Using worldwide scholastic results, researchers at Flinders University in South Australia have come to the conclusion that video games do not have a negative impact on the academic performance of adolescents.
Researchers analyzed data from than 192,000 students in 22 countries and found that academic performance and concentration among teenagers were not impacted by video game play.
Researchers analyzed data from the participants in the "2009 Programme for International Student Assessment" because it was a large collection of data based on student exam results, rather than subjective teacher grading. The PISA tests also collected information about the frequency with which the 15-year-old participants used video games and whether they did so at intervals ranging from never to daily.
Dr. Aaron Drummond, a postdoctoral research fellow at the university’s School of Education, said the study found there was "almost a small reduction in reading scores" among gamers who used multiplayer games daily, but that any impact was "negligible."
"Essentially it was not a large enough decline to be considered a problem," Dr Drummond said.
Researchers said in the report revealing their findings that their results "seriously challenge general claims that academic performance is negatively related to the frequency of video game play."
The study report went on to note that a common perception existed that the fast-paced nature of many video games could impact on student’s ability to focus on less attention-grabbing tasks such as schoolwork and homework.
"Consistent with this idea, increased video gaming has been associated with (a) higher rates of teacher-reports of student attention problems and (b) poorer sleep efficiency," the study says.
Researchers say their results contradict those claims, concluding that "the results suggest that the impact of video-gaming on academic performance is too small to be considered problematic."
"There hadn’t been any comprehensive examination on whether or not there was a relationship between playing video games for adolescents and their performance at school,” Dr. Drummond said. "There seemed to be a lot of negative associations, but not enough evidence."