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No Video Games on School Nights

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the it-will-rot-your-brain dept.

337

Donkey Konga writes "In the latest round of the ongoing debate on the effect of video games and TV on academics, a new study in Pediatrics says that any amount of gaming is too much if if happens on a school night. '"On weekdays, the more they watched, the worse they did," said study coauthor Dr. Sharif. Weekends were another matter, with gaming and TV watching habits showing little or no effect on academic performance, as long as the kids spent no more than four hours per day in front of the console or TV." Of course we all know that correlation does not equal causation, but the study is sure to get many parents thinking about how much time in front of the Xbox and idiot box is too much."

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oblig (5, Funny)

Digitus1337 (671442) | more than 7 years ago | (#16315943)

I sense a great disturbance in the force, as if millions of students suddenly cried out in terror and then were suddenly silenced...

Oh please (4, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 7 years ago | (#16315949)

MODERATION is the key here. When I was a kid, my parents limited everyone to 1 hour on the computer per day once all the chores and homework was done. My family did just fine academically, thankyouverymuch. Remove the kids who spend an average of 2 hours or more after school in front of the TV or computer and see how the statistic looks.

Re:Oh please (5, Funny)

Bob54321 (911744) | more than 7 years ago | (#16315991)

MODERATION is the key here

Now thats just karma whoring!

Re:Oh please (5, Funny)

jrobinson5 (974354) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316141)

But seriously, MODeration is the key here. According to ME, what's UP with these kids is that with +5 hours of TV and video games per day, they miss out on INFORMATIVE reading and studying.

Re:Oh please (0)

ZakuSage (874456) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316021)

I spend hours upon hours of time on the computer, more time gaming, and do most of my homework in the span of 10 minutes right before I go to bed... and yet somehow my marks are still fantastic. I'm talking high 90s as an average here.

Re:Oh please (1)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316103)

Damn smartass :3 I did pretty much the same thing pre-university, and I got away with it - just. Had I worked harder, I would've done noticably better, especially in Physics and Maths.

Re:Oh please (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316495)

That's the key of course. I did pretty much the same thing in high school, except with notably more marijuana and alcohol consumption thrown in, and skated through with a 3.75 GPA easily. Unfortunately, once I got into college and into an environment where I actually had to work for my grades, it was a very difficult adjustment.

Anyone who is reasonably intelligent and even slightly motivated can get good grades in K-12. The trick is maintaining the discipline to develop good enough study habits to get you through college with the same marks.

Its just not true (5, Funny)

Lanoitarus (732808) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316037)

I spent insane amounts of hours EVERY weekday playing starcraft/red alert/whatever else was out at the time, and my grades were-- Ok, i see your point.

Re:Its just not true (3, Interesting)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316151)

I am a counter-example myself, also my math grades were the best among my class, seriously.

Re:Its just not true (5, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316291)

Are you a counter-example or were you simply unchallenged by the school curriculum?

Being the top of your class because the course is not intended for exceptional students does not mean that games helped or hindered you. It simply means that you were too advanced for the class you took. If this allowed you additional free time to play video games, that is a failing of the school system.

Re:Oh please (4, Informative)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316079)

I don't buy it; Non-interactive entertainment is bad, I've always believed that. But time on the computer? I've spent a significant portion of my life on the computer, and aside from a burning hatred of humanity, I'm just fine and very successful ( primarly because I spend so much time learning about thigns on the computer, frankly ).

Re:Oh please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16316325)

aside from a burning hatred of humanity

You're not actually supposed to have a "burning hatred of humanity". Just thought you might want to know that!

Re:Oh please (4, Insightful)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316603)

You have a point here. You were in front of the computer learning. Most kids I knew growing up were on the computer just to play games and other less educational reasons.

Re:Oh please (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316129)

I regularly spent 6+ hours a day in front of the computer throughout high school, and I was a straight A student. Of course, this wasn't six hours of continual Counter-Strike, which would have totally shot my nerves (pun very much intended), but it sure wasn't six hours of schoolwork either. Of course, comparing slashdotters and geeks with 10k+ forum posts to the average teenager isn't quite fair, since I wasn't really subject to the normal brain-drain of AIM marathons.

Re:Oh please (5, Interesting)

scourfish (573542) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316163)

When I was a kid, I was pretty into video games; but if grades slipped for anybody in the house, then my old man came in with a box and unhooked everything.

I wouldn't say the worry with many people is about video games as much as the fact that the way kids physically interact with their toys has changed. Even in the early 90's, when we were beginning to see the adolescense of the video game industry explode, many of my toys did not have transistors. Granted the gameboy I got for christmas was snuck onto the school playground even after the teachers banned such things to avoid theft and fights, that was about it... well, that and a decaying teddy ruxpin doll from the mid 80's.

Time studying or doing homework isn't that much of an issue, given kids who don't want to do homework have historically found ways and excuses to get around it. The worry lies in "the good old days of running or bicycle riding" or something equally nostalgic for old people, however video games are also moving to deeper levels of physical interaction, take a look at the necessity to pantomime gestures with the Wii or exert high impact aerobic routines with dance dance revolution.

The same study has probably been performed in the past about kids who watch too much TV and probably wielded similar results. This is nothing new, and as the OP stated, moderation and parental ivolvement are the key to raising a child who one day takes over the world and gives mommy and daddy control of some country in europe as a way of saying thanks.

Re:Oh please (2, Funny)

ampmouse (761827) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316193)

Yep, your absolutely right, Moderation is the key!
I spend all my "homework time" moderating on Slashdot and still get passing grades!

Re:Oh please (1)

or_smth (473159) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316485)

I do not think there is a recipe for the 'proper' child.

A lot of the best times of my childhood was spent speaking to older folks on IRC and Meridian 59. It seemed like wasted times to my parents, but it was essentially another social life that was equally as valid as any other. I would have been quite angry if I was limited to an hour a day.

A lot of my early vocabulary came from the school nights I spent playing Final Fantasy II. By most logic, my parents should have placed rigid rules on me to prevent the 'corruption' of my brain.

I'd say that most people need to speak to their child and figure out the reason they want to play their games every night.

Oh my! (2, Insightful)

Jalestra (1009473) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316617)

You can't possibly mean they should actually parent??!!

Questioning the premise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16315965)

Why are they valuing academic performance and not gaming skills?

Screw that. (4, Funny)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 7 years ago | (#16315969)

Fair enough, but it's equal time for equap pay. You know what that means, parents. No TV for you on work nights.

Re:Screw that. (3, Insightful)

pookemon (909195) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316217)

That's one of the benefits of being a parent/adult who has finished their schooling and is working to feed/educate/entertain their children. When the kids grow up, get their own job and start paying their own way, THEN they can watch as much TV as they want on a school/work night.

Re:Screw that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16316379)

The difference is that the vast majority of adult jobs don't require much (if any) preparation or learning time outside of the job. They aren't challenging, they are just a set of routines to be performed over and over for 8 hours worktime a day.

Re:Screw that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16316383)

Well, it's early to bed for Mum and Dad! G'night Junior :-)

(sounds like a simpsons episode. gotta watch out for those reverse vampires)

Give them all the toys and all the time to play (1)

zitintheass (1005533) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316563)

I solved it by buying my son Playstation 2 with all the major games available at the time and also big plasma screen, then I allowed him to play all those games for all the time he wanted, after two month or so he got bored. He saw everything, he played everything so there was nothing new or unexplored there, unsuprisingly after that treatment he is not so interested anymore.

Re:Give them all the toys and all the time to play (1)

jbrader (697703) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316601)

I propose that you are so full of shit that your eyes are brown.

Depends upon the kid (3, Interesting)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#16315973)

You really can't make generalizations about children when it comes to things like this. Different children develop differently, and generalizations become too broad to be useful applications. But here are the rules for my kids. The homework is done first. After that they get a modest amount of playtime. We check the homework, if the homework is done well then the kids deserve a little playtime.

Re:Depends upon the kid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16316317)

in high school i probably watched TV/played videogames for 3-4 hours a night (weekdays), at least. basically from about 7-midnight it would be TV time on and off. i got straight A's easy, plus played varsity sports.

in college i watched even more TV per night (stopped playing videogames though). deans list every year.

the point? its about the individual.

Re:Depends upon the kid (5, Funny)

bcat24 (914105) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316473)

I couldn't agree more. All generalizations are wrong.

Re:Depends upon the kid (1)

nemoyspruce (1007869) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316509)

I agree. And also depends on the game the kid is playing. You can learn a lot of history playing Rome Total War and Civ.

"the more they watched" (1)

Bob The Mutant Hamst (1005725) | more than 7 years ago | (#16315979)

who watches videogames?

Re:"the more they watched" (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316005)

People going through any given Xenosaga game....

Academics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16315995)

"In the latest round of the ongoing debate on the effect of video games and TV on academics, a new study in Pediatrics says that any amount of gaming is too much if if happens on a school night. '

So does that mean that if I stop being an academic and go back into industry, I can watch TV safely again?

No banana for you. (4, Insightful)

gold23 (44621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316007)

While the study may be correct in its findings, I must take issue with your conclusion, "[T]he study is sure to get many parents thinking about how much time in front of the Xbox and idiot box is too much."

If history is any guide, the parents who have failed to monitor their childrens' study habits and recreational activities in the past will continue to do so. And those parents who have been responsible in their child-raising duties will also continue to do so.

The study will have no effect whatsoever.

Yes, IAAP. (I am a parent.)

Re:No banana for you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16316539)

Yes, IAAP. (I am a parent.)

Dad, I didn't get my homework done tonight because I was online. BTW, could ya turn up the heat, the basement is a little cold, mkay?

Causation is easy to prove (0, Redundant)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316013)

Time spent playing games is subtracted from the total time available for studying. As study time decreases because of an increase in gaming time, homework assignments get less attention. As homework assignments get less attention, practice in those subjects, which is the purpose of homework, is reduced and the level of knowledge gained by the student/gamer is reduced.

Connecting the dots is as easy as 123.

Re:Causation is easy to prove (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316059)

Really?

What evidence do you have that time spent in front of the TV and computer is time away from homework? Maybe it's time away from running around outside. Maybe it's time away from talking on the phone. Maybe it's time away from other academic related activity.

I have just an "obvious" correlation: spending all your time on homework leads to burnout, which leads to not caring and a drop in grades. You need "me" time in there too, and if the kid wants to spend that time on the computer or TV, that's fine. The trick is just not letting ALL your time become "me" time, and leaving enough time for the homework to get done.

Re:Causation is easy to prove (1)

reddog093 (986138) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316111)

But aren't children supposed to play? If I were 8 and had to go 5 days a week without some form of recreation, I would hate my life. I agree that moderation is the key.

Re:Causation is easy to prove (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316197)

Are video games an appropriate recreational activity for young children? That's a different question, I suppose, but if you are going to try to argue that play time is necessary, then we have to also look at the positive and negative impacts of different forms of play. I don't want to go down that road. It's long and not well-suited for a message board like this where it will likely devolve into a shouting match between myself, who sees video gaming as a fundamentally isolating experience compared to 'old' games which involved physical activity with other children, and those who think that video games offer the same sort of socialization experience for kids (or even more absurd, better socialization experience) as play did before the advent of the home gaming console.

T (total time) = P (play time) + D (dinner time) + S (study time)

If you say that P can be broken down further into O (outside play time) and V (video gaming time) without affecting S and D, then you may have a point regarding the play time itself. However, if O is much better for kids than V (or vice versa), then should we really promote V over O?

Re:Causation is easy to prove (1)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316401)

The basic problem is that O isn't practical in today's society. Parents don't let their kids play outside in the street, or go anywhere without a parent with them. To do so is often considered bad parenting.

Add to that the limited amount of time you can practically remain outside in winter in most of the US or in summer here in Australia (I have friends who have had Child Protective Services called on them for letting their kids spend too much time in the sun), and you're talking about most of your socialization outside of school and school organized activities coming in the form of a small number of friends visiting while supervised by the parents.

We don't have big backyards here(housing prices), so you're essentially talking about socialization being indoor activities with a small group of friends.

Does it really matter what those indoor activities are?

Re:Causation is easy to prove (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316545)

Does it really matter what those indoor activities are?

I think we can safely say that there is a difference in quality between different activities.

It would be hard to place video games as a social activity in such a scale. Would it rank higher than D&D? We'd assume it ranked lower than working on a science project. It's probably slightly above group anal sex.

This is why I would rather not go down this road. The positive and negative aspects of gaming are too subjective to debate rationally.

Re:Causation is easy to prove (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316135)

OK, we'll assume that you're correct when you say "Time spent playing games is subtracted from the total time available for studying."

Using your hypothesis, reading (anything but a textbook), listening to music, and playing with friends is time away from studying and should therefore be disallowed.

You can't just "connect the dots". Your "easy to prove" statement is nothing but a lot of unfounded guesswork.

Re:Causation is easy to prove (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316209)

Are you arguing that playing GTA:Vice City is the moral equivalent of reading Dostoyevsky or listening to Brahms?

Re:Causation is easy to prove (1)

jrobinson5 (974354) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316529)

Um, yes. Yes it is.

Re:Causation is easy to prove (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316575)

Now there's some research I'd like to see.

Report Is Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16316035)

wtf, I playied vedeo gaymes all teh time. Me turned out phine!

Re:Report Is Wrong (1)

bcat24 (914105) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316487)

Let me guess, you used hookt on fonix, right?

Was about that for me (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316045)

My parents limited me to _only_ holidays and vacations. I'm still in school, and not on the street. So I guess I did not turn out bad.

Re:Was about that for me (1)

iamstretchypanda (939837) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316311)

How is that teaching you to manage your time efficiently? My parents had a much different style. In middle school I was required to study X amount of minutes, where X was determined by how well in school I was doing. For me, being required to sit down and do my homework after school was quite a drag, and a lot of the time I found myself reading books that weren't school related at all. In high school my parents basically sat down and said, "You are a gifted student, and can make strait A's. You can do whatever you want (take that with a grain of salt :P) as long as you have strait A's." It took a little bit of time to learn how to manage my work and play. Like you might guess the first quarter I didn't make it. I had an A/B average, I was grounded. The next quarter I got myself into gear and made strait A's while playing full time.

As high school progressed I started a web design company and had to learn how to manage that on top of school and play. Overall I generally made strait A's while learning how to manage work, study, and play. I wouldn't have traded that for anything.

Re:Was about that for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16316345)

For a 'strait A' student, you certainly don't spell 'straight' very well.

Re:Was about that for me (1)

iamstretchypanda (939837) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316433)

I was hopping no one would noticed that. Everyone makes mistakes.

Re:Was about that for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16316533)

I know what you mean. I always hop when I make a mistake. Or maybe you meant you were "hoping", not "hopping"? :)

Re:Was about that for me (1)

iamstretchypanda (939837) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316565)

Ah! I got a good laugh out of that. Anyways I was a good student.

Re:Was about that for me (1)

iamstretchypanda (939837) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316589)

OK. Another mistake. I was a good student.

::writes on chalkboard::

"I will remember to press the preview button before I hit submit. I will remember to press the preview button before I hit submit. I will remember to press the preview button before I hit submit. I will remember to press the preview button before I hit submit. I will remember to press..."

Re:Was about that for me (1)

DeadboltX (751907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316409)

I fail to see how still being in school is supposed to be some magic proof that only playing videogames on vacation time made you a better student.

What next? (1)

Bob54321 (911744) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316069)

No games on school nights. Ruin all the fun. Next thing you know, they will tell us maturbation makes you go blind!

I can speak from some experience here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16316091)

OK, not much experience yet. My son is only 6. But I can tell you that he is WAY too wound up after the excitement of video games if it's right before bed time. If he's allowed video games after dinner, he has trouble getting to sleep at a reasonable hour and that absolutely DOES effect him in school. So our house rule is now that if there's video games, it happens AFTER homework and BEFORE dinner.

Re:I can speak from some experience here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16316117)

i am a kid who watched tv for probably about 3 hours a day on schoolnights, and i kept straight a's through grade school and now into high school, so fuck that study.

Reading... (5, Informative)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316119)

Researchers asked the students to rate their own performance in school on a scale ranging from "below average" to "excellent," instead of looking directly at their grades or other metrics of academic performance.

Stop! Enough said.

Re:Reading... (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316323)

Half the frickin' article consists of rationalizing the methodology of prefering self-reporting over actual quantitative metrics of performance. I'm getting really tired of this sort of nonsense.

But as long as we're just pulling anectodatal crap out of our ass:

I predict that if correlated with test scores it would be found the actual correlation this survey shows is the children assume they must be doing worse if they're playing games and watching TV, because that is what they have been taught to expect, shown by the fact that the self-reporting does not correlate well with test scores.

But of course I can't know that, can I, if no one bothered to actually check how they were doing in school?

And neither can anyone else.

KFG

Re:Reading... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16316351)

Yeah... the thing is, students who do the best in high school are generally either one of two types. Naturally gifted and don't have to work, or hard workers. Hard workers would also tend to say they did well, considering they put in their best effort. They would play less video games and watch less tv because they have less time to do so because they're busy doing homework. For those who are naturally gifted, many figure, why bother, I could get a 97 if I tried, but a 92 still gets me a 4.0. So instead, they watch tons of tv or play video games to fill spare time, and then say they could do better, despite being top of the class.

Personally, I averaged a 94 in all honors classes while watching 8+ hours of TV a day and yet would have said that I could do better because i never tried hard. That's partially why they got the results they did, because they didn't look at academic performance, just feelings about performance. For a valid study, they need to sample a few random high schools, but take like ~100 students from each, then compare class rank to TV watching/video game playing.

Re:Reading... (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316465)

You nailed it on the head. If you replaced gaming with 'hanging out at the 7-11' in the story you would pretty much have the same result.

Idiot Box (1)

JustinKSU (517405) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316127)

Isn't Xbox and the idiot box redundant?

I play games on weeknights all the time (2, Interesting)

stevo3232 (794498) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316139)

I am in grade 10. I use my computer all night, and will sometimes play games (or read wikipedia! Great passtime.). Every day of the week. My average last year sat at around 87%. I cannot stress enough that the same thing is not always true for everyone. Some people would never do a good job on their homework if they sat around watching TV or playing games all the time, for others it works fine. Also, moderation is key. You need to know when to say "enough playing games, time to get homework done". Of course, for some people, it's best to do homework first, but I never do that! ;)

Also, some people have suggested time spent playing video games could instead be spent studying. In practise, everyone seems to do the bare minimum and never studies if it's not required.

Re:I play games on weeknights all the time (2, Insightful)

nebrfan (1009459) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316265)

87%? So you're pulling a B-B+ average in high school...that's not that great. Maybe if you didn't dick around on the computer/net you could be an A student looking to go to a private school w/ scholie instead of the BS State.

Re:I play games on weeknights all the time (1)

ShaneThePain (929627) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316387)

The Public schools in this country are very often BETTER than private schools.
  I've been to both, I know this well.

Recreational Computer Use vs Playing Video Games (3, Interesting)

RyatNrrd (662756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316155)

The conclusion may be true, but parents need to be careful how they define "playing video games". Much of my childhoot computer recreation time was spent programming for fun. Often testing games that I had programmed. That would certainly have IMPROVED my grades.

Self-rating performance? (1)

TheFoolishOne (1008229) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316159)

I'm not sure that self-rating academic performance is a good way to gauge these students. Maybe it'd be better to say that kids who play less videogames have more confidence in their work.

Here's a thought (1)

Mayhem178 (920970) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316167)

How about having your children do their homework before such actvities are allowed? That's how it was with me, and I certainly spent more than my fair share of time gaming and watching TV.

Wow (5, Funny)

valkabo (840034) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316171)

Well I guess when space invaders attack earth I won't be able to help..

Too bad.. I had my shasta and all rush mix tape ready to go :(

Oblig (2)

DeadboltX (751907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316431)

Willy: It's impossible for me to fire a pistol. If you'll check me medical records, you'll see I have a cripplin' arthritis in me index fingerrrs. Look at 'em! (holds fingers up) I got it from "Space Invaders" in 1977.

Wiggum: Aw, yeah. That was a pretty addictive video game.

Willy: (surprised) Video game?

If I didn't spend 7 weeks playing WoW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16316173)

Me and my friends just spent 7 weeks 21 hours a day in the forest killing pigs.

If we hadn't done that we wouldn't be the fat pimply-faced lardballs we are today.

-Cartman

We wouldn't but you would fatass.

-Stan

Too right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16316191)

Our kids don't watch any TV during the week. They're too busy doing legitimate activities like study, music practice, eating dinner and going to bed.

It's been 9 minutes since you last successfully posted a comment.

Sounds scary (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316201)

"On weekdays, the more they watched, the worse they did"


If watching games makes kids that bad with schoolwork, imagine if they were actually playing the game!

Video Games == TV? (1)

H0NGK0NGPH00EY (210370) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316231)

I take issue with this study, as it appears to be claiming that playing video games and watching television are equal. Surely there are more portions of the brain being stimulated when playing video games than when staring at the TV?

TV or Games? (2, Insightful)

Eideewt (603267) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316289)

Judging by the Ars article, the survey considered TV and gaming to be the same activity. This somehow strikes me as completely wrong. Certainly it's no basis to be drawing conclusions about gaming. All it says is that TV and gaming, in some combination, can harm performance. Cigarettes and sitting on wooden stools, in some combination, can give you lung cancer, but you won't see me selling the stool.

How odd. (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316307)

This is strange. I played Nethack for a good hour today, yet I'm doing just fine with my homework.

In fact, I would go as far as to say that that hour helped me. It was a great way to clear my head of discrete mathematics to make way for Shakespearian analysis.

Parental Involvement (4, Insightful)

A Brand of Fire (640320) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316313)

It seems to me that moderate use of video games is only part of the solution. Ultimately, it comes down to parental involvement and interaction. When I was growing up, my mom and I often played the Atari 2600, NES and SNES together. She made it a point to just sit back and watch sometimes, too. This actually served two purposes:

  • She had supervision over the game console use and game content. She knew what kinds of games I played, how long I played them for, etc. This made it remarkably easy for her to anticipate which games to buy for me as gifts or rewards... Not to mention the fact that she played the hell out of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., Metroid and Tetris whenever I wasn't playing.

  • She also gave me encouragement as I played — sometimes offering other possible avenues of action when I was stumped, soothing words when I was frustrated, or positive reinforcement upon completing a major game objective. If I was acting too rashly in response to a game's difficulty, she would make me quit until I calmed down and approached it again with a fresh perspective and a cooler head.

Ironically, her method of coaching helped to sharpen my natural tendency for analytical thinking, further reinforcing it with the (sometimes negative) quality of persistence (some would also say stubbornness) in coming to an understanding with a thing or concept, or completing a goal. Parental involvement is A Good Thing(tm) for all involved, and a lot of parents nowadays have become disappointingly lax in that department.

One of the best things to do to encourage that such involvement or observation actually takes place? Put the console in the living room. If a kid is going to have his or her game machine and/or computer in their room, that's likely where they'll spend most of their time, thusly putting them outside the sphere of parental influence. Putting the console in a common, non-private area will give the parent(s) the opportunity to regulate usage and observe their child in action; it also affords the parent(s) an opportunity to see how their child reacts to and interacts with the game.

And believe me, if the infamous Chocolate Milk [google.com] video is any indication, a lot of these kids seriously need parental intervention. I can say, thankfully, that I've never acted like such an out-of-control heathen — I knew the fear of MOM, not God.

Some of the younger generation may look at such a suggestion with great disdain, but take it from someone who actually had a parent take the time to get involved — it may seem lame or embarassing, but is A Good Thing(tm). It's also a necessary thing. Take the time, parents; it does make a difference.

Re:Parental Involvement (1)

foamrotreturns (977576) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316599)

Well said! I don't think there's any game that a kid needs the privacy of his/her own room to enjoy. If he/she does, maybe he/she shouldn't be playing that kind of game.
In regards to the studies, I think there's an old saying that goes very well here:
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
I actually HAVE to devote time out of my day each day to recreation, or my mind does not get the right mix of "pain and pleasure" so to speak, and it burns out - FAST. Two to three days without recreation will find me staring off into space, completely incapable of any sort of complex thought processes. It's been said before, but it bears repeating...
Everything in moderation. We saw what prohibition did to alcohol. Let's not make video games a forbidden fruit that the kids might get up in the middle of the night to play after the parents have gone to bed. The effects of that scenario would be even worse than anything this "study" covered.

MMO addict here (1)

aleatory_story (862072) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316335)

During high school, I managed at least 7 hours a day on weekdays playing EverQuest (and much more on weekends of course) , and I got mostly As and a few Bs here and there. I probably would have gotten straight As if it weren't for all the gaming, but I still think I did pretty well. I don't regret it. Honestly, though, I multitasked a lot. EQ had a lot of downtime, and it's not the most mentally demanding unless you're on a raid or something. It was pretty easy to work on homework during gaming.

Sharif, really? (1)

man_ls (248470) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316381)

If this is the same Dr. Sharif who is responsible for, among other things, the "Robber's Cave" experiment with sweeping ramifications for social psychology, he's about as far from a crackpot trying to jump on the bandwagon as one can get.

I tend to dismiss these sorts of studies as fearmongering and ignorant grandstanding, but I'll have to look up the full text of the study and do a bit more reading coming from someone who I know to be well respected in his field, and my field of study.

Or Maybe... (1)

DeadboltX (751907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316385)

The kids who were playing videogames or watching TV on school nights were kids who would have done poorly in school anyway, and if they were not playing videogames or watching TV they would have filled that time with some other non-learning activity.

This study is such horse shit, according to TFA "Researchers asked the students to rate their own performance in school on a scale ranging from "below average" to "excellent," instead of looking directly at their grades or other metrics of academic performance"

It is likely that in the end they were comparing kids who spent 4 hours playing videogames vs kids who spent 4 hours studying. Gee, I wonder which one did better in school the next day. Judging by how in depth this study was, I wouldn't be suprised if they just mashed every single kid into the same catagory, without taking into account other activities or other factors that may effect school performance.

Something Something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16316411)

Child: "No TV and No Games make Billy go something something."
Parents: "Go... Crazy?"
Child: "Don't mind if I do!" (pulls out machete)

It's a matter of priorities (1)

dzeaiter (524393) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316417)

Don't ban, prioritise.

I'm 23. I still live at home. Mum and dad are usually working, so I'm often supervising my little brothers and sisters.

My rule is that they have to do their homework and a decent amount of extra study before they can do any other activity (including watching TV, chatting or playing games).

Why ban it the whole night? If they've done what they're obligated to do, then why stop them from having fun until bedtime?

This also teaches the kids a valuable lesson: in life, if you carry out your obligations, you're free to do what you want.

article summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16316421)

SHARIF DON'T LIKE IT.

Difference? (1)

Pi_r_ed (1003627) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316441)

"the study is sure to get many parents thinking about how much time in front of the Xbox and idiot box is too much" I don't get it. Aren't those two the exact same thing?

not everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16316443)

ya this really doesn't apply to everyone. I come home at 3:45, turn on the tv, and it's on until I go to sleep. I have straight A's in every class (including 3 AP classes and an extra Math Elective). it really just depends on the person. i know people that aren't allowed any TV and get D's. That said, I never do any work until past 10 at night and I'm in bed by 11. Homework and Essays and Projects have very little to do with school. Most teachers will give you the same grade on those every time you turn one in no matter how well you write it (so just do the first one well).

He doesn't like games on schooldays? (1)

kryogen1x (838672) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316455)

Sharif don't like it? I guess we better rock the casbah then.

This just in... (1)

Tikiman49 (1009467) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316471)

New studies show that going to a religious service cuts down on study time, and thus lowers grades. Parents advised to encourage atheism among their children. Another new study has come out to say pleasure reading is a deterrent to studying of assigned work at school, and thus should be prohibited for maximum GPA. .... Ya know, I spend all sorts of time on the computer and playing videogames, and I've managed a 2200 SAT and a current 3.8 (94.3%) GPA. Speaking as a 17 year old male, this kinda junk is crock. There is way too much generalizing. Let parents do their own parenting.

Not entirely true... (1)

Brenky (878669) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316477)

I am a high school student who just so happens to enjoy a video game every now and then. I can understand that people may be concerned that their childrens' education may be in jeopardy if gaming gets in the way. Many of my classmates play what many would consider excessive amounts of game time. However, I can safely say that in most cases, it does not affect their education as long as they do it in moderation. If I were the parent (I know, I know, teenage kid who thinks they know everything, right?), I would only be worried if my child's grades were slipping as a result. If they can keep their marks up and do what I tell 'em (for the most part), they can play as long as they want. But as soon as the sub-par marks start appearing, then it's time to review the situation.

homework? we dont need no stinking homework (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16316507)

here's my story:
In school I did homework in the time between classes. Period. No exceptions. The rest of the learning I picked up by paying attention in class (wow, what a novel concept) and in study hall if necessary (though that time was usually was spent playing cards). What was my GPA? 4.2. In college it was a 3.2, where I gave myself the same rules, with less going to class. Video games couldn't have had a negative effect on me...

"You can use statistics to prove anything Kent, fourfteen percent of people know that."
-Homer Simpson

Try replacing video game time with anything else.. (2, Insightful)

zymurgy_cat (627260) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316555)

...such as soccer practice, playing in the front yard, or reading comic books.

Face it, we all have limited time, particularly on weekdays. After dinner, getting ready for bed, baths, etc., there's limited time for homework or study. If you waste it, children will do worse, no matter how you waste it.

My wife and I limit our first grader to 30 minutes on the PS2, assuming that there's time, he'e been good at school, and that he'll complete his homework (which isn't that much) before snack time before bed. Anybody with an ounce of common sense could tell you that his academic work would suffer if we reduced study time to allow more play time, regardless of whether or not it was on the PS2 or playing Mille Borne or Sorry! or any other game...or even just playing with Legos.

This is a time management issue, not a video game issue.

Re:Try replacing video game time with anything els (1)

ZeusAndHades (768527) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316639)

I couldn't agree more. When someone plays video games, or any other activity to an obsessive level, certain corners will be cut. For me those corners are: cleaning my room, showering, shaving. For someone still attending school, the thing cut out is probably study time.

Educational Gaming (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316557)

I have my kids playing the School House Rock and Jumpstart games, it combines the "academics" with the fun of video games. When they get home they have 1 hour where they are to either do homework or if they have none (and we check with teachers so they know not to lie about it) then after that they each get an hour of computer time redeemable before bed. Most of the time they are either playing an educational game or surfing their rather limited access of websites. They also rotate computer usage and console gaming getting to swap with their siblings to play mindless console games for an hour as well. Normally they choose to go outside rather than play the console games but during the winter they play them pretty regularly. So far the lowest grade any of them has brought home was a B, their reading lexiles have been in the top 10%, math skills are decent and one is actually skipping a grade this year.

Its all in moderation and monitoring, if you are involved in your kids lives and guide their activities while still giving them enough freedom to feel like they are able to make a choice for themselves they will generally be fine.

OMG. (1)

Sissok Nagazi (945085) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316567)

"In the latest round of the ongoing debate on the effect of video games and TV on academics, a new study in Pediatrics says that any amount of gaming is too much if if happens on a school night." Ur Mom.

Ugh (1)

POKETNRJSH (944872) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316571)

I must be a rare subject...I'm pulling a 3.7 in my junior year (and that D in 9th grade was because I had a bitch teacher,) I'm in severals honors classes, an AP class, in marching band, jazz band, full orchestra, A+, and I still manage several hours on the computer. I have several friends like myself. I hate when studies like this "proove" to people that kids should have no free time ever, or they'll become idiots. The trick is parents knowing what's good for their children. Though some parents need to have their TV time limited, as well...

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16316587)

So how much TV and video games can I do for a maximum without failing school?

Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316597)

Of course we all know that correlation does not equal causation,

But it sure is a good starting point to finding causation!

I really can't believe they needed a *study* for this. What ever happened to common sense?

I entirely disagree (1)

cogito1002 (819429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316611)

I disagree, to some extent. Often parents don't know what their children are doing on a computer, this is what matters. All through Jr High and High School I spent at a minimum of 2 hours using a computer (not including homework time) This is when I taught myself Pascal and HTML! If it were not for my parents lack of controls about what they largely regarded as an "entertainment device" I never would have gained interest in computers and taken the successful career path as a user interface designer! So suppress children's curiosity about electronics is a crime! The emphasis should not be put on using or not using a device, but HOW it is being used.

I always watched too much tv (1)

elmCitySlim (957476) | more than 7 years ago | (#16316615)

...and spent too much time in front of the PC and NES. Yet, im healthy, graduating college, have a full time job, social skills and a life. I always had all thoes things (replace college with decent grades and scratch job when i was young...but you get the idea). Sure my parents complained about it. But they lef me alone because i was just fine. Now, if they saw me getting dumb or fat, I'm sure they would of taken charge.
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