London: Playing computer games can dramatically boost children`s exam results in basic subjects, a new study has claimed.
The University of Rochester researchers found that children who played video games were quick thinkers and had good hand-eye co-ordination.
According to the study, pupils with regular access to games based on traditional favourites such as space invaders and football penalty shoot-outs significantly improved their scores in GCSE English, maths and science.
Teachers said the use of the system, employed by some 900 primary and secondary schools, promoted “stealth learning”, with children unwittingly picking up key skills while being engrossed in computer games.
It was also claimed that they created healthy competition between pupils who sought to achieve higher scores and climb school leader boards.
The disclosure comes despite previous fears from experts that too much access to screen-based entertainment damages children`s attention span and forces them to lose concentration.
Research by Yardleys School, a top state secondary in Birmingham, compared results among children who accessed games produced by the Doncaster education company i-education.
It emerged that 70 percent of regular users exceeded pre-set GCSE targets in maths compared with just 40 per cent of other pupils.
In English, 70 percent of gamers did well in exams compared with 50 percent of other pupils, while in science half of pupils inflated their scores against 30 percent of their classmates.
“It`s clear that in core subjects those who use it the most stand a significantly increased chance of meeting their GCSE target grades,” the Telegraph quoted David Pohl, the school`s deputy head, as saying.
“It`s giving students the opportunity to continue their learning outside of lessons. Students are still playing football and having fun but they are also heavily engaged in continuing their learning outside of school,” he added.