In a new report that is sure to delight students all over the country, it was revealed that some types of video game improve productivity and soft skills. The findings were so clear that it is believed playing just a couple of hours per week can develop the key skills that employers require in graduate roles. Here are the key findings and the skills video games help develop.
The complexity of modern video games has been astounding, but some issues are universal. Games such as Tetris encourage problem-solving skills (how to allocate the next shape to drop down). It’s the same with Candy Crush and other similar puzzle type games that are just as addictive as they ever were. As well as providing focus, time away from the stresses of being a student, they develop the determination to see through a problem and learn from mistakes.
There is no greater soft skill for graduate jobs than critical thinking. It’s a requirement of any degree course too. Some video games have been praised for encouraging players to think outside the box and consider the consequences of their actions. Even violent games that require pre-planning to achieve a mission (do I use stealth or go in with all guns blazing?) goes beyond problem-solving and requires a careful consideration of the potential risks, rewards and consequences of an approach.
Adaptability and Resourcefulness
What we used to call a “God” game is the best example of this. You may be required to build a city, develop an island’s economy, effectively balance an army or develop a strategy. Either way, the develop skills in effective planning of resources and adapting to such things as terrain. People with these skills will improve their business leadership skills and may even make a great politician! Anybody who can adapt to curve balls and limited resources can make a great leader.
Motor Skills / Reflexes
There are few things in life better than video games for improving motor functions. Dementia patients have repeatedly demonstrated improved cognitive skills through brain training games. Platform games improve reaction times. Co-ordination and reflexes are particularly useful in professional sport and professional driving, but also in a range of graduate jobs too: airline pilot (as does working in air traffic control), QC engineers and creative roles.
The media has demonised video games for years. Firstly, they’ve criticised violent video games for creating a nation of death-obsessed. While this may me true for some people, for most it has the opposite effect. Repeated studies have shown that to most people, violent video games are cathartic. They permit a form of release through the violent actions played out in the game. It’s not only violent games either. Like films and books, video games are a form of escapism that helps us wind down.