DEC 05, 2022 2:00 PM PST

Online Gaming Improves Career Prospects

WRITTEN BY: Ryan Vingum

Online gaming has exploded in recent years, as more and more people take interest in playing online games. Significant investment in the gaming industry has led to projections that the online gaming market would reach a market size of about $130 billion in the next decade, highlighting how prominent online gaming is in our society.

As this industry surges, questions about the affect video games have on people is resuscitated, though the focus is not on violent behavior, but on something that may seem a bit unexpected: career growth and soft skills training. We’ve probably all heard the claims about video games improving hand-eye-coordination. But what if video games, if the right ones are played, could help someone with their own career ambitions?

A team of researchers at the University of Surrey and Game Academy Ltd. recently studied how playing online video games could offer helping learning and training tools that could support people’s career goals and ambitions. The results of the study are published in Simulation and Gaming.

As part of the study, researchers studied the gaming activities of over 16,000 participants who played games on the online streaming platform Steam. The team studied about 800 of the most played games on the site, and included participants who had information available about their gender and job information.

The team found some striking patterns in game use, both along career lines and along gender lines. For example, they found that certain professions were more likely to play games that might exercise a key skill important to their profession; people who worked in IT and engineering, for instance, were more likely to play games that could improve skills like spatial awareness. People who worked in management played role-playing type games.

What makes these findings significant is that they highlight the myriad ways in which people develop certain soft skills and how these skills are often overlooked by employers because they are not work-related activities or seen as work-related. They do not often fit into traditional qualification-based methods for apply to jobs. Researchers suggest that online gaming experiences could offer employers important insight into a person’s abilities.

Sources: Science Daily; Simulation and Gaming

About the Author
Master's (MA/MS/Other)
Science writer and editor, with a focus on simplifying complex information about health, medicine, technology, and clinical drug development for a general audience.
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