Can Playing Video Games Instead Of Revising Be A Good Thing?

3rd November 2015 Chris Clark Study

Man playing video game

You’re at university to learn, right? Of course you can have fun, but when it comes to revision time for exams you need to buckle down and get the work done.

But what if you played video games instead?

Well, you’ll probably fail your exams and forever be derided as a life-wasting idiot by most people.

Or maybe not.

There might be certain times when playing video games may be better than revising. Hear us out…

Taking a break

Hopefully you know by now that constant revision without taking breaks isn’t the way to getting good grades in your exams. As the NHS points out, too much revision can cause you to become stressed and tired, leading to a loss in concentration and retention.

Taking a break every 45-60 minutes is a good idea. Any longer and your mind may start to wander and you’ll realise that you haven’t actually learnt anything. Playing video games can be a great way to wind down between revision sessions and focus on something other than your uni work.

Related: 4 Simple Healthy Study Enhancers To Replace Your Energy Drinks

Turn games into a group revision tool

You could try turning some of your favourite games into a revision tool, which could work particularly well if there’s a group of you. Devise rules whereby if X happens (a player dies, concedes, loses, etc) then they have to answer a question about a particular topic they’ve been revising. This will add a more competitive element to the games and will help your revision without you even realising.

Students playing computer games

Play educational games

Educational computer games are nothing new. In fact, they’ve been around longer than many of your current favourites – remember Encarta? We’re not suggesting you dig out a dusty copy of that, but there are plenty of educational games out there that can help keep your brain sharp. These kind of games might be best played before a revision session to warm your brain up.

Related: 11 Amazing Online Study Tools All Students Should Know About

What games should you play?

Well we’ve just mentioned that educational games can be a good idea, although many of these are aimed at younger audiences. Some of the best universal educational games are things like the Brain Training games on Nintendo DS. They have loads of puzzles and simple questions that just keep your brain nice and sharp. Nintendo’s handheld console also has the Professor Layton series of games which are full of tricky puzzles to keep you thinking.

If you want to completely take a break from all things educational then you have literally thousands of games to choose from, but we’d try and stay away from anything that could be stressful. Don’t play games that might annoy you such as Call of Duty or sports games (unless you’re really good at them); instead opt for something relaxing – yes, such games do exist.

Games such as Journey, Flower or Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture are quite slow but also very peaceful and can really help you chill out around revision sessions.

We would, however, stay away from addictive games such as Football Manager or World of Warcraft. Many a university degree has suffered at the hands of such games.

Man asleep holding game controller

Obviously we’re not advocating ditching all of your revision in favour of playing computer games, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play them. Used in the right way, video games can be a really useful learning tool, even if they just help you to relax in between revision sessions.

Do you use video games as part of your revision? If so, let us know in the comments.

Chris Clark

Chris Clark

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