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”.