By: Tara Goodfellow

Some students can’t put down the controller and suffer academically. For instance, students who stay up late and spend hours playing video games may have attendance problems. However, researches have found quick decision making and creativity as benefits.

Late-night gaming can have both positive and negative consequences on students academics and day-to-day life.

That’s what gaming experts and professors like Tony Davidson say is a recurring issue with students.

“The next day you have attendance problems and the day after that you have attendance problems,” said Tony Davidson, the program coordinator for gaming and development. “We see it every year because big releases are always at the root of it. Call of Duty Black Ops Two is releasing this week, so we’re going to see the same [attendance] problem.

“It does affect performance though; students that don’t have the will power to resist new games do suffer academically, there’s no question about it. I saw one guy asleep in the hall last week, after having a marathon, so you know it definitely affects academics.”

Researchers have found gamers capable of making decisions and acting on them four to six times faster per second than the average person.

Today there are various types of gamers, from ones who game three to five or more hours a day, to those who game occasionally to only once in a while. But for the men who take up 58 per cent of the gamer’s society, according to The Wall Street Journal, they are likely to be buying the newest games as soon as possible when they become available. Without proper balance, however, for students, academics are at risk of slipping.

Just like anything else, gaming should be appreciated with a balance of outdoor activities and face-to-face interaction with others, rather than just sitting in front of a screen for hours on end with no physical activity.
“On a normal day, I’ll come back after class and whip out some video games,” said Justin C. Gosnell, a second-year architect student. “School comes first but when a new game/release comes out, my thoughts of school work gets flooded over by my obsession to try the brand new game.”
There have, however, been studies that have found gaming to be beneficial in how they cause more creativity in the gamer in relation to their creative writing and drawing skills. Just as well, gaming has been suggested in many studies, to help those with depression.

“I know exercise is supposed to help with depression, and I know playing video games can give you the same endorphin lift… just as exercise will,” said Davidson.

For many, gaming offers a sort of escape, a visual alternate reality that one can easily slip into and get lost for a while. Gaming can be ideal when one is working an overly stressful week or has a lot on their mind.

“They offer me the same thing drugs offer a drug addict, or what a book offers an avid reader; an escape from the lameness of life,” said Kenny Wilson, a second-year student in the professional writer program.

For every gamer, their experience and reasons for why they choose to game are different. Some people just purely enjoy the entertainment that video games offer and nothing more.

“I play because it offers me entertainment when I’m bored with nothing else to do for fun,” said Dakota Cowell, a second-year professional writer student.

The obsession of gaming does not decrease with age, and can carry on to adulthood. Although this can have negative effects on one’s day-to-day life or academics, if managed wisely, it can prove to be beneficial.