That’s right. Forget what you’ve heard about online games being a waste of time for your brain health. The results are in and new data shows that gaming everyday is actually linked to improved academic performance. In a research group of over 12,000 high school students conducted in Australia, the ones who played video games online also scored higher in such technical subjects as math, reading and science then their peers.
“Although there may be an opportunity cost of gaming in terms of educational outcomes, it is possible that a number of skills associated with online gaming correlate positively with generalized knowledge and skills tests in math, reading, and science,” says Albert Posso, from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology who’s study is published in the International Journal of Communication.
But don’t get ahead of yourself. Not all games online are equally beneficial. While some social media sites tend to be more of a distractor and can put you at risk of falling behind academically, the trick is to finding ones that help promote and stimulate brain activity. For example, playing games like online blackjack is a good way to help improve your math stills and probe you to think strategically. On the other hand, the danger of high social media usage is evident. According to Posso, repeating a year or skipping classes could be as bad for scores than the excessive use of social media.
The result of this study is directly correlated with their need to use brainpower to help solve problems online in these games and often involve a high degree of knowledge and skill. By playing games online, they spend an increased amount of time developing analytical and problem-solving skills that can help you perform better academically than those who do not.
“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,” says Albert Posso.
Look for games that use key motor skills, memory and enhance your overall learning abilities. These are often non-violent games that reinforce key learning and aptitudes that can be used in everyday life.