From the Associated Press:
Young boys who receive their first video game system don’t progress as quickly in school as boys who don’t own such devices, a new study found.
The average reading and writing scores of the young gamers don’t go down, but they don’t improve either, said Robert Weis of Denison University in Ohio, co-author of the study.
“For children without games, scores go up over time,” Weis said. “For boys with games, scores remain relatively stable. You don’t see the typical development in reading and writing.”
These kinds of stories drive me up a wall.
As is so often the case, the blame is placed on an inanimate object (in this case, a video game system) so we can have a scapegoat instead of dealing with the real problem. Is it the video game system that causes grades to stagnate, or is it because parents are not disciplining their children and teaching them to manage time effectively? Are people truly so stupid that they do not know the answer?
Here is the reality: most children do not want to do their schoolwork. If they can find something entertaining to do, they would prefer to do that instead. This is where parents need to step in and limit the amount of time children are permitted to spend on their chosen leisure activity, forcing them to study and do homework instead. The problem is not playing video games, watching television, surfing the Internet, playing outside with friends or playing a favorite board game. The problem is a lack of discipline.
A video game console will never, in and of itself, stifle academic progress. It simply is not possible. While I agree that children spend too much time in front of electronic gadgets instead of using their imagination, the problem is that electronic entertainment is not properly limited. The television, the video game and the computer become babysitters instead of occupying the proper place. If you want your child to excel academically to the best of his or her ability (recognizing that natural talent differs from person to person) then you need to be a parent.