Study: Young boys don’t progress as quickly in school if gamers

Wednesday, 17th March 2010 23:28 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


According to a study conducted by Denison University in Ohio, videogames can hurt knowledge retention in school and with homework.

The study found that once young boys receive their first video game system, they don’t progress as quickly in school as boys who don’t own a system. On top of that, reading and writing skills were found to not improve over time.

“For children without games, scores go up over time,” said Robert Weis, co-author of the study. “For boys with games, scores remain relatively stable. You don’t see the typical development in reading and writing.”

The study also concluded that boys spent on average 40 minutes a day on PS2.

“Can anyone be surprised that kids tend to play more with new video games, or toys or bicycles, than with the older ones?” said Richard Taylor, senior vice president of the Entertainment Software Association, claiming that the authors were unsure of the effects after four months.

“Maybe after a year they become less interested or don’t play them as often,” Weis said, acknowledging the need for a more study on the effects of long-term ownership.

The study was published last week in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, which recruited families with boys between the ages of 6 to 9 years of age.

Girls were excluded from the study due to the researchers fearing they would not play games enough to “produce meaningful results”.

Thanks, ManofTeal.



  1. TheWulf

    I’ve seen the World of Warcraft community.

    I’ve seen the Counterstrike community.

    I’ve seen console communities.

    I’m unsurprised.

    Given that all of the above are pretty much filled with homophobia, xenophobia, every-other-kind-of-phobia, racial slurs, ethnic slurs, every-other-kind-of-slur, and the incorrect usage of ALL of these things, the level of education and intelligence perhaps just about barely be considered below average. And I have to admit, that’s being really very generous.

    The only thing these gaming kids are picking up is a database of insults, and none of those insults are ever used correctly. That’s what I found the most grating about those communities, if someone’s going to insult me then they could least make it relevant, and not unleash their sweary fury upon me for laughing at them when they get it wrong.

    I can’t count the amount of times that I, a Caucasian male, have been called a “nigga” by some unsupervised and poorly parented ten year old.

    It might be for the best to prohibit console and online game use until they’re out of school, and I’m a leftist philosopher saying that. Seeing the damage first-hand does change your perceptions a bit, thought.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. The_Deleted

    Girls were excluded from the study due to the researchers fearing they would not play games enough to “produce meaningful results”

    Renders the whole thing meaningless.
    I’m using a PS2 with pre-school children in the nursery I work in. I wouldn’t presume that’s it’s had any effect either way after a few months.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Dannybuoy

    I played games constantly as a child and I’m very happy as a dustman..

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Aperson

    Doing a short test on kiddos; boys between the ages of 6 to 9 years of age, will just tell the obvious, games eat up a lot of past time, so less reading time or whatever.
    But where are the bloody useful studies? Were is the people who makes studies about games and also actually knows something about games

    I like to se a study linking and enhanced ability to learn of different things like history and politics to playing “advanced games” like the hearts of iron games, and other grand strategy games (maybe the Total war game series). Now that is interesting stuff, it might lead to the creation of different simulators for school use were the students play different parts of a situation in history. No school book or documentary can beat the learning one gets from being in the situation interacting with tings.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. TheWulf

    The problem isn’t necessary games, it’s competitive online games that encourage potty-mouth and can be addictive to young kids. As I already made a case for, there are already enough young online console gamers, online PC FPS games, and World of Warcraft guild-kiddies that would support my claim.

    I have absolutely no trouble believing that online games really do stunt the educational growth of children, as I said, it’s easy enough to witness just by playing a competitive online game. Not to mention that kids want to come back to have one more go at beating their rivals, where they can exercise their potty mouths and generally be more naughty than anything outside of the Internet would allow for. It’s liberating for them, and therefore it’s addictive and more appealing than homework.

    If these kids couldn’t play online games then they’d do better at their homework, obv.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Borzi

    Despite other studies showing that gaming, specifically rapid, action FPS types can increase cognitive activity (akin to mind puzzles) in children and adults.

    I’ve played games constantly my whole life and consistently beat and outperform my peers. The question is not the effect of games on ability but time management, which makes subjective studies like this a joke.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. OlderGamer

    I think it is wrong to assume that if games weren’t avalible to play, that these kids would spend their time doing homework and studying.

    I grew up before the Atari2600, and can tell you that I did not do my homework. I hated school. It had nothing to do with video games.

    People said the samething about TV when that got big in the 60s. And before that it was that Elvis and his Rock n’ Roll.

    This is an old topic. Mostly brought to the table by people with dreams of utopia and their vision of perfect youth.

    Do kids skip their homework to play games…yes. Just like I did to play a pick up game of football with my friends.

    Maybe if the class rooms changed from their traditional and outdated aproach. Maybe if the kids looked forward to school instead of dreading it. I have couple of sons that did lousy in school, right up until they got into highschool. There they got into vocational classes. Where instead of sitting down at a desk and being bombarded with dry read and numbers, they got to get out of their set. They got to learn by doing. They got their hands on, and their was little or no take home homework.

    After they hit that, both of them became near A students.

    I really don’t blame video games. I blame the schools. They need to do more to reach out to kids. They need to understand that for a childs attention, yes, they do compete against far more intersting things. Be it an afternoon with my friends or todays kids playing xbox online.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. Len

    LOL@3…aah that made me chuckle…

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Gheritt White

    1. Where are the parents? When I was growing up, my parents looked after whatever console I had and only let me play it after finishing homework/chores etc.

    2. You can’t lump all games in the same category. Playing something like Escape Velocity or SimCity is very different to playing Actua Soccer or Quake.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Joe_Gamer

    Where are the parents? Ha, playing games of their own, glued to Facebook and Jersey Shore, Don’t expect them to give up some of their free time after work to raise the little buggers, that’s what the TV/babysitter is for.

    #10 5 years ago

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