Australian Study: Games Don’t Negatively Affect Academic Performance Of Teenagers

Australian Study:  Games Don’t Negatively Affect Academic Performance Of Teenagers

It’s a common parental refrain: stop playing those gosh durn vidja games and hit the books. But according to a study by Dr Aaron Drummond of Flinders University, increased video game play had little to no affect on academic results and the attention span of students.

Data from 192,000 students across 22 different countries was analysed during the course of this study and, despite a small to negligible decrease in reading scores, there was no correlation between time spent with video games and academic results.

“Essentially it was not a large enough decline to be considered a problem,” said Dr Aaron Drummond.

The results seemed to go against the popular view that video games have a negative impact on attention span and the ability to retain information. But assumptions like this were the reason why Drummond decided to undertake a more definitive study on the impact of video games.

“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,” he explained.

“There seemed to be a lot of negative associations, but not enough evidence.”

Drummond used information gathered from the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment, a study which collected multiple different types of information regarding the performance of students. That assessment also collected information on the students’ use of video games: the frequency of play, whether the play was multiplayer or single player.

University of Adelaide study finds videos do not negatively impact adolescent performance [Adelaide Now]


  • Chicken or the egg situation, I suppose. I play tonne of games and my attention span is fucked. But it was fucked when I was a kid, way before I started playing games.

    I play games because my attention span is short, not vice versa.

  • Of course if you spend time playing games or doing anything else really instead of studying, your academic performance will be affected. There’s nothing inherently different about video games compared to say, TV, or playing sport, or going to parties, or sleeping. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, if you’re spending time not studying, your grades will be affected.

  • We get the point! Video game studies are saying that games are good, now stop posting these studies!

  • /Sigh…studies. I’d love to read the actual article somewhere but there seems to be no link, or the paper itself hasn’t been accepted and published yet.
    It sounds like a meta-analysis was done, which looks at all available info concerning the issue involved. This article and the link (and other links) doesn’t go into anywhere near enough info for me to have an opinion on the validity of the study. I did read though that they were relying on exam results as an outcome measure. Really? Did you control for stress, memory performance, performance anxiety, lifestyle -> sleep patterns -> sleep deficiency, badly written exams, poor revision, illness, temperament, personality, SES and IQ?
    As a gamer and scientist of Adelaide Uni: **** me.

    • Nope, not even a meta-analysis. Check the link and wikipedia the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment. Conducted on cohorts of 15 year old, and what I believe to be 3 items concerning video gameplay mentioned above. (Can’t actually view the survey myself).
      So no participants were recruited ‘during the study’. From what I believe: the data was already there, pop it into SPSS/R, find your correlations, run your multiple regression models (10 minutes if you know what you’re doing) and pop out your study -> disseminate findings in the media -> boost your publication CV.
      Again: ****me.

  • Video game addiction is the only thing that would affect study in that regard. Addiction eats into study time. People who spend the same amount of time studying, one reading one TV one gaming, would generally be equal.

  • Like any hobby, moderiation is key, and if you play games for too long obviously your studies (and life, in general) will be negatively impacted. It’s important for people to keep that perspective in balance. But boy, when it comes to the holidays…

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