Nowadays, young people spend really much time playing video games like Minecraft or Call of Duty. According to the information from the latest Neilsen 360 report, more than 60% of Americans aged 13 and over consider themselves gamers. Surveys show that in 2017 children aged 12 to 15 spent up to 12 hours a week playing video games, and this amount of time is significantly higher in older teens.
These statistics make teachers worry about potential harmful effects and long-term impact that video games might have on students. Therefore, scientists conduct studies to find out how video games affect academic performance. As a result, they present various conflicting findings and different hypotheses. Let’s have a closer look at them.
Due to the time displacement hypothesis, the time spent on video games reduces the amount of time that could be spent on studying. For instance, students who play video games regularly usually devote 30% less time to homework than their peers who are not gamers. But still, studies comparing academic performance in pupils who own video game consoles and those who don’t have found very slight differences in their academic achievements.
According to the sleep displacement hypothesis, heavy gamers sleep less than non-gamers. Moreover, the quality of their sleep is typically poorer. Studies suggest that long gaming sessions decrease the amount of REM sleep young people get and make them more prone to cognitive errors.
The attention deficit hypothesis assumes that intense gaming may lead to attention deficits and increased impulsivity. By taking time away from studying that develops sustained attention skills, gaming can provide the opposite effects. Also, some research revealed that there is a moderate correlation between overall screen time and attention problems.
On the contrary, the cognitive enhancement hypothesis suggests that video games are often highly complex, so they can work as training programs for some cognitive skills. Therefore, regular video gaming may lead to notable enhancements in attention capacity, visual orientation, and memory. Some research studies have found that gamers scored higher than non-gamers on examinations of executive functioning, working memory, and fluid intelligence.
Influence of games on writing assignments
As you see, there is significant controversy regarding the impact of video gaming on the learning process. For example, games may help you gain more persistence and mindfulness. However, they can also take a lot of free time, so students cannot handle their assignments on time.
Luckily, it is not a problem nowadays as young people can ask professional writers for help. If you choose a trustworthy service, they can easily do your assignment in a few hours and boost your university grades. Learning and assignment writing have become so easy in times of modern technology. Today, academic writing is definitely not the most difficult part of the education process, since students have access to numerous online resources saving their time. Thus, spare time can be spent on playing video games without a negative impact on academic performance.
Research evidence on increased academic performance
There is plenty of research suggesting that video games can lead to a boost in students’ academic performance (Anand, 2007). According to the studies conducted by Jackson et al (2008), gaming is related to an improvement in visual-spatial skills that are used in the fields of science, technology, mathematics, and engineering.
In 2001, Din & Calao revealed that students who played education games on the Sony Lightspan, which is similar to the Sony Playstation One, demonstrated remarkable increases over the control group in the learning of reading and spelling. Therefore, playing video games has a facilitative role in developing pupils’ verbal skills.
In 2009, Skoric found that moderate engagement in video gaming may lead to better performance in an academic setting. Also, the researchers found a positive correlation between playing games and scores in English tests.
A meta-analysis conducted in 2013 found that playing video games enhances a player’s ability to think about objects in three dimensions just the same as college courses designed to improve these skills. Granic says that gaming may also help develop problem-solving skills. The more individuals reported playing strategic video games, the more they developed problem solving according to a study published in 2013. The same long-term study also shows that creativity was enhanced by playing any kind of video game. Additionally, Granic suggests the possibility of video games to teach resilience in the face of failure. According to his point of view, by learning to cope with failures in games, young people can build emotional resilience useful for everyday lives.
All in all, it has been proven that video games may have positive effects on learning among students. Moreover, North Carolina State University is testing a synchronous online course that integrates video games with the science curriculum.
James Collins is an academic coach and a big fan of video games. James believes that playing video games can be beneficial for students’ academic success. He considers gaming a great tool for developing cognitive skills necessary in class.