An Analysis of the Positive Effects of Video-Gaming to Academic Success

Take a few seconds and list all the negative stereotypes on how games hinder your academic success. You probably came up with games are not educational, they are antisocial or my personal games make you do worse in school. I’m sure you may have heard these especially if you’re a gamer, but what about the positives? How in the hell can games be good for you? So let’s take a look at some research that was actually done towards games, and while we’re at, it bust some stereotypes in the process.

With the rise of video games in modern culture, researchers and psychologists have taken close looks at the impact gaming can have on people in a multitude of situations. Many experiments have been done in recent years, some of which draw conclusions that gaming can increase brain function, memory, problem solving skills, strategic planning, and even social skills among others according to Granic, I., Lobel, A., & Engels, R. C. (2006). So let’s begin exploring what games or game types help increase our brain functions.

Effects on brain function, memory, and IQ. The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Mario Bros. franchises are all well-known for challenging puzzles that you’re required to figure out in order to advance to the next area or unlock some special item, usually a chest or a secret passage. Which requires for us to memorize a map or solve a puzzle that involves us moving a certain amount of blocks or blowing up a certain walls. According to study leader Simone Kühn, senior scientist at the Center for Lifespan Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (How video gaming can be beneficial for the brain 2013, October 30).

“Playing Super Mario 64 causes increased size in brain regions responsible for spatial orientation, memory formation and strategic planning as well as fine motor skills. Which also helps slow down the brain ageing process that we start to show at older ages and also leads us to problem-solving and strategic planning. Effects on problem-solving and strategic planning. Certain games have a positive effect on problem-solving that can actually help us academically. Those certain games are call RPG’s, which stands for role playing games. Most notable RPG’s would be Final Fantasy, Mass Effect, Elder Scrolls, and Star Wars the Old Republic.

Basically these are games that the player assumes the role of the main character. Which focuses on player-driven choices, dialogue options, and the consequences of player actions, which would lead to a unique experiences and no two games being quite the same. Though many cognitive elements are utilized while playing these games, the most prevalent ones are problem-solving, strategy, and reasoning.

According to Rutger C. M. E.Engels “Studies have explicitly tested the relation between playing video games and problem-solving abilities; in both, problem-solving was defined in the reflective sense (e.g., taking time to gather information, evaluate various options, formulate a plan, and consider changing strategies and/or goals before proceeding further” (Playing Video Games. The Benefits of Playing Video Games, 69). So in essence these games so us how to evaluate a problem by taking the time to gather the information on it to solve it. From problem solving and strategic planning we go to multitasking and prioritization. Multitasking and prioritizing.

Sometimes you have to think on your feet, a useful lifelong skill that can be developed and exercised in RTS games. As the name suggests, these games use strategic planning in order to accomplish a task, defeat an enemy, or work with other players (known as a co-op) to win. Games like StarCraft, Age of Empires, Civilization or World of Warcraft all challenge a player to think ahead, think smart, and think together (if it’s co-op). And since it’s in real-time, things can go wrong. While players increase their multitasking ability and prioritizing skills, they also learn to adapt to changing situations.

A recent study done by Brian D. Glass , W. Todd Maddox and Bradley C. Love “Using a meta-analytic Bayes factor approach, we found that the gaming condition that emphasized maintenance and rapid switching between multiple information and action sources led to a large increase in cognitive flexibility as measured by a wide array of non video gaming tasks”. (Real-Time Strategy Game Training: Emergence of a Cognitive Flexibility Trait).

Basically the cognitive is the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses. Which in turn helps us with multitasking and prioritizing which assignments we might get in classes or problems we have. Recommendation. As for a recommendation on how to make games positive for academic success is time management. If you’re going to have a big test the next morning don’t stay up late playing games as it may hinder your ability to think correctly due to lack of sleep.

Another is if you’re stressed out from homework take a couples playing a few games to get your brain back on track to tackle that problem you may have. As it has been shown games can help with your academics as long as you don’t let them take main priority over important things in your life or in school. It’s always fun to venture off into a faraway land in an RPG’s or just have old school fun with Mario.

  1. Castillo, S. (2014, August 17). “A Force of Habit Is a Real Thing” Retrieved March 3, 2016, from
  3. Glass, B. D., Maddox, T. W., & Love, B. C. (2013, August 7). Real-Time Strategy Game Training:
  4. Emergence of a Cognitive Flexibility Trait. Retrieved March 16, 2016, from
  6. Granic, I., Lobel, A., & Engels, R. C. (2006). Playing Video Games. The Benefits of Playing Video
  7. Games, 66-78. Doi: 10.4324/9780203873700:
  8. pdf
  9. Kühn, S. (2013, October 30). How video gaming can be beneficial for the brain. Retrieved March 10,
  10. 2016, from order=L&research topic=
  11. Describe your favorite parts of this paper, what made it good in your opinion? My favorite part of this paper was simply the facts that back it up, you can tell a lot of research was done in order to make this a strong paper.
  12. Describe the current problems with this draft. What exactly needs to be fixed? The main current problem is that there is a few places missing their reference that needed them, if it is not common knowledge you need to give credit. This is a simple fix though, you jus need to site.
  13. Did the paper meet the page requirement? If not, where is the paper lacking detail? This paper does not meet the page requirement of 4-5 pages, not counting the reference page. You could mention a few negative that are connected to gaming or discuss how research for the topic is conducted.
  14. What parts of the paper could use more clarity and explanation?

The paper could talk more about the negatives and how to get rid of them, currently the paper just touches on the subject.

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An Analysis of the Positive Effects of Video-Gaming to Academic Success. (2021, Nov 23). Retrieved December 1, 2021 , from

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