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A very controversial subject as in the last decade a boom in video games has occurred that resulted in gaming becoming an official sport and a multi-billion dollar industry. Gaming is for all ages and can be used as a stress-reliever and a hobby. Research suggest that gaming has negative and positive effects. Due to gaming becoming an addiction and being mostly played by students there should be effects on students academic performance.
According to Dewar (2014) the possible benefits of playing video games include; that it sharpens the mind, there are social benefits, there are educational games and there is a ‘playing hero and helper’ scenario in gaming. Educational games, especially if played from a young age helps the individual improve on problem solving skills, to formulate hypothesis, assist in mathematics and makes the individual more creative. “While you may play games on your smart phone simply to pass the time, a new study shows that casual gaming can help improve your performance on tasks requiring similar mental processes to those involved in the video game” (Saverson,2013).
Gaming online allows the individual to interact with other players all over the globe by playing co-operatively or playing in team. This increases social interaction and could assist students that struggle with social interactions. Mental health is an important factor on students performance and students won’t be able to work effectively if they suffer from social anxiety etc. According to Yoon et al (2014) research suggest that students who play pro-social game are more likely to be more friendly.
Strategic games allow individuals to increase their strategising skills therefore will assist individual to make faster decisions. Some studies suggest that first-person shooter games improves vision and co-ordination. Students suffer from stress due to their workload, if video games is a stress-reliever then it is a factor towards a student’s performance.
According to Smith (2018) the negative effects on student academic performance include; lack of social skills, health problems. Other negative effects include addiction and long-term behaviour changes. Majority of those who own gaming console or computer are likely to play video games several times a week. Playing frequently and leading to addiction results in absenteeism from school or neglecting home work. Studies suggest that those who play games are less likely to read books and novels in their spare time.
According to Gentile (2009) video games dominate the lives of individuals, it gives them a sense of euphoria and they experience withdrawal symptoms once they neglect their addiction hence gaming interferes with their everyday such as school. Gentile (2009) conducted a survey where 20% of the random sample has a gaming addiction and reported to have attention problems and poorer grades than the rest.
Health related problems due to excessive gaming could lead to problems in school. Long hours in front of a screen can worsen the eyesight. Gaming includes sitting down or laying down. Gaming addicts that spend these long hours will become lazy and may be at risk of gaining weight which is not good as lack of fitness is not good for the brain. “While much of this concern has been focused on the often violent content of video games and whether it might lead to greater aggression, other research have warned about possible health problems including loss of sleep and reduced social functioning” (Vitelli,2018). Gaming during the late hours of the evening leads to fatigue during the day. Poor sleep patterns results in less REM during sleep which in turn leads more cognitive errors during the day. Hence the individual will not be able to function 100% in class/lectures.
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