Frustrated or worried about the time your kids spend online gaming?
Working as a careers professional I try to look at things from a different angle. What is the opportunity presented by the industry? Have you stopped to think about the skills that your kids are developing or the potential careers in gaming?
Gaming or e-sport is here to stay so we need to embrace the benefits it brings. It’s a growth sector and therefore in labour market terms, careers in gaming are on the the up! So rather than showing your frustration with negative messaging, why not reframe the conversation about about skill development and career opportunities of the future. Get smart with your way of thinking and take the chance to discuss with them exactly what skills they think they’re developing!
But first let’s look at the careers in gaming and the potential for employment industry.
Did you know that in the UK, games like Mario and Donkey Kong will be played in schools as part of the updated computing curriculum? Digital Schoolhouse, together with Nintendo UK uses play-based learning to engage the next generation of pupils. The initiative is backed by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
It’s not just in this country, it’s happening around the world, as colleges and high schools ramp up eSports. Unsurprisingly among the many benefits are improved student recruitment and retention. In areas of the UK where student attendance and retention is an issue, we should be talking up gaming careers, bringing the conversation into the classroom – the different job opportunities in this sector and transferable skills that are being developed. Teachers get ticking those Gatsby benchmarks!
Gaming is becoming one of the most influential and rapidly growing industries with the introduction of eSports, which is expected to grow to $1.4 billion by 2020 (Newzoo).
Jobs and careers in gaming continue to develop. These jobs provide employment for a multitude of talents from artists to mathematicians. Professional gaming is a career like that of an elite athlete; they keep fit, they have nutritional programmes written for them, and they attract sponsors. Like top athletes they can earn handsome rewards for the hours of dedication and practice.
In 2014 academics were already writing in American Psychologist journal about the benefits of gaming. The article calls for a balanced perspective between the negative effects of violent games and the potential behavioural benefits of playing games.
We propose that, taken together, these findings suggest that video games provide youth with immersive and compelling social, cognitive, and emotional experiences. Further, these experiences may have the potential to enhance mental health and well-being in children and adolescents.
The more you read the more you realise that we may make assumptions that video gaming is bad. Perhaps we fear that our children will become violent, obese, addicted or suffer social isolation. This can happen without gaming!
Offer a child a home where their values and moral compass is determined by the behaviours they pick up from you, make gaming part of the conversation just as you’d talk about sport, music or books you read. In lockdown for many young people gaming has been a means of social connection.
So the bit you’ve been waiting for – what skills does gaming develop?
Academics cite many benefits including:
- Attention and concentration
- Social skills
- Decision making
- Abstract reasoning
- Spatial awareness
- Improved coordination
- Manual dexterity and motor skills
- Enhanced memory
- Improved the brain speed
- Encouraged inclusivity – the focus is on talent rather than gender or physical ability
Our blog ‘Are you work ready? looks at skills that employers are looking for in the future – 60% said that ‘problem solving’ was one of the top 3 priorities when recruiting.
So next time your son or daughter disappears off gaming you’ll be having a very different conversation with them, right?
If you want to find out more about careers in gaming and Esport: