Blaming video games for bad school performance

Arstechnica has a news piece on a study that apparently correlates bad performance at school with playing video games. Read the article for the details. In summary, they found that any playing on school nights and more than 4 hours per day on weekends is bad. The article also notes that:

The study also took different parenting styles into account, but did not look at specific household rules covering homework, gaming, and watching TV.

Can you spot the problem?

That study blames playing video games for bad performance at school. What about watching TV? What about spending the evening reading adventure or Sci-Fi novels, or playing outside, rather than studying? (Oh my god! Can playing outside be detrimental to a kid? Really?) The problem is not playing video games per se but rather that time that should be devoted to study is devoted to something else. A good headline for this revelation would be: “Study finds that not doing homework is detrimental to school performance; arbitrarily singles out video games to sex up its results.” Actually, that’s a bad headline.

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