SkyNews, Why Are You Lying About Video Games?

Studies have shown to much of something is bad for you. In other news, water is wet.


Today I was on Twitter lurking through the #GamerGate hashtag to look for the next big happening. Unfortunately the moment I clicked onto it I was met with the top news story that immediately caught my  attention. “Games ‘More Harmful To Grades’ Than Social Media” written by a “Richard Suchet, Sky News Reporter”.

It’s certainly an interesting title, so lets see what they have to back this claim. The tag line reads:

“Playing games excessively is likely to have a negative impact on GCSE results, affecting concentration and focus, a study finds.”

I figured this would be common sense but here we are; To much of something can negatively affect your grades. Studies have shown it. I probably should have stopped reading by this point, but I’m glad I didn’t. This “study” only got worse.

Research in Northern Ireland has found that excessive use of video games is likely to have a detrimental effect on GCSE results.

A study of 14-16 year olds found that only 41% of children who played computer games twice a day achieved five good GCSE grades, compared to 77% of those who played rarely.

Meanwhile, 81% of young people say they spend several hours a day on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter but the study found no negative impact their exam performances.

Celine McStravick from NI’s National Children’s Bureau, which published the findings, said: “It’s clear that social media doesn’t have any impact and I think that’s because social media is part and parcel of every child’s life.

“It’s the way they communicate and the way they keep in touch with their friends.”

After reading this, I found myself with a lot of question. How many hours a day were these kids on social media? Several is fairly vague for a study. What was different between the 41% of children who played video games twice a day than the ones who played video games twice a day and didn’t score the same? What makes video games more harmful than social media to create such a gap? Lucky for me this article was kind enough to answer that.. kind of.

Researchers found that many of the children chose to play video games late into the night, which affected their concentration and focus at school.

Now see, the problem I have with this is how the “study” immediately places the blame on video games when it quite clearly points out the problem these children are having is a lack of concentration and focus in school due to staying up late. At best this a really bad oversight that skews the conclusion of the study and at worst it’s just an intentional lie in order to smear video games. This study could have just as easily found a group of children who stay up all night on social media chatting with one another and drew the same conclusion about social media.

It’s not exactly a secret staying up late at night will affect your performance throughout the following day, after all, studies have shown it. So after reading this article I’ve come to two conclusions. Celine McStravick has no clue about the findings she published and SkyNews reporter Richard Suchet is a moron who writes click bait titles.

Certainly two names I won’t be taking seriously any time soon.

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