Study Shows That Playing Video Games Impacts A Child's Grades At School

two kids playing video games

Chances are that if you have kids you have video games in your home. Perhaps your child, like so many other kids across the country, has become obsessed with playing Fortnite over the past few months and you get to listen as they yell, scream and cheer with their friends as they all play online together. While kids love playing video games, thanks to incredible new games and graphics and the experiences they provide, many parents are never sure of "how much is too much?" when it comes to game time.

There has been a lot of information about video games and how they are impacting our youth who love to spend all their spare time playing. While many parents are worried about their children spending so much time gaming, it really isn't as harmful for children as some would make it seem.

A new study has shown that playing video games does have an impact on your child's grades, but nothing so noticeable that it's making any impact. A study published in the American Psychological Association showed that, "playing computer and video games can result in a noticeably, albeit small, loss of educational returns."

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“There were surprisingly few empirical studies examining respective effects of computer games, particularly with regard to educational outcomes,” study co-author Timo Gnambs, a professor of psychology at the Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria, told Fatherly. “We wanted to study the effects of computer gaming on academic outcomes from a longitudinal perspective.”

Because most studies have never focused on the effects of gaming over a period of time, Gnambs decided to do just that. Over two years Gnambs and his team followed 3554 adolescents, over half of which were girls, and they tracked how much time they spent gaming as well as how they did in school.  Fatherly reports that Gnambs tested his subjects core competencies in reading and math and their reasoning abilities.

While the study found that those 'intensive gaming' negatively impacted the child's grades, the impact was felt so slightly it was almost insignificant, even with children who played upwards of 8 hours a day, Fatherly explained. "Mathematical and reading competences were not affected by gaming times," the study states.

“We found only very small effects on grades and none on actual competencies,” Gnambs explained to the website. “I was also not surprised to find rather negligible effects of the time spent on computer games on grades or competence development.”

Gnambs suggested that instead of parents worrying about their kids playing video games, they simply need to set limits on when their child can play.

“I think the most important thing is to regulate gaming activities based on current situational demands — before exams or important tests it would be advisable to allocate more time to school preparation,” he explained, “Longer gaming times seem less problematic when students are not faced with pressing school assignments.”

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