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How does gaming affect your studies?

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

“Just one last game, and I will be off to bed.”

“I will just finish off this boss level and I promise to continue studying afterwards.”

If seeing these sentences rings a bell, you are most probably a student that enjoys recreational video gaming, regardless of whether it is on the computer, or on the mobile phones.

Based on the statistics shown in the year 2020, there has been a consistent surge of mobile subscriptions from 2004 to 2019, with the lowest mobile phone penetration rate of 92.7% in the year 2004 to the highest in 159.1% in the year 2019.

With the current rapid development and advancement of technology, you can see that smartphones have been ubiquitous all around in the hands of the general public. It is inevitable for each and every individual to have the need to adapt to be more tech-savvy and that includes secondary school students as well.

According to the IMDA, statistics have been broken down to: households that have access to i) no computer, ii) one computer, iii) two computers or more. In the year 2010, the statistics that were shown were 16%, 32% and 52% respectively.

However, in the more recent years, 2017 in particular, the number of households that have access to two or more computers have spiked up to 73%, while the number of households that do not have access to any computer has dropped to 13%. How crazy is that!

With the increment of internet and computer access that are required for students to do their e-learnings and projects online, it also exposes students to the gaming industry, especially with advertisements that appears everywhere online. Stunning fanciful artworks, dashing and charming characters that use flamboyant skills to attack creatures are the typical appeal to youngsters nowadays, as they find it interesting and are intrigued to try out those games.

So, how does gaming affect students and their mindsets? To what extent can it adversely impact the youngsters that are still going through their education journey? Are there any advantages which gaming can offer? Let’s find out!

1) Disruption of sleep and rest

Youngsters that tend to game in excessive amount would typically sacrifice their sleep and rest time to enjoy the entertainment. While gaming, you think of it as a fun and enjoyable activity, which is why your brain hence triggers a release of a type of chemical called dopamine, which is a hormone and neurotransmitter that is often associated with joy and pleasure experienced by us.

This causes you to lose track of time as you are constantly focused and concentrating on the game itself, and the consistent chemical-based pleasure your body experiences will keep your awake for a prolong period of time.

However, once you are done gaming, the level of dopamine produced drops significantly, which causes the fatigue and tiredness to set in gradually. In additional to the time you have sacrificed for gaming itself, the lack of sleep paired up with the post-gaming fatigue will cause you to feel exhausted when you attend lessons the next day in school, leading to poor performance.

You will easily lose focus and tend to daydream more often, having your mind wandering off into thinking about the next boss you are going to fight once you get home instead of planning for the chapters you are suppose to revise for in the upcoming mid-term examinations.

2) Neglecting their studies

Apart from sacrificing their sleep and rest time, some students will even sacrifice their study time to game. Although there is not much evidence of video-gaming affecting the academic performance of students in school, the pleasure associated with gaming will still definitely supersede the un-interesting textbooks and homework in their schoolbags.

As such, negligence in their revisions is often the factor as to why they perform poorly in school. To curb with this, youngsters can choose to study outside of their homes, choosing a convenient yet conducive environment to do their revisions.

Math Lobby has an article that offers recommendations and how students can choose the most conducive place to study in based on the atmosphere that suits them the most! You can check out the article above!

3) Gaming… can actually be beneficial?

To the surprise of many, yes. Gaming can actually be beneficial in building interpersonal skills and have cognitive benefits. However, it is important to note that these are only possible if gaming is done in MODERATION.

Moderation means that the individual must avoid an excessive amount of indulgence in the game, have the self-discipline to know when to stop and have the clarity of the time you spend on gaming must only be within a small timeslot compared to the time you spend studying.

Gaming can aid individuals in promoting their cooperating capabilities. In short, it helps them to build the necessary skills to work in a team, understanding the strength and weaknesses of team members and make rationale decisions when progressing as a team. These can be seen in players that engage in Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG), First Person Shooter (FPS) and Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games.

What these games have in common is that they all have a common objective, and in order to progress, individuals have to help one another based on their own niche in the games. This will benefit individuals in the real-world context as such skills can be tapped when students are required to engage in group projects or presentations.

Cognitive benefits can also be attained from gaming in moderation. Studies show that with the use of Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) which measures brain activity by detecting changes associated with blood flow – discovered that gamers are able to filter out irrelevant visual information better than a non-gamer.

It is also noted that gamers have a greater tendency to allocate attentional resources more automatically, possibly allowing more efficient early filtering of irrelevant information. This ability will aid students in filtering out the unnecessary information during curriculum when lecture slides are shown, and only taking down whatever that is key and crucial.

In conclusion, although it might be ambiguous to some whether gaming will affect them adversely, the effects of gaming can be placed under control if the individual have the full clarity that it is only to be used as a reward to relax after tasks and daily objectives have been completed.

Studies should always be your number one priority as a student before any other recreational activities of only entertainment value should come into play. Stick to this rule and you will have the best of both worlds!

And that’s all for today, students! Math Lobby hopes that you enjoyed reading this article and understood the effects of gaming on your studies in this modern society with rapid advancement of technology!

If you have any pending questions, please do go on to our Facebook page, Instagram or contact us directly at Math Lobby! We have certified mathematics tutors to aid you in your journey to becoming a better student!

As always: Work hard, stay motivated and we wish all students a successful and enjoyable journey with Math Lobby!

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