The Effects of Video Games on Academic Achievement

  • Play (Mechanics)
  • Presentation (Art/Quality)
  • Plan (Rules)

Today people spend the best part of their life on social networks and surfing the Internet. Most of them search for some information and almost all of them have at least once played online games. It forced scientists to investigate the problem of Internet addiction and, especially, computer games dependence. Moreover, games can either positively or negatively affect academic achievement. Researchers from different countries of the globe have studied the problem and reflected the results in their papers.

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Negative Impact of Digital Games on Studies

How can virtual reality affect the human ability to succeed in studies? Video games cannot make people ignorant. The developers of online games spend big efforts trying to make gamers addicted. They add some bonuses, offer free super abilities in case players invite their friends to join “the club” and devote some time to the game. As a result, students prefer playing to studying. 

There are signs of game addiction which later leads to bad results in GPA and SAT. 

  • Gamers miss classes because they do not want to lose bonuses
  • Some people spend money on games and incur debts
  • People often lose time sense and it turns out that they lack time for studies
  • Students take care of game progress more than of academic success
  • Game loss can result in excessive aggression

Some online games demand huge sums. Students take loans to manage them. 29% of World of Tanks players have spent approximately $1000 trying to win. Students entrust all their academic papers to professional writing services like AdvancedWriters but do not attend lectures and classes. Consequently, committees expel them from colleges. 

Facts Provided by the Investigation 

198 students from Cumberlands University participated in the experiment. Participants were between 17 and 44 (only 3 of them were above 23 years old). The research showed that males were more addictive than women. They spent more than 20 hours on video games per week. Women were more able to control time flow and themselves. An average dependent woman spent 10 hours on their favorite game. Fortunately, only one percent of all participants preferred video games as prior entertainment to any other activity. 

The results of the GPA among gamers was significantly lower compared to non-players. The reason for that was improper time distribution, inattentiveness and loss of concentration because of tiredness. 

Positive Influence on Academic Performance

Scientists discovered that some games can help with socialization and problem-solving. Intellectual games let players be ready to solve puzzles and tasks faster. Simulators of reality create various life situations. Thanks to that, participants have to act according to some rules and solve problems. Some games demand rapid reaction that helps participants react to everyday situations faster. Consequently, it is very useful for those who study technology, mathematics, science, and engineering. Word games are favorable for small kids, especially for those who want to enlarge personal vocabulary, improve reading and spelling. 

According to Smyth (2007), complex games can help to develop critical thinking, analytical skills, and creativity. Other scientists agree that moderate playing (not dependence) can result in better test scores in English. 

Summing Up

It is hard to prove that computer games jeopardize academic achievements. Different tests show that the influence could be both positive and negative. The main factor that affects academic success is the time one spends on playing. On the one hand, moderate durability could increase students’ vocabulary, improve their spelling skills, help them find a solution for various problems, and train them to react quickly when doing tests. On the other hand, addicted gamers lose connection with reality. It appears that their sense of time begins to atrophy and they cannot manage daily tasks. They prefer the virtual world to reality. That is why they spend all their money and time on gaming that affects their academic achievement.

Myths and Facts about Video Games

Video Games Provoke Aggression 

It is only one side of the coin. The truth is that people observe violent content not only in games but in simple videos, movies, cartoons, advertisements, and printed sources.

Violence in Games and Cartoons Is Not Harmful 

False. Children’s world perception differs from that of adults. When kids watch cartoons and play computer games they think that the plot and characters are real. Consequently, violence is real for them as well. 

Students Get Rid of Their Aggression When Playing and Avoid Conflicts in Reality

Only a violent plot of video games affect human psychological well-being and result in delinquency, inability to adapt to social groups at college, and criminal behavior.

Bad Grades in SAT and GPA Have Nothing to Do with Gaming

SAT cannot reflect the truth because everyone can fail it. GPA shows progress. If the person fails gradually or systematically, it can be caused by irrational timing and brain exhaustion provoked by continuous playing.  

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