More than half of children think gaming should be incorporated into the school curriculum and would like to see extracurricular e-sports competitions created by their school or college.
A survey of 13 to 18-year-olds found that a majority of young people (55 per cent) believe gaming is a path to a future career – for example as a professional gamer.
However, a similar survey of parents showed they were more cynical about the presence of gaming in schools, with only a quarter of those asked (25 per cent) agreeing it should be a part of school lessons and only (32%) saying they would be happy for their child to take part in a school-run e-sports competition.
Although 40 per cent of parents did admit they thought gaming was a way into a future career.
The survey, carried out by gaming accessories firm HyperX, also found that 86% of parents said they played video games themselves.
“Children understand how vast and exciting the gaming industry is. Our children engage with drama and music at school, why not video gaming?,” Dr Dieter Declercq, a lecturer in film and media studies at the University of Kent, said.
“Indeed, our research shows that half of children consider e-sports a real sport and 70 per cent of parents think gaming is a way to improve skills like problem-solving, multi-tasking, and decision-making.
“There is clearly educational value inherent in modern gaming. On top of this, children actively want to participate in gaming and e-sports – which is not only an opportunity for socialisation but can act as an introduction to a booming media industry with various exciting career paths such as roles in game design, sound engineering, marketing, voice acting and countless more opportunities.
“This can only be seen as a positive after a year of lockdown.”
Dayna Sinclair, UK regional manager at HyperX highlighted lucrative e-sports competitions and the social aspect of gaming as positives of the industry.
“We have seen young people earn millions from gaming in recent years. While not every kid who games will end up as a pro or working in the industry, encouraging children to participate while at school could open up career opportunities later down the line,” she said.
“However, we shouldn’t judge the value of gaming by what job it may help our children land. Gaming is so important to society in 2021. It helps children connect, talk, learn, make friends and compete. We should start seeing gaming in the same ways as we see traditional sports.
“There will be a select few who make it as professionals or work in the industry, but the majority of people playing just love gaming.”