Playing video games proven to develop soft skills

Playing video games proven to develop soft skills
People playing Fortnite. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Not just a way to kick back and relax, some video games can develop "soft skills" useful in professional careers, a study by staffing company Randstad has found. Researchers found that 'Fortnite', 'Warzone' and 'League of Legends' could be especially beneficial.

Whilst critics might argue that gaming is a waste of time, a growing number of voices have highlighted 'soft skills' they can help, which are useful and valuable in the career world.

These arguments have now been proven by HR services provider Randstad, which looked at the relationship between playing games and developing soft skills among 3,763 respondents.

Eight games were analysed: Minecraft, League of Legends, Apex Legends, Public Grounds Unknown Ground (PUBG), Call of Duty: Warzone, FIFA, Fortnite: Battle Royale and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild/Links Awakening/Skyward Sword.

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Participants were asked which skills they think they acquire while playing certain games. Skill levels were then tested to gauge their improvement over the course of playing the game. Particular skills that improved were: leadership, teamwork, communication, critical thinking, visual perception, multitasking, perseverance, decision-making skills and self-motivation.

However, no evidence was found for the development of problem-solving, conflict management and time management.

The best game?

The results showed that people learnt more than a few trademark dance moves from Fortnite, which came out on top when it comes to developing skills. For communication, critical thinking, visual perception, self-motivation, perseverance and teamwork it scored particularly highly.

Meanwhile, for leadership, multitasking and perseverance League of Legends was the strongest.

"Games such as Fortnite, Warzone and League of Legends seem to offer very relevant job skills," researchers concluded. "They are very popular games characterised by a large and vibrant community (such as Steam, Youtube, Twitch) and these games lead to the broadest development of skills compared to the other games studied."

On the other hand, games which have no clear goal, such as Minecraft, seem less effective for skill development. Zelda, although it has a clear objective, increases in difficulty so quickly that players keep failing until they, almost accidentally, get it right – as is reportedly the case with many Japanese games. Yet this doesn't necessarily develop any skills valued in most workplaces.

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