Ever since video games became a part of our culture, there has always been an assumption that too much video game use would have a negative effect on children’s performance in school. However, a study published by PLOS ONE debunks this myth, finding no correlation between video game use and student’s math and reading performance.
The study, entitled “Video-Games Do Not Negatively Impact Adolescent Academic Performance In Science, Mathematics Or Reading” took a comprehensive look at data collected from 192,000 students from over 22 countries. The researchers looked at two aspects of that data – how prevalent video game use was amongst adolescents and what impact video game use had on that population.
Video game use varied from country to country, with industrialized countries regularly showing higher percentages of video gaming. The overall average that was determined was that 75% of adolescents play video games on a regular basis.
To analyze video game impact on math and reading performance, researchers assessed the frequency of video game usage, from “never/hardly ever, once/twice a month, once/twice a week, daily.” All of the students who participated in the study took a reading and mathematics ability test and researchers then compared the different data sets to see if any group showed any noticeable problems.
Ultimately, the study states that, “There is no evidence that academic performance in science, mathematics or reading ability, declined as a function of increased gameplay frequency, for single player or multiplayer videogame use.” While slight deviations did exist from group to group, none of them indicated a definitive relationship between playing video games and decreased math or reading performance.