Home Research Playing video games may have a positive impact on academic performance

Playing video games may have a positive impact on academic performance


Time and again we have come across studies that claim that video games are detrimental to a student’s academic performance and capabilities, but now a new study claims contrary suggesting that video games may help students develop communications and mental adaptability skills required to succeed at university.‌

Researchers at University of Glasgow showed through a study, which is published in journal Computer & Education, that by playing video games, young people develop the desired higher education skills required for their university education sometimes referred to as ‘graduate attributes’. Some of the notable improvements by playing video games were observed in communication skills, resourcefulness and adaptability – all traits that could enable young people excel at university level education.

The research was carried through participants from Arts and Humanities. All the participants were randomly assigned to either an intervention or a control group. Those in the intervention group were asked top lay video games under controlled conditions over an eight-week period and they showed improvements in communication, adaptability, and resourcefulness scales compared to the control group. This supported the hypothesis that playing video games can improve self-reported graduate skills.

The goal of the study was to measure the effects of playing commercial video games on the attainment of certain graduate attributes, testing the hypothesis that playing selected games can improve student scores on measures of graduate skills.

Author of the study Matthew Barr acknowledges that the findings of his study may not be in sync with what parents believe, but there is evidence that 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.

The games used in the study were all commercial titles, designed for entertainment purposes rather than with the intention of developing particular skills in players. They included Borderlands 2; Minecraft; Portal 2; Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light; Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos; Team Fortress 2; Gone Home and Papers, Please.