So much for discouraging the kids from playing video games. Now research suggests that there’s a link between the amount of time girls play video games and the chances that they’ll go on to pursue a STEM degree.

According to a paper written by Anesa Hosein at the University of Surrey, a survey of 481 females and 333 males showed that 13-14-year-old girls who played more than nine hours of any type of video games a week were more likely to pursue STEM degrees. The same was not true for the boys.

Data also showed that the more a girl plays games, the more likely it will be a positive factor in encouraging them to pursue a STEM degree. Heavy gamers who pursue STEM degrees are also least likely to give up their gaming habit.

The paper warned against stereotyping girls based on their video game playing, stating that some gamers will not go on to study STEM and that some who study STEM may not be gamers.

Researchers suggested that future studies should examine:

  • Gaming intensity between ages 15/16 and 19/20
  • Why someone might play games less and when and why they might pick up gaming again
  • The exact link between problem-solving skills encouraged and developed by video games and the later application of those problem-solving skills in the context of STEM degree

The key takeaway here? If your daughter seems to be playing a lot of video games, it might not be a bad thing!