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Students Who Play Online Games Perform Better At School, Research Finds

Students Who Play Online Games Perform Better At School, Research Finds

Video games are a blast. Online games can be even more fun because of the social aspect surrounding them. You get to play with your friends and even meet new friends online. But video games aren’t just fun – research has shown there to be a correlation between online gamers and better school performance!

Note that this finding is a correlation, not a causation. This means playing video games won’t guarantee you perform well in school, it only increases your chances – as long as you don’t let them overtake your school work; all things in moderation!

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The Research

A study was done in Australia involving over 12,000 high school students. They found that when it came to internet usage, students who regularly played online video games scored higher in math, reading, and science tests than students who didn’t.

“Students who play online games almost every day score 15 points above the average in maths and 17 points above the average in science,” says economist Alberto Posso from RMIT University in Melbourne. “When you play online games you’re solving puzzles to move to the next level and that involves using some of the general knowledge and skills in maths, reading, and science that you’ve been taught during the day.”

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The study used Australian data from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which tested students from more than 700 schools in 2012 and collected information on their personal interests and online activities. Posso suggests that students who regularly spend time playing online games are developing analytical and problem-solving skills that can also help them in their schoolwork.

“Sometimes players have to understand some of the principles of chemistry even, so they really have to understand science,” Posso told Bridget Brennan at the ABC. “Some psychologists have argued that massive online player games can be beneficial to cognitive development.”

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As I said in the beginning, the study hasn’t proven causation – and Posso isn’t ready to say that gaming is what’s leading to better grades. It’s merely an association.

Why do gamers seem to get higher grades?

Posso isn’t entirely sure why they are correlated with higher grades yet. He thinks that one possibility could be some students find it easier to get their study and homework done faster. However, there are a number of potential factors, including skills associated with gaming, how students choose to fill their spare time, and family environments. Posso says it’s a promising area for future studies to investigate – and other researchers agree.

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“It’s interesting that this study showed a positive correlation between online gaming and academic performance, but we really need better ways of understanding how and why people play video games before we’re able to tease apart what that correlation actually means, if anything,” biological psychologist Peter Etchells from Bath Spa University in the UK, who wasn’t involved with the research, told Samuel Gibbs at The Guardian. “A number of researchers have been trying to highlight this issue for a while,” he added, “but we really need more detailed research and nuanced data to answer these sorts of questions more confidently.”

Researchers may not be able to explain this association yet, but there is more good news for the online gamers out there. Other recent research suggests gaming is good for your learning abilities, powers of memory, motor skills – and can even potentially be used for recovering from brain injuries.

To all the online gamers out there – don’t let people tell you games are rotting your brain! Research shows games seem to do more good than harm, despite popular opinion. Keep on gaming!

If you’re interested in reading more about it, check out the findings reported in the International Journal of Communication.

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Bill Widmer

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Published on April 16, 2019

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

When was the last time you did something for yourself?

Whether it was deciding to treat yourself with a little something or travel for some R&R, how often do you practice self-care?

Well, as good as above sounds, there’s a common misconception that many of us have about self-care: that it’s only about indulgence and enjoyment.

However, self-care goes far beyond indulgence. It’s actually about respecting your mind and body, understanding its limits, and being able to take care of every part of yourself, in a holistic way.

And, you really don’t have to go to extreme measures or do anything specific–like meditating or following a plant based diet–in order to practice self-care. You just have to make sure that what you’re doing is in your best interests.

So how can you make that happen?

Below are a few proven methods that will help you become a better version of you. Follow through with these regularly and you’ll be well on your way to living your very best life.

Listen to Yourself

The bulk of self-care is knowing yourself.

This means knowing your body’s limitations, and being in tune with your feelings, emotions and thoughts. So it’s important, then, to know who you are and what you want to do in life, in order to truly say that you know yourself. 

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What is your purpose?

Have you ever thought about this question?

Your purpose doesn’t have to remain the same throughout your life. What you found a purpose in at age 19 would likely be different at age 49.

In your current situation, think about the different roles that you have – as a working professional, a spouse, a partner, a parent, etc.

Do you feel like you are fulfilling your purpose through any of these roles?

All you have to do is ensure that what you’re chasing is meaningful to you; this will bring focus and motivation as you strive to achieve your goals.

If you have your purpose defined, then that’s awesome! You know what drives you and why.

But, if you don’t feel like you have a purpose nailed down, it’s good to start by asking why.

For example, why are you working in your particular job or industry? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. In which case, you may find yourself not having a direction for where you’re headed in life.

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If you’d like to learn more about finding your purpose, then I recommend you check out this article:

How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

Seek Out Continuous Education

Now, this may seem less common when you think of self-care, but lifelong learning is incredibly useful and an important component of taking care of yourself.

It’s Super Practical

Lifelong learning is extremely practical these days and does not require as much effort as it may have in the past. Long gone are the days when you could only find information on something by visiting a library. In this day of the internet, anything you can imagine is at your fingertips.

You don’t need to physically go to a learning institution to learn. You can watch Youtube videos to learn new skills, take online courses to earn a degree, and scroll through an endless amount of articles, books and journals from reputable news and informative sites.

When you’re constantly pushing yourself to learn and take up new things, your mental health also improves. Research shows that an active and engaged mind is responsible for diminishing age-related memory loss and improves overall cognitive abilities.

Your Confidence Will Skyrocket

You’ll also have improved self worth as it teaches you to step outside of your comfort zone, which will undoubtedly improve your confidence.

You’ll also connect better with others by expanding your knowledge base. Learning exposes you to a multitude of new ideas and perspectives that you may have otherwise never considered. This also increases your adaptability. Whether it’s at work or just wanting to adapt to society, your peers, and loved ones, life long learning prepares you to take on new challenges.

You’ll Be More Desired in the Job Market

Another obvious reason for continuous education, is that your employability will also increase.

With the ever changing economy, and huge influences from technology, social media, science etc., job descriptions today are moving targets. Assignments and roles change so quickly in response to changing business demands, it becomes a Herculean task to keep a job description database current.

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In years past, stability was a characteristic of the world of work. Procedures, information, jobs, and organizations were established and provided continuity. Education was completed in the first 14 to 22 years of one’s life, followed by a long career occasionally punctuated by short-term job training.

Today, however, jobs, companies, and technology are disappearing and being created simultaneously. To remain current and maintain a competitive advantage in the human capital marketplace, an individual is challenged to continually learn.

People return to school at every age to enrich their skills and knowledge for their current positions. Some even prepare themselves for new jobs or career changes, moving them forward into new opportunities and technology.

We can be assured that we will be challenged to continue to learn new tasks and information throughout our lives. Successful careers belong to flexible, curious learners who are prepared for opportunities because they know themselves and where they make their best contribution. As Peter Drucker, the father of modern management stated,

“Knowledge is choice.”

Lifelong learning also increases social awareness and perspective. To genuinely understand and empathize with others, increase social awareness, and foster strong interpersonal relationships, it’s important to seek out new perspectives. Enhancing the skills that positively impact emotional intelligence can bring even greater happiness and success, both personally and at work; and, this is all part of self-care.

Improve Your Habits (Both at Work and at Home)

Now, the last piece of advice I want to introduce to your self-care regimen, is to improve your habits.

Habits define who you are, and are built up over time. You are what you eat is a great example of this. If you make it a habit to eat foods that nourish your body, rather than make your body feel bad, then you will be much healthier overall.

Good Habits Allow You to Reach Your Goals

Since habits dictate your days and nights, such as waking up every morning to get to work before a certain time, or brushing your teeth before bedtime every night, they play a major role in whether we do or do not reach our goals.

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When you form habits that allow you to progress towards your goals, you’re automatically living a purposeful day, everyday.

Habits Make Your Time a Priority

How do you spend your free time? Do you opt to lounge on the couch watching Netflix passively, or do you engage in activities that support your purpose in life?

It’s natural to waste a lot of time during the day, but fostering good habits will make you set a pattern for how you spend your time and give you the choice of what you choose to spend your time on. By improving your habits, you’ll find that you can be a LOT more productive. When you create good habits, you become more efficient with your time and a lot less is wasted.

This in essence creates an overall positive influence on your life, allowing you to treat your mind and body well, which is why improving your habits are so important to self-care.

Your Well Being Comes First

We live in such a fast-paced society, where we are often so caught up in our work, families, maintaining our social lives, our studies and everything in between. It’s an understatement to say that life can get a little overwhelming at times.

If you’ve ever watched the safety video onboard a plane, you’ll know that they always ask for a parent or adult to put on the safety mask first, before tending to the child. This may sound selfish, but the fact is that if you truly want to ensure the child’s safety, then your safety needs to come first so that you can protect and care for the child without complications from your end.

The same goes for self-care. We need to ensure that our well being is priority, so that we can be the best for the people around us.

Listening to yourself, practicing lifelong learning and improving your habits are steps that you can take to ensure you’re constantly in the best state of mind, alongside the indulgence and rest that you reward yourself with.

Featured photo credit: Photo by Raychan on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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