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Do video games lower academic performance?

The short answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no

  • When do they lower academic performance?
    • Video games themselves do not tend to be the direct cause of lower grades, but anytime your child sacrifices time that should have been spent studying, he or she increases the risk of getting a lower grade on a homework assignment or the next day’s big test.
    • So, in the sense that too much gaming takes away from other academically enriching activities, like reading a short story or practicing math problems, it does relate to lower academic performance.
    • When kids play video games frequently, they also tend to get used to the fast pace and interactive style of electronic gaming. This can sometimes mean that other activities, such as reading, can become “under-stimulating” to them.
  • When do they actually help improve academic performance?
    • Even though violent video games get more attention than other types of games, they make up less than 10% of all games on the market! Of the remaining 90%, many are at least somewhat educational and enriching.
    • Education video games are more beneficial when
      • They are played by children who are old enough to understand them, (around pre-school aged).
      • They are played in moderation, and mixed in with other activities.
      • You can help them draw a connection between what they learn in the game, what they are currently leaning in school, and how it all applies to the real world.
    • There are also some studies on how much better kids today are at “multi-tasking” because of their video game playing. This means that they are capable of focusing on and completing several different things at once.