Abstract — There are numerous claims that playing
electronic device games may be beneficial for education purpose or just the
reverse, but there has been little formal investigation into whether or not
exposure to playing such games actually affects academic performance of the
students in Bhutan. This paper explores the relationships between gaming
frequency, measured as the amount of time spend playing games by the college
students and their academic performance as measured by their semester
examination marks. Using a sample of 180 students in CST (College of Science
and Technology), comparative analysis between gaming frequency and academic
performance for students were carried out. The results show that examination
marks are negatively reflected with frequent gamers than those who never play
games. Frequent gamers achieve lower marks compared to students who play games
less frequently. This paper intents to address the student of CST for proper
management of time during their stay in college in future if they are PC gamers.
Keywords: PC games, academic workload, academic performance, semester
Education is an
important element of investment in human capital and economic growth. It is a very vital tool that is
used in the competitive world to succeed. The knowledge that is attained
through education helps
open doors to a lot of opportunities for better prospects in career for an
During the late
19th century and throughout the 20th century, new types of mass media were
produced and consumed such as novels, films, comic books, radio, music,
television, video and computer games, and the Internet. Each medium was often
immediately praised for its potential benefits and criticized for its potential
harms. Many studies have been conducted to test whether technological advances,
specifically gaming devices, are advantageous or disadvantageous to
individual’s school performance. Many teachers, parents and other concerned
organizations continuously argue against gaming. Protest mainly focused on how
the trend is becoming a cause of distraction among students in their studies.
Many entrepreneurs set up cafes near schools to attract the youngsters. Many
students are designating cafés as hangout places where hours are spent playing
– be it until late at night, or in the worst case, during school hours which
makes students skip classes (Daisy.M et al).
As a medium, the
computer game is currently in a period of rapid development. From a design
point of view, video games are becoming more complex and they are spreading to
new platforms such as mobile phones, pocket computers, and websites. From an
economic point of view, games are gaining increasing amount, with the industry
showing rapid growth rates of approximately $17 billion p.a. globally.
(Egenfeldt.S and Smith.J, 2003).
2. Literature review
of video games goes back to the 1940s and 1950s. Computer scientists had
started working on early stages of video games by designing simulations and
artificial intelligence as part of their computer science research. There are,
however, a number of logic puzzles, board games, and military simulations
that are considered to be the first video games produced. The popularity of
video games grew rapidly in the 1970s and the 1980s when they reached as game
consoles, and computers were introduced to the public. During that time, there
was little variety of video game; some of the popular ones were Gun Fight,
Blockbuster and Space Invaders (Khadra.R et al, 2012).
Figure 1. Space Invader: first computer game.
introduction as mass market products in the 1970s, computer and video games
have come under intense impact in a number of areas. The ever increasing
popularity and economic significance of the games industry, has lots of
negative findings such as those relating to gaming addiction, epilepsy,
aggression and violent content have rapidly been picked up, often leading to
criminal cases of such games (Anderson.C, 2004). Since the mid-1990s, the
attention has been deprived to so-called ‘3D-shooters’ (such as Quake and Counter-Strike), which have been accused of causing violence.
The accusation has been directed to most of the 3D-shooter since they were
considered as visionary and well designed.
On the other side, many
researchers have come up with the possible benefits of game playing, such as
that of promoting ICT skills, and of its being motivational component for
sports related training , and even education training. (Rosas.R et al,
2003). Sophisticated computer simulations have been used for many years as
training tools for real life applications such as driving, flight, and combat,
which has proved to be effectively used all around. Similarly, modern
commercial electronic games running on the latest PCs and dedicated consoles
are highly complex software applications where gaming computer simulations have
been used (Watkins.A et al, 2008).
Addition on this,
Prensky has extended an extensive debate on the growing potential of the use of
commercial games in educational contexts. It is accepted that one of the major
advantages to commercial games is that they are fun, and that they therefore
engage those who play them which gives more benefits where even formal training
and learning applications could not provide. Hence, a high recommendation is
that of using the strengths of commercial games to the requirements of
education in order to motivate, stimulate and thus maximize the likelihood of a
successful learning experience. (Salimi.M,
2.1 Playing games and academic performances in
In the last
couple of decades, the popularity of video games has increased at an ever
greater rate in Bhutan. Video games have rivaled all types of media for leisure
time use. Several platforms have been developed, and graphics have been
optimized to emulate real life images, making video games more interesting,
thus attracting more hobbyists in Bhutan. More and more Bhutanese youth, especially living in urban towns, are
grabbing the technology like never before. Smart phones, tablets, Play Stations
and computers, has been imported in the country (DAHAL.R, 2008). Young entrepreneurs have opened
gaming zones in Bhutan and they earn good amount of income than any other
business can. They said that most of the players comprise of high school
students and college students majority of male where even the office workers
show as much interest as the rest of the players (BBS, 2016).
Eighty-one percent of
students of CST final year youth report playing at least once per week, and
about 15% of final year students can be considered pathological users where
they cannot leave playing games even during exam times. Overall, approximately
81% of only final year students in CST play electronic device games, where 22%
of final year students do not play games but they are busy in other forms of
entertainment like watching movies, listening to music, doing social gathering,
even during their busy period of studies (choden.T, 2017). Most of the students
in CST feel that electronics games are educational in a way that it stimulates
their thinking power and make them more competitive. Out of 180 students, 100
of them say that their academic performance have improved due to playing games
while 90 of them say just the opposite.
A survey at the
College of Science and technology was conducted to find out if there was a
correlation between playing video games and academic performance. To properly
conduct a valid and reliable survey, a set of questions related to the
information was composed for seeking to collect data. The questionnaire was
distributed to final year students of CST (2016-2017 batch) since they are the
most experienced in terms of both academic and playing games. Another important
procedure of survey was collecting end semester result from college exam cell
of latest end semester result, i.e 6th and 7th semester
result. With due permission from Dean Academic Affair, their semester results
were collected and then the data were comparatively analyzed. This kind of
study is very vital for the student so that they can really know the effect of
playing games on their academic performance and how they should manage it in
future as well.
The respondents of the study were, one hundred eighty
(180) final year students of college and science and technology which were
present by the time of distribution of the questionnaire.
Figure 2 shows the final year students of college of
science and technology and, the list of students who are present in conducting
of this study.
Figure 2. Number
of students in each gamer group.
A questionnaire was developed to gather the required
The questionnaire and the semester results were the
main instrument in gathering data. Aside from questionnaire and semester
result, some of the observation and documentary analysis were used to gather
data. The questionnaire has two parts: the students’ profile and the questions
for them. The first question involves the personal data about them; second part
is effects of electronic devices games on academic performance of the students
and the time they use to play games. The questionnaires were distributed to all the final year students of
CST and then collected from them. Students were categorized into three
different groups, i.e non-gamer, casually gamer, and hard core gamer. Then
after permission from DSA, results were collected from exam cell. The data were
compared between the categories of gamer and their marks.
Experiment and Result
experiment, final year students’ 6th and 7th examination
result was used to check whether there exist a link between playing games and
their academic performance.
The students are
used as system and their academic marks are used as variable. There are 180
students which are further divided into three categories (non-gamer, casually,
Then the gamer
are further sub-divided to into their department. Two variables are used here
that is 6th and 7th semester result of final year
students are taken into account.
Figure 3. Summary
statistics for four departments with respect to gamer type of 6th
Summary statistics for four departments with respect to gamer type of 7th
The above figure
3 shows the number of students who fall under each category of each department
and their mean of exam result of 6th semester. Mean was calculated
adding only minimum and maximum marks of the class and then divided by 2 for
each department. Further, the mean was obtained by adding means of the entire
department. From the above table, we can state that mean exam result of
non-gamer is 66.39. Then, mean exam result of casually gamer is 67.76. Finally,
mean exam result of hardcore gamer is 62.89. Thus, we can conclude that mean
exam result of casually gamer is highest (67.76) followed by non-gamer (66.39).
The second above
figure 4 is for 7th semester. Same method for calculating the mean
was done like previous table for 6th semester. So, looking at the
table above, we can state that exam result of non-gamer is 62.69. Then, mean
exam result of casually gamer is 66.33. Finally, mean exam result of hardcore
gamer is 64.1, thus concluding that mean exam result of casually gamer is
highest (66.33) followed by non-gamer (64.1).
Figure 5. Summary statistics for mean of
6th and 7th semester’s results
Figure 6. Other forms of entertainment during
your study period in college.
The mean from
the means 6th and 7th semester were derived in another
table and result was found. Here, looking at the above figure 5, we can state
that, mean of non-gamer is 64.54, mean of casually gamer is 67.045, and
hardcore gamer is 63.49. Now, we can conclude that the highest mean exam result
was from casually gamer with 67.045 marks, and then comes non-gamer with 64.54,
followed by hardcore gamer with 63.49. In addition, having had seen that
casually gamer performs well in academic than non-gamer or hardcore gamer.
Here, it’s about what students especially
non-gamers do instead of playing games at their study period of time at CST. From
the above figure 6, it shows that most of the non-gamer spend their leisure
time listening to music followed by watching movies and then other activities.
Even though playing games had no impact on their studies but getting involved
into other activities had eventually lead to affect their academic performance.
From this study,
since highest mean exam result was scored by the casual gamers with 67.045
marks, it has been concluded that students who play game casually are able to
perform well in academic. It can be derived that students who play games
casually are those who are able to manage their time properly as playing games
have lots of benefits. We can even conclude that these benefits of playing
games are being applied to even students of CST after the analysis of the
Students who are
hardcore gamer are not able to perform well in studies compared to others
because they are addicted in it so much that at worst case they cannot leave it
even during busy period of exam. They spend most of their times and resources
in playing games, eventually having all the negative effects of playing games.
The results from
the study had showed that students who play game casually are able to perform
well in academic than the hardcore and non-gamer. This study has helped us a
lot in analyzing vastly on electronic games and how it has its implication on
students on CST. It has always been a concern for all the citizens in Bhutan
when it comes to students playing games. Usually the whole of society thinks
that playing games had always bad influence to the students when it comes to
academic performance but the real fact is that the game developers do not develop
any games to have bad influence to the players. They always gear their
innovative thinking for the benefit of the public while playing. So generally, it
depends on the perception and the attitude that society pays towards playing
games. In accordance to this study, it
is even helpful in future for the proper management of time during busy period
of their studies. The study analysis showed that playing games do not have any
negative impact if you use it in a right amount and time. Instead, it has lots
of benefits which are very helpful for our academic performance.
gratitude to College of science and technology (CST) for assisting us
throughout the preparation of this conference paper. We thank college for
providing me the reinforcement, technical support and most importantly the financial
support whenever required. We would also like to extent our gratitude towards
final year students of 2016-2017 batch for sparing their time to fill up the
questionnaires. Lastly, we would like to further our acknowledgement to
technician for the resources support.
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