Parents and video games have had a long history of contention. On the one hand, children love playing these games. On the other, parents believe that they rot the brain and encourage violent behaviour.
A new study may finally able to settle the score.
According to an Australian study, video games have the ability to boost children’s test scores in certain fields such as math, reading, and science.
The key is incorporating them in lectures.
“A study was conducted on 12,000 15-year-old students across the country and discovered gaming allowed the teens to perform 20 points about the average in maths, reading and science,” said a Mail Online report.
The researchers then compared these to those who logged in to social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, and received a much different result: these kids scored 20 points lower.
‘The hypothesis is video games can lead to players developing skills in problem-solving,” said Associate Professor in Economics Alberto Posso.
Working at Melbourne’s RMIT University, professor Alberto asked children how often they played based on categories such as “once a month,” “every day,” “never,” etc.
He found that children who played video games even once a month performed slightly better than those who never played video games.
Meanwhile, those who regularly gamed “excessively” outperformed everyone, although the gap was slight for those who moderately gamed.
“What I did was have a look at what games were most popular at the time,” the professor said. “There were a lot of first-person shooter games and online multiplayer games, which are still quite popular.”
Such games incorporate problem-solving and comprehension, valuable developmental assets that teachers are now trying to incorporate in their “increasing virtual world” lessons.
“It makes sense because their world is increasingly virtual and if you see where they are living in this space, give them tools and techniques in the future,” Professor Alberto said.
Understandably, many educators aren’t as open to the idea of utilising video games in their teaching methods.
“A lot of teachers are against it because they say, ‘I teach in a traditional sense,”’ he said.
“But at the same time, it’s important to be a little bit flexible.”
After all, we are now living in the digital age, and we might as well use the opportunities we now have for the better.
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