While I'm all for the academic study of gaming, a lot of the "scientific" studies just kill me - if you spend too much time [insert time waster of your choice here]in college, your grades could drop? Really? And people actually get funding for this kind of stuff? The paper is being published by the National Bureau of Economic Research and was conducted at Berea College, where certain conditions meant that typical college time wasters weren't present. Video games, however, were - and they found that people who brought along video games to college (or had roommates who did) spent less time studying (and had a lower GPA) than people who didn't:
...The study needed an external factor that influenced study time. It found it in video games, specifically by dividing the students based on whether their roommates had brought gaming rigs to school. About half of the males and a quarter of the females fell into this group. But the impact of access to gaming didn't depend on the students' gender: those with video games in their rooms spent about two-thirds of an hour less on academic work per day out of a mean of 3.5 hours of study time. That decrease closely tracked the amount of time that the students reported spending gaming, suggesting that there was a direct transfer of effort between the two activities.
As Ars Technica points out, this is not really a gaming problem, rather a time management one. A life outside of academia is to be strongly encouraged (everyone needs an outlet for stuff not relating to books, lectures, tests, and essays), but it has to be balanced out with academic requirements. Isn't this simple common sense?
Deathmatch: video games vs. study time, a flawless GPA victory [Ars Technica via GamePolitics]