Led by professor Youm Yoo-sik, the team conducted a survey on 5,220 male and female students attending middle and high schools.
The research was based on the average time the students spent playing games and the level of their self-assessed addiction on a grade of one to five. The games included those played on computers, televisions and smartphones.
The level of addiction was gauged according to the students’ self-assessment of the negative effects their gaming hours had on their school life, such as their ability to pay attention in class and complete assignments.
The results pointed to a difference between male and female students.
For male students, there was an inverse proportion between the number of hours they spent playing games and the academic interest they showed at school.
However, those who said they had a close relationship with their father seemed to experience less negative impacts on their school life, despite spending three to four hours per day playing games. Their relationships with their mothers showed no apparent correlation.
Likewise, female students who thought of themselves as game addicts had relatively well-performing academic records when they had close emotional ties with their mother. Regardless of how severe they considered their addiction, the ones who said they had a good relationship with their mother experienced fewer side effects on their academic performance. However, the relationship with their father was irrelevant.
The Yonsei research team said there needs to be additional discussion to determine the differences between male and female students but that they have tentatively reached conclusions that the way the students identified themselves with the parent of the same gender may have affected the results.
The team also said the girls’ academic performance in general were less influenced by the number of hours they spent playing games, possibly due to their playing ‘casual’ games that require a shorter time span and have less burden on their studies.
This research was published by the Korea Contents Association.
By Lim Jeong-yeo (firstname.lastname@example.org)