Study finds smarter students play online games

According to a new report, students who spend time playing video games online are more likely to get better grades in core subjects.

The study – Internet Use and Academic Achievement Among 15-Year-Old Australian Students – tracked the exam scores and personal habits of 12,000 high school students. All had taken an internationally recognized exam called the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) which tests math, science and literacy skills.

The students also completed forms highlighting their socio-economic background as well as their personal lifestyle choices. The use of “online games”, both single and multiplayer, was one of the areas of the questionnaire, although the individual games were not named.

The results showed that students who play online games almost every day score 15 points above average in math and reading and 17 points above average in science.

Economist Alberto Posso, associate professor at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, created the study. He said his findings didn’t prove that gaming made people smarter, only that there was a correlation between bright students and online gaming.

Students who play online games score 15 points above average in math.

His study also compared exam results with the use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. He found that students who spend a lot of time on social media tend to underperform (four percentage points below average), with academic cost increasing with time spent socializing online.

“Online games foster a range of skills that support higher-order thinking, which could potentially lead to improvements in math and literacy,” Posso said, though he added that “one could argue that people who are good at math and reading also enjoy games that allow them to employ and even hone those skills.”

Publishing his findings in The International Journal of Communication, he commented: “It is possible that children who are already gifted in math, science and reading are also more likely to play online games and children with low academic abilities spend more time socializing. . The gameplay appears to empower students to apply and refine knowledge learned in school by having them solve a series of puzzles before advancing to the next level of play. »

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