Are video games addictive?

OPINION, Uncategorized

Video games are, by definition,  electronic games played on a video screen (normally a television, a built-in screen when played on a handheld machine, or a computer).They usually amount to solving a quest, conquering the world, being the last man standing or something similar. They have become something that is being incorporated into daily life. It is now, apparently, considered totally normal for children to spend hours upon hours with their eyes glued to a screen.  This was, of course, not a problem in earlier generations. So why is it now?

Well, of course, there is the fact that the Internet is now easily accessible and, through it, countless games, pictures, websites, etc. The temptation seems to be too great for a modern-day child to resist. Then, there is the fact that some parents are allowing their children almost unlimited access to a computer. Surely these are contributing factors to the widespread use of video games nowadays?


What is addiction?

One would reason that one’s child is addicted to video games if they are spending an inordinate amount of time playing them. However, Professor Murat Yucel, a clinical neuropsychologist, who specialises in addiction, disagrees. He claims that ‘It’s not just a matter of time spent on a game, there are psychological aspects where someone is dependent on it, they´re not enjoying it anymore, they´re just doing it for the sake of doing it.’

A parent who was interviewed claims her child, Riley (11), is ‘definitely addicted’. She says that she has observed a definite change in his behaviour. He has, apparently, become aggressive and ‘can’t live’ without Fortnite (a video game that is very popular at present). He no longer spends more time than necessary outside, preferring to spend it inside. She therefore reasons he is addicted. So, despite the fact Fortnite is 12+, an eleven-year-old is depending on it to enjoy himself.

As we heard in the session with a psychologist before the autumn break, the video game’s high intensity and the small victories experienced during the game result in dopamine being released. This chemical, dopamine, creates the feeling of pleasure. However, after becoming accustomed to a certain level of dopamine, the brain demands more. Then, the cycle becomes more and more demanding and, after a while, one abandons all other pursuits, with the aim of focusing on this game. If, according to the psychologist, this is the case, you are addicted.

To go back to the case of the eleven-year-old boy, Riley, we see that these ‘symptoms’ are, in fact, present. His mother says, ‘since Fortnite’s been around, there’s been no skateboarding, no scooter, he just loves to be in that room all hours’. So, there you have it. Fortnite is the cause of this anti-social behaviour. If we were to believe the psychologist’s take on events, we would classify this behaviour as addiction and we could, therefore, say that Fortnite is addictive.

The next question, though, is: is this an isolated case? If it were, perhaps we could dismiss this proof. However, a psychologist interviewed rules that option out. This psychologist, Brad Marshall, runs an Internet Addiction Clinic for children in Sydney, Australia, and he says, ‘We’re seeing about 60-70 % of the kids coming through the door  reporting that Fortnite is their primary game of use’.

If an internet addiction clinic helping children deal with their addiction to Fortnite is reporting this, can there really be much room for doubt?

How can one treat/prevent addiction to video games?

First of all, there are many different methods that can be used in terms of preventing addiction to video games, from placing reasonable time limits around Internet/ video game usage to banning video game use altogether. The method used depends on each individual parent.

To treat addiction to video games, there are, again, many methods. A drastic action could be to send one’s addicted child to a psychologist. One could also use it as a bargaining chip, as in the child must complete chores/homework before being allowed to play video games. For this method to work, however, one should ensure that the child does not do the work or the chore hastily but takes time with it and does it carefully.

One could also take away, say, ten minutes from the total time the child is allowed to play a video game every time the child misbehaves or becomes aggressive. I would personally remove the video game entirely, as then addiction can’t increase in intensity and, over time, the addiction should stop, in a way.

The government could also do something, such as shutting down the platforms on which video games are played for the main part of each day, meaning that  video game players could only play for two to three hours each day.

To conclude, children all around the world are becoming addicted to video games such as Fortnite, and, according to statistics, quite a significant number of them. This is ruining children’s lives (and, perhaps, some adults’). Whether they are addicted to Fortnite or any other video game, they are still addicted to video games, meaning we answer the question at the centre of this essay – are video games addictive?

The answer? A resounding YES!!!

Caoimhe Hayes, S2en



Bild zum Artikel ElektroschrottSeitdem es Elektrogeräte gibt, gibt es auch Elektromüll, und er nimmt stetig zu. Leute besitzen ein Handy und fünf Monate später erscheint ein neues auf dem Markt. Dann kaufen sie es und entsorgen das alte, obwohl es noch voll funktionstüchtig ist. Doch was passiert mit dem alten Handy?

Bloß 10% der zu entsorgenden Elektrogeräte landen auf dem Recyclinghof, und der Rest kommt auf Mülldeponien, leider meistens in Entwicklungsländer. Der Müll folgt einem bestimmten Weg. Wenn zum Beispiel dein Kühlschrank kaputt ist, kommt vielleicht eine Firma und holt ihn ab. Sie lagern ihn auf einen Müllhof mit anderen Kühlschränken.

Reporter haben einen Müllhof besucht. Dort wurde ihnen berichtet, dass fast jede Nacht dort eingebrochen wird, oder dass manchmal die Mitarbeiter die Geräte an illegale Händler verkaufen. Nehmen wir an, sie nehmen euren Kühlschrank mit. Was passiert eigentlich mit ihm? Die Reporter haben einen Radar an den Kühlschrank befestigt, um seine Position zu verfolgen. Der Kühlschrank befindet sich nun auf einem Lagerplatz von einem Schrotthändler. Sie befragen ihn. Er behauptet, er habe schon seit langer Zeit keine Waren mehr ins Ausland geschickt, doch da stimmt etwas nicht. Sie verfolgen weiter und es stellt sich heraus, dass der Kühlschrank doch zum Hafen kommt. Der „ehemalige“ Händler hat gelogen. Der Radar beweist es ihnen, und sie finden heraus, dass das Gerät in Agbogbloshie landet.

Agbogbloshie ist ein Slum in Accra, die Hauptstadt von Ghana, und dazu noch die größte Elektromülldeponie von Afrika. Die Müllhalde ist 16 km² groß und dort wohnen mindestens 40.000 Menschen. Früher war es eine Lagune, wo es Fische und grünes Gras gab. Viele Menschen damals lebten von den Fischen, doch derzeit ernähren sie sich von dem wenigen Geld, das sie verdienen, wenn sie die Rohstoffe aus dem Elektromüll gewinnen und dann verkaufen. Doch um diese zu gewinnen, muss man das, was außen herum ist, verbrennen, also Plastik oder andere Metalle. So gelangen sehr viele Schadstoffe in die Luft, was dazu führt, dass viele Kinder, die dort gearbeitet haben, schon mit unter dreißig Jahren an Krebs sterben.

In ihren Ermittlungen finden Reporter heraus, dass dort das Gerät an lokale Händler weiterverkauft und auseinandergenommen wird, um die Rohstoffe daraus zu gewinnen, um dann schließlich verkauft zu werden. Doch der verfolgte Kühlschrank ist kein Einzelfall, sondern es fällt eine illegale Elektroschrottmenge von ungefähr dreißig Millionen Tonnen im Jahr an.

Was kann man also tun, um Elektroschrott zu reduzieren?

Zum Beispiel könnte man sich genauer überlegen, ob man Geräte, die man reparieren kann, wirklich schon durch ein anderes Nachfolgemodell ersetzen möchte.

Ein Artikel von Mira Graul / S3 FR


EUIPO meets EEA for an inspiring day

EVENTS, Uncategorized

On the 7th of November the EUIPO paired up with the European School of Alicante to plan a presentation and series of workshops about intellectual property for the school’s pupils. Both the opening presentation and following workshops were meant to help us understand the importance of intellectual property as well as valuing creativity.

My favourite part of the day was the logo designing activity. After having designed our very own logo we were given a beautiful badge to show off our very own creations. It allowed us to be creative and at the same time it also made us think about starting our own company.

I also enjoyed the karaoke shower a lot. Whereas it wasn’t that educational, it definitely was a fun twist to an average day at school. With the large number of songs to choose from everyone in the shower cubicle was sure to have an amazing time. And for those who didn’t get the chance to join in showing off their vocal skills, they were still able to laugh with the hilarious singing taking place behind the curtain.

In one of the workshops which I took part in we looked at some 3D printers as well as some virtual reality glasses. It sounded rather interesting but only a handful of pupils got the chance to really try them out. Those who did forge being selected said it was an uncanny and amazing experience.

In conclusion, I think that taking a full day to learn about intellectual property was a great idea. It was quite obvious that everyone had worked very hard preparing the event which was hosted for the very first time. Despite some minor downsides I do believe that organizing an IP day at all European Schools can be really helpful and inspiring. And finally we understand what a great deal of parents are up to when we are doing Mathematics, Literature or Biology.

Maria Victoria Beaupoil | Year 3 DE

Going on an Exchange: A Student’s Perspective


Have you ever wondered what it is like to wake up in a completely different country than your own and going to a different school with different people? That’s exactly what hundreds of European School studenexchangets are living every year. Six exchange students from all over Europe tell us about their story at our school in Alicante.

“The people you get to meet were definitely the best thing so far”, most of them said. It is an incredible experience to meet new friends, explore their culture and discover the city they live in. Everyone greatly enjoyed the summer temperatures in December, the beach, all school trips and evening activities. Wherever you go you will be amazed by the way of living in your exchange country. The differences can be so overwhelming that they open up a completely new way of perceiving the world around you!

You acquire more skills than you think!

Academic work is fairly similar in most European schools. What you really learn is something completely different. You learn how to manage time and money, you gain independence and you become able to rapidly adapt to change and to find a way out of tough situations. You answer questions about yourself you had never even asked, you master the skill of opening up to others and daring to speak that third or fourth language you have chosen. Believe it or not, “you learn a great deal of Spanish only by engaging in idle chit chat!”. And even though you are only travelling to one specific place it makes you realise how immense the world is and how much there is still to discover.

Challenges you face

Not everything is a piece of cake. Just the fact that you are in a different country by yourself for the first time is quite scary. Travelling on your own is not easy and not having anybody to talk to about your worries sometimes makes you feel lost and alone. But you soon realise that there are so many people in your host family and at school who are ready to help! Many of them will become close friends and you will quickly feel at home. And just like that, what looks like a huge mess of fears, worries and inexperience turns into the most exciting semester you’ll ever experience at school!

It is perfectly fine to miss your home, friends and family sometimes!

After a few weeks, when you’ve got used to the new environment and you are engaged in countless activities in and outside school there is hardly any time to miss your family! Some don’t miss their home at all! But after 4 months you do naturally miss them a little. All were keen on staying, but were also looking forward to going back to their home country. “There’s nothing wrong with missing your family”, they said, “it’s another side of an exchange that makes it an unforgettable experience”.

What about our school as an exchange destination?

Although the school is much smaller than most schools like Brussels or Munich, it is seen as a great advantage! You aren’t always late, you’re not constantly rushing through the hallway and it is very nice when all the students know each other so well.  “Your school is so small and cozy!” they say. The whole community, including students and teachers, are very welcoming.

“We would recommend going on an exchange to everyone!”

It does require some extra work, which can become a struggle if you’re not well organised. But everything you need to go on an exchange you will learn when you’re already there! It is an eye-opening experience which everyone should have the opportunity to live. “It has boosted our confidence and we’ve made friends for life”

by Aitana Verdu (S7DE)
A special thanks to all exchange students having contributed to this article: Romane (Strasbourg – Year 4), Sofia (Munich – Year 4) , Mia (Bruxelles II -Year 5), Anissa (France- Year 5), Emma (Bergen – Year 5) and Katrinna (Bruxelles II – Year 5)