• Link found between video games and strong academic performance

Children who play online video games are more likely to do better in science, maths and reading, according to research from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

The study analysed Australian pupils’ attainment in the Program for International Student Assessment (Pisa) against their hobbies outside of school. They found that avid gamers scored 15 points above average in maths and reading tests, and 17 points above average in science.

Alberto Posso, who led the study, explained: “The analysis shows that those students who play online video games obtain higher scores on Pisa tests, all other things being equal.

“When you play online games you’re solving puzzles to move to the next level and that involves using some of the general knowledge and skills in maths, reading and science that you’ve been taught during the day.”

The exact reason behind the correlation is not yet clear. It is possible that students who achieve highly at school are more likely to be drawn to playing video games. Equally, gifted students may work more efficiently and might therefore have more time after school to dedicate to online gaming. In contrast, heavy social media use was found to correlate with a 4% drop in attainment.