Playing online video games can “apply and sharpen” skills learnt in school and help children to achieve higher grades, new research has shown.
The study, which was conducted by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Australia, found that children who play video games perform better in school, as the games require the player to solve a series of puzzles before moving on to the next level.
In contrast, children that regularly use social media or chat sites are much more likely to fall behind in subjects such as maths, reading and science.
Author of the report associate professor Alberto Posso, from RMIT’s School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, said: “Students who play online games almost every day score 15 points above the average in maths and 17 points above the average in science.
“When you play online games you’re solving puzzles to move to the next level, and that involves using some of the general knowledge and skills in maths, reading and science that you’ve been taught during the day.
“Teachers should consider incorporating popular video games into teaching – so long as they’re not violent ones.”
He went on to conclude within his research that the use of the internet for homework tasks can prove to be beneficial, but that social media can often become a distraction.
Instead, he suggested that social platforms such as Facebook could be integrated into classroom learning, so that it is less of a procrastination tool.