Computer Gaming Effects on Academic Performance
The computer and video game industry has grown considerably over the past decade. In 2005 a study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation: "Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8-18 year-olds", showed that over 80 percent of teenagers had a video game player in their home 1. The widespread use of video games has led to a series of questions. The most common question discusses the effects that the video/computer games have on the academic performance of the gamer. Researchers have found that each situation should be handled independently because the effects vary from individual to individual.
Many people focus on the negative effects of these games and fail to see the opportunity for learning and growth. According to Raise Smart Kids: “The Good and Bad Effects of Video Games” there are several positive effects that come from spending time playing video games 1. Most games do not teach kids math, history and other subjects, however, they do provide students indirect opportunities to learn principles that can help them in their academic pursuits. Certain types of video games can help train kids to follow instructions as well as helping them develop their problem solving and logical thought processes. These skills translate directly to the classroom as students are asked by teachers to complete tasks and are presented problems that require them to use logical problem solving skills. Kids can also learn inductive reasoning and hypothesis testing. Games will often present them with a situation that needs to be solved and this causes the kids to have to develop problem-solving techniques. Before purchasing a video game a parent should talk with a representative at the store to see what the overall premise of the game is to see if it includes elements that will help build these aforementioned qualities.
Although there are some positive effects that are possible form video/computer game use there are mostly negative effects. Several professors conducted a research project to determine the effect of gaming on academic performance. According to the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology: “Gaming Frequency and Academic Performance” individuals who spend two or more hours playing games on a daily basis score lower in every subject than their non-gaming counterparts. By spending a high percentage of time on video games there is not enough time left to spend in studying for classes. The study found that there was “not a single significant positive correlation between gaming and academic performance.”
According to a list of statistics produced by Media Family: “Effects of Video Game Playing on Children” roughly 97 percent of kids played video games in 2008 1. In 2006 45 percent of kids were regular gamers, which means that they played for two or more hours on a daily basis. The high number of kids shows the importance of learning to choose games that will help strengthen and push the intellect of the child playing.