Playing video games on a regular basis could affect a child's academic performance, a new study has revealed.
According to the National Children's Bureau in Northern Ireland, 77 per cent of children who use portable gaming devices less than once a week achieved five good GCSE grades.
However, the figure is just 41 per cent among those who use a games console or play at least twice a day.
Researchers have therefore concluded that frequently playing video games can undermine a pupil's performance when they sit their GCSEs.
Interestingly, this trend does not seem to be replicated when it comes to other popular uses of technology. For example, no link was identified between frequent social media usage and poor academic performance.
Celine McStravick, director of the National Children's Bureau in Northern Ireland, said: "We need parents and carers to step in and limit excessive amounts of time spent gaming. If we support parents and schools to get this right young people will reap the benefits of using digital technology while sidestepping the pitfalls."
Ms McStravick noted that young people often feel so confident using new technology that adults can forget they need support to get into good habits.
She added that using a computer for homework can enable pupils to "consolidate learning" and perform better in exams.
As a result, Ms McStravick believes schools should regularly set homework that requires children to make use of a computer and the internet.
Figures showed that pupils who spend around three hours a day doing their homework on a computer achieve the best exam results.
However, many children use a computer largely for recreational purposes, with the study revealing 43 per cent spend less than an hour a day using it for homework.
Posted by Tim Colman