Video Games Can Improve Academic Success, Study Finds

CBS Loca— Despite there being countless stories of those who went to college, spent too much time on video games, and not enough time on studying, it turns out that gaming may actually aid academic success.

According to a study conducted by the University of Glasgow, video games can improve communication skills, resourcefulness, and adaptability. These traits can, in turn, lead to better performance in school.

“The findings suggest that such game-based learning interventions have a role to play in higher education,” Matthew Barr, lead author of the study, said via BBC. “Graduate attributes are those generic skills such as problem-solving, communication, resourcefulness or adaptability, which are considered desirable in graduates, particularly where employability is concerned.”

The study was conducted over an eight-week period and subjects were given the option to play video games like Borderlands 2, Minecraft, Portal 2, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, and World of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos.

“Modern video games often require players to be adaptable and resourceful, and finding multiple ways of accomplishing a task,” said Barr. “The way games are designed often encourages critical thinking and reflective learning, commonly cited as desirable attributes in graduates. ”

Of course, too much of anything is a bad thing, and if students are shirking homework or other assignments to pour more time into the console, then it obviously becomes detrimental.

“My research is perhaps what every parent may or, in the case of some, may not like to hear,” said Barr. “This work demonstrates that playing commercial video games can have a positive effect on communication ability, adaptability and, resourcefulness in adult learners, suggesting that video games may have a role to play in higher education.”

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