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Majority of pupils keen to see gaming included on school curriculum

Image credit: Dan Grytsku | Dreamstime.com

The majority of schoolchildren are keen to see gaming incorporated into the curriculum, a survey has shown, although parents did not express the same levels of enthusiasm.

The survey by gaming peripherals firm HyperX found that 55 per cent of 13 to 18-year olds agree that gaming could be a pathway into a future career. They also wanted schools to support extracurricular gaming activities, such as e-sports championships.

Parents were less keen on this idea, however, with only 25 per cent agreeing it should be a part of school lessons and only 32 per cent saying they would be happy for their child to take part in a school-run e-sports competition.

Some 86 per cent of parents admitted that they engaged in some form of gaming themselves, while 40 per cent saw it as a way into a future career.

The new research comes as the gaming industry is experiencing a record-breaking surge in popularity with many people stuck at home during the Covid-19 pandemic. The UK’s market for video games saw a nearly 30 per cent year-on-year increase in 2020, despite the pandemic causing delays for many anticipated titles and consoles.

“Children understand how vast and exciting the gaming industry is. Our children engage with drama and music at school, why not video gaming?,” said Dr Dieter Declercq, a lecturer in film and media studies at the University of Kent, speaking to the PA News Agency.

“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 said: “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.”

A previous study from the firm showed that video games have become a vital social tool during the lockdowns as a way for younger people to keep in touch with friends.

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