Contrary to popular belief, high schoolers grinding daily on World of Warcraft may not need to fear for their GPAs. A study released in the International Journal of Communication today found that kids who game erry’day score 15 points above the average in reading and math.
Surveying 12,000 Australian high school students, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology psychologist Alberto Posso found that there’s a correlation between academic achievement and a drive to game online. “Gameplay appears to equip students to apply and sharpen knowledge learned in school by requiring them to solve a series of puzzles before moving to the next game level,” Posso writes. The study also notes that, compared to frequent social media users, students who play online games scored higher in math, science and reading.
It’s important to note that the study did not prove that gaming improves test scores—just that frequent gamers tend to test better.
While this correlation may be exciting for MMO addicts worldwide, Posso notes that it’s not a call for gamers to haphazardly detach from real-life: “These findings can be interpreted as suggesting that whereas frequent online gaming possibly sharpens a number of skills needed to perform well in school,” he writes, “excessive gaming may begin to have a marginally negative effect on educational outcomes.”