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How did gaming impact your academic performance?

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Hey everyone!

I'd love your feedback on this. Two questions:

  1. How did gaming impact your academic performance? Did it affect your grades?
  2. If gaming was having a negative impact on your grades, were your teachers or your school aware of it? Or did you keep this to yourself?

Note: Can you add make sure to add whether you were in high school, college or both? Feel free to expand, describe and share as much as you wish.

Thanks!

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When I was in High School I was an avid World of Warcraft player. I'd say 10 - 12 hours daily. Doing this I'd say didn't overly tank my grades, but I'd say what id did do was give me more cause to no care or push myself harder. Same thing when I started college. At first things were OK but then when the class required studying or further research that would cut into my WoW time I just took the latter and didn't bother. 

I'd say that yes gaming was absolutely having a negative impact on my grades. Teachers had no idea nor would care to my knowledge. I mostly just kept it to myself but my parents would totally punish me if my grades were low / lacking by removing games therefore causing my grades to improve so that I could game again. And when I did my grades would go down again.

Vicious Cycle. 

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It did not have any influence since I began gaming long after my studies, and I do not want to sound too arrogant, but I was one of the best students at my university, learning has always been important for me, even more so because I was blessed to study what was my real and true passion, so I was highly motivated. One of the reasons I started playing games was my frustration at being unable to find a good job in spite of my academic successes. Though now I remember that I did play some browser games during my studies, one was a game in which I send my knight to perform certain missions, it was not particularly time-consuming since I only had to click on a button to send her on the quest and that was it, I played for some time and then got bored and forgot about the game.  Another game I played was a Facebook game in which I played a detective and had to find a set of objects on the picture within I guess five minutes. This game was not time-consuming either, since it was timed. I did play it during my final exam session and when I was nervous waiting for the message from my thesis supervisor whether he would accept my dissertation. Of course, I passed the exams and got a lot of As, I would never allow any game or other kind of entertainment to prevent me from having good marks. Anyway, I was studying systematically each semester, so there was no need for a last minute cramming and panic ;) Also, the game had some positive effects because thanks to it, I reconnected with an old acquaintance who was also using it.

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This is a good question.

To be honest, the numerical grade for me was never an issue: 95 in high school, graduated 3.6/4 in engineering for undergrad, even better for graduate.

Do I feel like I have a 95% or 3.6 understanding? No. I feel like a lot of my learning was crammed; not studied with supreme intent and integrated. This was because I was very undisciplined and unfocused. During high school I spent countless hours playing video games, going on the Internet, and watching TV. College I spent more time on just the Internet and YouTube. 

Had I not been goofing off the way I was, I honestly feel that I would have spent at least a minor portion of that time to focusing on my work and producing a better product, while probably saving a bit of time over the long run due to having better recall. 

I also feel like this stuff just fries my brain and sends it haywire. Focusing after binges is very hard. When I was a kid, I was laser-focused and I could mop up information like a sponge. Now I feel frazzled and forgetful. It's kind of sad really. I feel like some of that focus is coming back, but very very slowly. 

That said, I've always thought that if I applied myself slightly more in high school , I'd be looking at a 99-100 average, and in college I'd be looking at a 3.7-3.8. 

Also, I'm not sure anyone really noticed this except my mother, who would get furious at my procrastination if she caught me working on a project at 3 AM the morning of a deadline. Even then, my grades were good enough that she would never had considered limiting any of these things. 

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Do I feel like I have a 95% or 3.6

understanding

? No. I feel like a lot of my learning was crammed; not studied with supreme intent and integrated. This was because I was very undisciplined and unfocused. During high school I spent countless hours playing video games, going on the Internet, and watching TV. College I spent more time on just the Internet and YouTube. 

I completely agree with this.  The outward performance looks great and gaming didn't seem to impact in a noticeable way.  My actual education suffered though.  I did what was required and vomited back out answers that I needed to memorize.   But the retention was low because for me it was about doing the minimum so I could spend more time doing things I wanted (like gaming).

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Hmm, well to be honest, it's hard to say whether or not gaming had an impact on my GPA... at least directly. I'm starting to feel it might not have been the actual act of gaming itself, but the things that I tried to use gaming as a crutch for: anxiety, depression, inability to focus on work, feelings of apathy towards the idea of school, etc. It was a mask for issues that needed to be addressed head on, rather than swept under the rug.

High school: Mostly B's, a few A's, one C and one D. I think I came out with like a 3.4/4.

College: 2.3 GPA. I'm clearly doing worse, and I play more because I have the freedom to. At the same time, the things that I used gaming as a crutch for in high school may just be more prevalent now that I have more responsibilities. 

 

I think it's important to note that you're kinda forced to go to class in high-school. Even though you may not study much at home because of video games, you still have to show to class regularly, and that's better than not going at all (college allows this). 
 

1. I would say that overall, it negatively impacted my grades. I could have definitely done better if the time spent playing video games and procrastinating was used for studying or improving myself.

2. My teachers didn't know about my gaming habits. A few of them did know about depression, though.

 

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High school: projects and long homework assignments were rushed but I was still an A/B sometimes C student. While at school I was very dedicated and took steps to finish assignments there instead of at home.

College: huge negative impact. Quick homework and mini study sessions the night before tests worked in hs but not in my more intense classes. Along with my adhd and gaming as a way to escape life and my depression of how I was failing at it, I almost got low enough for academic probation. Now that I'm diagnosed I haven't failed a class but I havent retained as much as other students even when getting the same grade. I hope quitting games improves long term retention and my project quality (not rushed, and better study habits)

It's hard for me to describe what was specifically because of games or my adhd that caused my failures. But there was a quarter where I was so depressed and hating myself that I showed up to Zero of my finals and flunked an entire quarter, was kicked out of my extracurricular activity for good as well.

 

EDIT: Oops, I forgot about the second question.  I don't think my teachers were aware at all.

Edited by Laney

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Thanks to everyone who has shared so far. One of our missions this year is to bring the Game Quitters message to universities and other schools around the world (we will start in the U.S. and expand from there), so having your testimonies helps us understand how to shape our narrative to approach these schools.

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1)

Gaming had a big impact on my grades, no doubt. I studied about 2 semesters, before I decided to quit and my grades really improved.

What exactly did the trick I don't know .. 

2)

Had to fight this battle alone 

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Gaming pretty much knocked me out of school at the young age. I had no will power and since school was stressful all I could think about is the next game I'm going to play, what excuse I'll come up with just to try and play games most if not all day.

My school came up with a couple of ideas as to why I'm losing out on so much in school. I was never a good student anyway, my attendence was average but my homework was absolutely terrible. I near enough came at the bottom of my class everytime and I didn't really care as I thought it never affected me. I don't think my teachers came to the conclusion of video games distracting me a whole lot. I think my parents were aware but not sure how to handle or proceed with it, as I was just happy with the games and that's it.

I feel quite silly now, because I literally have to go back a couple of years just to catch up in terms of education. To think this could've been avoided had I not played videogames so much and if I just focused on the real world and my goals and achievements first, then game last if I wanted to. I suppose better late than never!

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I feel quite silly now, because I literally have to go back a couple of years just to catch up in terms of education. To think this could've been avoided had I not played videogames so much and if I just focused on the real world and my goals and achievements first, then game last if I wanted to. I suppose better late than never!

Don't feel silly, it was a part of our life where we didn't have the right guidance to show us it wasn't how one wants to live a life. It was easy, gave us satisfaction, we felt accomplished, we had parents to take care of us. Now we have the opportunity to grow and discover ourselves, and to feel truly accomplished in the real word. I don't regret my past, I just regret not getting fed up with all of my gaming problems sooner! Haha, but I'm glad that we're here now.

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1. Yes, video gaming did impact my grades negatively. Although I was one of the top students in each of my classes (I am still in High School), having video games on hand encouraged me to stop growing any talents or knowledge I wanted or had. The negative impact has varied. When I was in year 9 & 10 (13-15 years old), I was in public school and my group of friends completely consisted of gamers, many of which were not high achievers (to put it politely). The encouragement to play video games through my experience with this group and little encouragement to perform well academically meant that I performed sub-optimally as I still played video games throughout the year. As I moved to a private school in year 11 & 12 (15-17 years old), the pressure to perform well academically and my new group of friends being non-gamers resulted in me setting video gaming aside for just the holidays with a few exceptions. My grades drastically improved. The idea behind this is that there was a direct correlation between academic performance and time spend playing video games, where video games impacted on my grades and general performance negatively. Additionally, the more video games I played, the less involvement I had in extra-curricular activities (in year 10 when I played the most, I wasn't involved in any of these, not even a sport).

2. Teachers were aware that many students played video games, but I believe they either didn't have the means or knowledge to address it properly or didn't know its impact on the grades of students.

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  1. How did gaming impact your academic performance? Did it affect your grades?
  2. If gaming was having a negative impact on your grades, were your teachers or your school aware of it? Or did you keep this to yourself?

1. Gaming was never an issue for me up until high school. I made straight A's in elementary school, A's and B's in middle school (all gifted), and all A's and B's in high school with one C that was a 79 at the end of my sophomore year. Gaming took a toll on my grades for sure in high school. Even though I've always been a decent student, I realize I could have done a lot better, as much as I hate to admit it. I'm not a study freak, and I'm not trying to be valedictorian or get straight A's, because I realize that I'll be getting into a good enough school taking AP / gifted classes regardless, but getting a C was still upsetting. Never thought I'd get one.

2. Nah, from my experience teachers generally don't give a shit about their students unless they kiss their asses. It takes a really passionate teacher to care about their student's well being, and for the most part, whenever I've seen a teacher confront a student for doing poorly, it's been to scold them. The public education system in America needs a serious makeover for sure.

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  1. How did gaming impact your academic performance? Did it affect your grades?

In some way it did, because I was spending most of my time playing World of Warcraft, I could have spent more time learning, but would I really do that if I wasn't gaming?
I doubt it and here is a little story why:
My mother once set an ultimatum to me: I either learn my latin vocabulary (I had a computer program, similar to Anki, where they could watch my progress) or she is not going to type in the login password for the World of Warcraft account. You know what? I completely stopped gaming from that day and refused to learn my latin vocabulary.

     2. If gaming was having a negative impact on your grades, were your teachers or your school aware of it? Or did you keep this to yourself?

No I don't think my teachers were aware of it, because during that time I still was one of the better students in class (or at least not at risk of failing my class). I think sometimes teachers are just trying to get everyone to pass their class, not encourage the great students to go even further.

Edited by ScienceBitch!

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From my experience, it is cool to get good grades, but getting straight As in all school subject is not the most important thing in the world, and there is no correlation between being an all-A student and getting a great job after graduation. I am a person for whom good grades were the most important thing ever since I began school as 7-year-old little girl. My aim in life was to get good grades in all subjects, even in the ones that did not interest me in the slightest and which I did not plan to study later on. I achieved success in this, but during my school years I had virtually no other interests than learning, preparing for tests and trying to master subjects I had no talent for, such as maths or physics. I loved literature and languages, and I was good at these subjects, but I might have been better if I worked on developing mu talents instead of trying to get As and Bs in maths, physics and chemistry. For me, getting good marks was like an addiction, and what I could never imagine was going to school unprepared or without my homework done. I always had to be well-prepared or at least try my best to learn the subject (the case with maths etc.). The greatest tragedy that could have happened to me during my school years was to get a C. It did happen only once or twice during my school years (from primary school to the end of high school). My parents did not demand that I have As in all subjects, though, I demanded it from myself, and how could I stop myself from fulfilling my own demands? Now, from the perspective of time, I consider the time spent working on cramming subjects, such as maths, lost one, which could have been better used if I perfected my talents then. I did get the good marks, but now I do not remember much of what I crammed (in case of maths etc.), and maybe if I spent that time learning English, I would have been admitted to the university on my first try. Mark that I played absolutely no games in this period of my life, so in a way I cannot blame anything for what has happened.

It was a bit different at the university, because I studied what has always been my dream, so that there were no unnecessary subjects like maths ;) I devoted my whole heart to the studies, to learning, and I must say these are the best times of my life. Though it was similar to my years in primary and high school in this respect: learning and getting good marks was my sole aim in life, this time it was more understandable since I loved my studies and the subjects taught at the university. But during academic year, I usually abstained even from reading fiction which was not on the curriculum, since it could "distract" me from my studies. This of course gave me very good results, since during my BA I failed only one test (ironically philosophy, which I studied at high school), and I had never failed any exams, neither in winter nor in summer exam session. I never had to retake any exams. After the finals, I was on the list of the best students on my year, and I got accepted to the MA programme at a prestigious university, while not all of my BA colleagues were successful in it. My BA and MA dissertations both got As, and on another BA studies I was also quite a good student. So, you might have thought there was bright future in store for me, and a career as well, but no. I have not found any job, and I do not mean a job related to my studies (I studied to be a teacher), but literally any job. The teaching jobs went to my colleagues who did worse during the studies and had to retake some exams, while I always passed on the first try and with good grades.  And this is why I started playing games, out of frustration with my life, and in a way as a revenge on the society, since I have been a good girl and got nothing for my trouble. So let's be a bad girl now and play games like a junkie, because apparently it does not matter what one does, either way. At least now if I am unsuccessful, I would know why, not like before when I did everything that was believed to give me a happy future.

There, I got it out of my system ;) Thank you for your patience :)

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Interesting story Primmulla. You remind me of someone who also studied to be a teacher (also went to university), but never really made a career. That person ended up doing low wage jobs while people with worse education got a job at schools. She was basically too smart for the job, as these people are harder to manipulate. Even in the low wage jobs she got replaced by even worse jobs, mostly because she was older. It's really a sad story and I hope you don't have the same fate. I'm not sure how the job market for teaching is in your country but here in the Netherlands it's quite volatile. 

I would love to have good grades like you did, especially your work ethic. Maybe it's not the most important thing in finding a job but I do believe that instances look at your grades. However, there's are soooo many factors than just grades when solliciting. Take a look at the admissions of Harvard school http://collegeapps.about.com/od/GPA-SAT-ACT-Graphs/ss/harvard-admission-gpa-sat-act.htm
Notice how there are green dots (accepted into Harvard) with less SAT score and less GPA than those with more? Mostly it has to do with their motivation or personality. You can have nearly perfect scores but get denied.

So that leaves the questions: what are your key competences? Are you someone that can stand before a class and teach kids the needed knowledge? How do you handle stressfull situations? I can go on forever but you get the idea. You said your colleagues who did worse off got teaching jobs. Do you wonder what skills they might possess that you don't have? You need to be very honest and clear about yourself and think what you could have done differently in order to get that job. If you were solliciting for that job and got denied, ask them WHY you were denied and why they chose for the other applicant.

Good luck.

Edited by Phoenix

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Hey everyone!

I'd love your feedback on this. Two questions:

  1. How did gaming impact your academic performance? Did it affect your grades?
  2. If gaming was having a negative impact on your grades, were your teachers or your school aware of it? Or did you keep this to yourself?

Note: Can you add make sure to add whether you were in high school, college or both? Feel free to expand, describe and share as much as you wish.

Thanks!

1) It massively affected my academic performance. I've dropped out of 2 educations due to gaming. It affected my grades, but most importantly my attendance to school. This caused me to not be able to perform and eventually drop out.

2) My teachers or school weren't aware of it. They only see the negative grades, not the story behind it. I think it's really hard for them to see video game addiction, especially because it's such a 'new' addiction and awareness is very low.

I've had these issues both in college and in high school....

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@Primmulla that is a very interesting story you have there, and I am sorry to hear about your troubles in finding a job. I didn't know that video gaming could affect people the way you describe, but I wish all the best for you in finding a better future for yourself.

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  1. How did gaming impact your academic performance? Did it affect your grades?
  2. If gaming was having a negative impact on your grades, were your teachers or your school aware of it? Or did you keep this to yourself?

I have always been a good student - A's and B's, honors roll, most challenging classes, etc. In high school, I don't think that I ever gamed enough to have it impact my grades... even though I think I gamed for unhealthy reasons, and binged during school breaks, I was basically a perfectionist whose identity was dependent upon doing well in school (like @Primmulla) so I was always pretty good at that.

In college, I tapered off gaming to focus on school, so I never suffered any adverse affects. I think that gaming has always affected my social relationships more negatively than my academic performance.

I put my non-problem story here just to make sure we have a more representative dataset :D.

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 I think sometimes teachers are just trying to get everyone to pass their class, not encourage the great students to go even further.

This. Teachers weren't focused on the ones who were passing but not challenging themselves. They gave extra attention to the ones outwardly struggling.

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Impacted my grades substantially. I have a hard time focusing under pressure, sadly. I go into full on freeze-up panic mode. So, when I have something that causes me to procrastinate, my grades plummet.

My best performances were when I wasn't playing games or addicted to the internet.

I too can relate to feeling frazzled, like my brain doesn't work properly because I played so many damn games. I'm quit for good. No more.

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I feel this is directed especially at me, because my academic performance was one of the main reasons I quit gaming. I would use gaming as an excuse to put off my work (which I still do now, procrastinate), and my parents were quite aware of this. I often would rush to finish my work last minute, and while my grades aren't the worst, I feel there is room for improvement. I didn't perceive it as much of an issue until recently, but I think my decision to quit will do wonders for my academics in the long run. I'm 13 so middle school obviously :P.

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How did gaming impact your academic performance? Did it affect your grades?

Well in secondary school my grades weren't the best but I was playing video games 10-12 hours a day. I think the last few years of secondary school, I might have skipped half the classes so I could sit at home and play video games all day. Mostly World of Warcraft. When I got into college I didn't really change my habits. But my grades were not that bad. After a while the subjects required studying and that's where they went down. And then at some point, you can't fix your grades and have to quit your education. I've had that twice now.. Just because I wanted to play games all day.. 

If gaming was having a negative impact on your grades, were your teachers or you school aware of it? Of did you keep this to yourself?

I kept it to myself for quite some time. Teachers didn't know about it anyways. My parents still don't know about it. They knew I was playing video games a lot, but not that that was actually the reason my grades went down. I always kept everything to myself. Didn't tell anyone, anything. 

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