Blessing or Curse? Video Games in College


Brian Wu, Staff Writer

The end of the school year is closing in fast, and students all over the country are finishing exams, projects, and for seniors, preparing for college. For some, college is the first chance at freedom, and what they choose to do with their newfound freedom will change their college experience. Though it may not look like it at first, college campuses often have large video game playing populations.

According to NBC News, seventy percent of all college students play video games of some kind. Over half of the group admits that video games keep them from their studies, and nine percent of the half admit it is an active distraction to willingly or unwillingly keep from studying. This could be a serious obstacle in many gamers’ academic career, as the distraction of video games is indeed a serious one. It all comes down to time management and self-control, and those who can manage their balance between studies and video games will have no problem keeping up their grades. However, for those whose college experience is their first taste of freedom, the challenge is greater. Around forty-one percent of gamers in college report playing video games after 9 P.M. It would be acceptable to be awake that late if the reason for staying up was for studying, but is problematic if it was for solely gaming reasons.

However, the notion that video games are not beneficial at all for college students is false. The same NBC News article states that there are in fact benefits to playing video games in college, such as higher visual skills for those who regularly play first-person shooting games. Two-thirds of gamers say that gaming is a good way to spend time with their friends when they are separated. Couple that with the fact that most colleges often have video game communities, video games help ease the loneliness of what is many people’s first time alone for an extended time.

For many, going to college is a time of freedom, and video games would often be in students’ lives. Though they do say that it distracts from their studies every now and then, there are benefits to such a hobby as well such as a sense of community and a good way for relaxation. Self-control will dictate whether it is truly a blessing or a curse.