be made from whole sawn graphite. But with the mass production of pencils, they are getting drastically more popular in many countries with each passing decade. As demands rise, appetite for graphite soars.

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), world production of natural graphite in 2012 was 1,100,000 tonnes, of which the following major exporters are: China, India, Brazil, North Korea and Canada. However, much in contrast with its intellectual application in producing pencils, graphite was also widely used in the military. During the reign of Elizabeth I, Borrowdale graphite was used as a refractory material to line moulds for cannonballs, resulting in rounder, smoother balls that could be fired farther, contributing to the strength of the English navy. This particular deposit of graphite was extremely pure and soft, and could easily be broken into sticks. Because of its military importance, this unique mine and its production were strictly controlled by the Crown.

That the United States did not use pencils in the outer space till they spent $1000 to make a pencil to use in zero gravity conditions is in fact a fiction. It is widely known that astronauts in Russia used grease pencils, which don’t have breakage problem. But it is also a fact that their counterparts in the United States used pencils in the outer space before real zero gravity pencil was invented. They preferred mechanical pencils, which produced fine line, much clearer than the smudgy lines left by the grease pencils that Russians favored. But the lead tips of these mechanical pencils broke often. That bit of graphite floating around the space capsule could get into someone’s eye, or even find its way into machinery or electronics, causing an electrical short or other problems. But despite the fact that the Americans did invent zero gravity pencils later, they stuck to mechanical pencils for many years.

Against the backcloth of a digitalized world, the prospect of pencils seems bleak. In reality, it does not. The application of pencils has by now become so widespread that they can be seen everywhere, such as classrooms, meeting rooms and art rooms, etc. A spectrum of users are likely to continue to use it into the future: students to do math works, artists to draw on sketch pads, waiters or waitresses to mark on order boards, make-up professionals to apply to faces, and architects to produce blue prints. The possibilities seem limitless.

Questions 14-20
Complete the sentences below. Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer.

Graphite was found under a (14)………………….in Borrowdale, it was dirty to use because it was (15)………………

Ancient people used graphite to sign (16)……………………….People found graphite (17)…………………..in Britain.

The first pencil was graphite wrapped in (18)……………………or animal skin.

Since graphite was too smooth, (19)…………………..was added to make it harder.

Russian astronauts preferred (20)…………………….pencils to write in the outer space.

Question 21-26
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage? In boxes 21-26 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN If there is no information on this

21. Italy is probably the first country of the whole world to make pencils.
22. Germany used various kinds of wood to make pencils.
23. Graphite makes a pencil harder and sharper.
24. In Britain, pencils are not produced any more.
25. American astronauts did not use pencil in outer space.
26. Pencils are unlikely to be used in the future.




Motivating Drives

Scientists have been researching the way to get employees motivated for many years. This research in a relational study which builds the fundamental and comprehensive model for study. This is especially true when the business goal is to turn unmotivated teams into productive ones. But their researchers have limitations. It is like studying the movements of car without taking out the engine.

Motivation is what drives people to succeed and plays a vital role in enhancing an organizational development. It is important to study the motivation of employees because it is related to the emotion and behavior of employees. Recent studies show there are four drives for motivation. They are the drive to acquire, the drive to bond, the drive to comprehend and the drive to defend.

The Drive to Acquire
The drive to acquire must be met to optimize the acquire aspect as well as the achievement element. Thus the way that outstanding performance is recognized, the type of perks that is provided to polish the career path. But sometimes a written letter of appreciation generates more motivation than a thousand dollar check, which can serve as the invisible power to boost business engagement. Successful organizations and leaders not only need to focus on the optimization of physical reward but also on moving other levers within the organization that can drive motivation.

The Drive to Bond
The drive to bond is also key to driving motivation. There are many kinds of bonds between people, like friendship, family. In company, employees also want to be an essential part of company. They want to belong to the company. Employees will be motivated if they find personal belonging to the company. In the meantime, the most commitment will be achieved by the employee on condition that the force of motivation within the employee affects the direction, intensity and persistence of decision and behavior in company.

The Drive to Comprehend
The drive to comprehend motivates many employees to higher performance. For years, it has been known that setting stretch goals can greatly impact performance. Organizations need to ensure that the various job roles provide employees with simulation that challenges them or allow them to grow. Employees don’t want to do meaningless things or monotonous job. If the job didn’t provide them with personal meaning and fulfillment, they will leave the company.

The Drive to Defend
The drive to defend is often the hardest lever to pull. This drive manifests itself as a quest to create and promote justice, fairness, and the ability to express ourselves freely. The organizational lever for this basic human motivator is resource allocation. This drive is also met through an employee feeling connection to a company. If their companies are merged with another, they will show worries.

Two studies have been done to find the relations between the four drives and motivation. The article based on two studies was finally published in Harvard Business Review. Most authors’ arguments have laid emphasis on four-drive theory and actual investigations. Using the results of the surveys which executed with employees from Fortune 500 companies and other two global businesses (P company and H company), the article mentions about how independent drives influence employees’ behavior and how organizational levers boost employee motivation.

The studies show that the drive to bond is most related to fulfilling commitment, while the drive to comprehend is most related to how much effort employees spend on works. The drive to acquire can be satisfied by a rewarding system which ties rewards to performances, and gives the best people opportunities for advancement. For drive to defend, a study on the merging of P company and H company shows that employees in former company show an unusual cooperating attitude. The key to successfully motivate employees is to meet all drives. Each of these drives is important if we are to understand employee motivation. These four drives, while not necessarily the only human drives, are the ones that are central to unified understanding of modern human life.

Questions 27-31
Choose the correct letter A, B, C or D. Write the correct letter in boxes 27-31 on your answer sheet.

27. According to the passage, what are we told about the study of motivation?
A The theory of motivating employees is starting to catch attention in organizations in recent years.
B It is very important for managers to know how to motivate their subordinates because it is related to the salary of employees.
C Researchers have tended to be too theoretical to their study.
D The goal of employee motivation is to increase the profit of organizations

28. What can be inferred from the passage about the study of people’s drives?
A Satisfying employees’ drives can positively lead to the change of behavior.
B Satisfying employees’ drives will negatively affect their emotions.
C Satisfying employees’ drives can increase companies’ productions.
D Satisfying employees’ drives will result in employees’ outstanding performance.

29. According to paragraph three, in order to optimize employees’ performance, are needed.
A Drive to acquire and achievement element
B Outstanding performance and recognition
C Career fulfillment and a thousand dollar check
D Financial incentive and recognition

30. According to paragraph five, how does “the drive to comprehend” help employees perform better?
A It can help employees better understand the development of their organizations.
B It can help employees feel their task in meaningful to their companies.
C It can help employees set higher goals.
D It can provide employees with repetitive tasks.

31. According to paragraph six, which of following is true about “drive to defend”?
A Organizational resource is the most difficult to allocate.
B It is as difficult to implement as the drive to comprehend.
C Employees think it is very important to voice their own opinions.
D Employees think it is very important to connect with a merged corporation.

Questions 32-34
Choose THREE letters, A-F.

Which THREE of the following statements are true of study of drives?
A Employees will be motivated if they feel belonged to the company
B If employees get an opportunity of training and development program their motivation will be enhanced
C If employees’ working goals are compiled with organizational objectives their motivation will be reinforced
D If employees’ motivation is very low companies should find a way to increase their salary as their first priority
E If employees find their work lacking challenge they will leave the company
F Employees will worry if their company is sold

Questions 35-40
Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 3? In boxes 35-40 on your answer sheet, write

YES if the statement agrees with the views of the writer
NO if the statement contradicts the views of the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

35. Increasing pay can lead to the high work motivation.
36. Local companies benefit more from global companies through the study.
37. Employees achieve the most commitment if their drive to comprehend is met.
38. The employees in former company presented unusual attitude toward the merging of two companies.
39. The two studies are done to analyze the relationship between the natural drives and the attitude of employees.
40. Rewarding system cause the company to lose profit.




 


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