Do Video Games Impact School Performance?

GRZEXP Staff – Alex Arevalo

Played by the majority of teens today, video games are among the largest industries. Along with the fun, however, comes negatives/cons, such as addiction. Based on this, do video games impact school performance negatively? Do playing them excessively lower test grades and attention to school? A couple of teachers and a few students have been questioned on the topic, and whether they believe that video games negatively impact school performance.

Ms. Bowers is a 7th grade History and English teacher who has some experience with gaming. When asked if they have an impact, she stated, “On one hand, kids learn problem solving, master hand eye coordination, and get down time.” What she claims has been proven in studies as they have shown that they improve some brain function. However, she goes on to claim that they may become addicting and distract students from schoolwork. Many students can relate to this since some may be tempted to game instead of doing work first. Ms. Bowers also states that she hasn’t done much gaming since her son went to college, but she enjoys Flow, a problem-solving game. After all, studies have proven that certain games can improve certain functions such as problem-solving ability.

Mr. Krieg, an 8th grade math teacher, says that he has firsthand experience as he played a Playstation 2 game – SOCOM Navy Seals. After working to help pay any expenses, he did get into it along with his friends. He claims, “This meant I would rush through my homework and then focus on playing competitive matches with other clans until I finally had to sleep.” Although he did pass, his friends who played less did better in school, receiving higher grades. Furthermore, he got into World of Warcraft (WOW) in his college years. He states, “It took me two years working 40-60 hours lifeguarding and playing 40-60 hours of video games before I realized what a mistake that I had made.” This was after he dropped out simply to do this. Eventually, he did put the games down and got his degrees needed to move on, where he teaches now. He does agree with the fact that they can be harmful if not careful. However, he finally claims, “As long as you have the power to put the controller or keyboard down at any time, video games won’t impact your school performance.”

8th grade student Gren Dietrich has a love for gaming. With firsthand experience, he claims, “I feel like school performance is impacted by video games when played when work is not finished.” This is similar to others, as gaming can get in the way as it can be a common distraction or a means of procrastination. He further states that as long as schoolwork or homework does get finished, video games are perfectly fine. Gren also claims that his motivation for doing homework and managing it while still playing games is simply that he may get into trouble with parents if work is not completed when it should be.

Kiersten Mills is an 8th grade student who loves school yet also enjoys playing games such as Minecraft. Her answer to whether video games impacted school performance was that it all depends on when you play. “If you play at night that could lead to less sleep and a bad performance at school the next day. If you are playing before or after school you need to have good time management.” She goes on to say that if you do play after school, people would need to have the time management to fit in homework along with playing games, as well as any other activities a student may participate in, including sports.

With gaming part of his life, Elijah Commons (7th Grade Student) has learned to manage his time while playing games. He suggested that gaming itself does not directly impact school performance, rather how long you play and fitting it into your time. He stated that when he didn’t get his work done but played video games the time he could have gotten work done, he would get in trouble. This ended up being an incentive to doing work first, similarly to Gren and others.

Overall, most students and teachers agreed on a similar conclusion – gaming does not directly affect school performance, but it can depend on how long you game and manage it. These answers can be proven with studies as gaming can have positive effects, but they can also distract students from important things in life such as sleep and become addicting. As long as students have the ability to stop gaming or manage their time better where they can fit in homework and other school work along with any activities, everything is all good.

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