On average, children aged 11-18 play three and a half hours of esports a day, either at home (94%) or at a friend’s house (40%). While some parents don’t understand the ins and outs of esports, six in ten believe it can play a positive role in education. And nearly half of the 1,500 parents surveyed, whose children play esports, even think it should be added to the school or college curriculum.
Brian Horsburgh, education sales manager at Dell Technologies in the UK, who commissioned the research, said: “The capabilities demanded of tomorrow’s workforce will be those that technology cannot replicate.
“Soft skills that were once considered inferior to teachable ‘hard’ skills like operating machinery will tip the scales in the future labor market.
“Parents recognize the power of esports to develop their children’s relationship skills – to communicate, listen, even lead.
“It’s a compelling argument for schools that want their students to be future-ready.”
The study found that more than six in ten parents believe teamwork skills were learned through esports.
While others cited problem solving (57%) and communication (54%) as other key learnings through gripping a joystick.
Nearly seven in ten respondents, via OnePoll, believe that esports allows their child to develop skills that they would not obtain with traditional educational methods.
And more than half (52%) believe it will boost children’s grades in school.
It also emerged that almost a third of parents (32%) would like their child to have a career in esports.
Lindsey Eckhouse, Director of Licensing, E-Commerce and Esports at McLaren Racing, said: “People become professional esports players, often at a very young age, but esports is more than just players. .
“Just like our drivers can’t race without their team, esports players can’t play without theirs – that is, publicists, physiotherapists, nutritionists, chefs.
“We need to embrace more ways for children – of all abilities, needs and backgrounds – to learn, and those ways should reflect the future career landscape.”
However, the study also surveyed 500 education stakeholders and found that 61% believe there is not enough evidence to show the educational benefits of esports.
Some of the major barriers schools face in bringing esports into the curriculum include overpriced esports equipment, insufficiently strong network connections, and lack of facilities to place the right kind of equipment.
Tom Dore, head of education at the British Esports Association, said: “We welcome further quantitative research into esports in education, to support the feedback we receive from teachers and students on the positive impact of esports in their classrooms and school communities.
“Esports is a way to motivate and engage a broad demographic of young people.
“As a teacher myself, I have seen the benefits for my students when they participate and compete in esports.”
TOP 10 SKILLS PARENTS THINK KIDS LEARN THROUGH ESPORTS RATHER THAN TRADITIONAL EDUCATION:
- Team work
- Problem solving
- Technological skills
- Time management