62% of parents believe games offer a good career for children

Livingstone reveals early findings of NESTA and Skillset review

Eidos life president Ian Livingstone has teased some of the findings of the independent Skills Review that he's leading for the government, NESTA and SkillSet, with a goal to transforming the UK into the best source of talent for the videogame and visual effects sector.

Revealing findings at the London Games Conference this evening, Livingstone showed early encouraging results about parent's belief that the games industry offers strong career opportunities for their children.

Specifically, 62 per cent of 918 parents polled by IPSOS MORI thought working in the videogame industry was a good career for a young person.

But looking at knowledge of some of the most popular videogame franchises, only 3 per cent of 537 young people polled knew that Grand Theft Auto, LEGO: Star Wars and SingStar games were made in the UK, while 12 per cent of parents knew where the blockbuster games originated from.

Livingstone also thanked the 250 games companies that have assisted the review so far, and was upbeat about the findings, to be revealed fully early next year.

"The response has been incredible," he said. "Over 250 computer and videogames companies have responded to the employers survey. That's brilliant, it shows that skills really is a genuine concern for us all.

"It's really important for the UK that we do focus on our UK talent. It's imperative that we produce the best talent in the world, the best studios, the best content. We must put an end to the current situation where young people invest their time and money into university courses that fail to provide them with the skills they need to find a good job in the industry."

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Latest comments (9)

Antony Cain Lecturer, Teesside University9 years ago
Are they really encouraging? More than 1 in 3 parents think their child is wasting their time learning how to make games... what would the results be like if asked about making films? ~90%?
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afawerfsfr3 fsdafsdfwef Translator, Project Leader, China Games Publisher Association9 years ago
I think this issue is related with the curent trend of games. In China, 100 out of 100 parents treat games as something harmful. Although I know that games can be good for children under proper guidances, the lack of education games and the flooding of M, R-18+ games will be totally destructive to a young child's development.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by afawerfsfr3 fsdafsdfwef on 5th November 2010 7:21am

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Stephen Woollard Online Infrastructure Specialist, Electronic Arts9 years ago
You have to look at this sensibly. My dad is of the generation who believes if you don't have to wash your hands at the end of the day you haven't done a day's work.

You also get the hand wringing, Daily Fail reading, pilates and yoga crowd who believe that something as "common" as making games isn't nearly good enough for their little darlings who will undoubtedly end up as doctors or lawyers or something (in their minds anyway).

67% is a good number, not to be sniffed at.
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Jordan Woodward Level Designer, Rebellion Developments9 years ago
I agree Stephen, my dad is exactly the same, just doesn't understand video games, or technology for that matter. It's a decent number considering the generation.
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 9 years ago
I too think 62% seems like a healthy number, in context. Seems like an interesting Review they are doing; I look forward to seeing the results, and hopefully it might* be enough to convince the government body to take games seriously after all.

*(It won't, but we can hope can't we?!)
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Antony Cain Lecturer, Teesside University9 years ago
I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad number... but to celebrate it is selling games a bit short. Kind of like being happy about 'only' getting 2 wedgies from the bullies instead of the usual 5

Battered wife syndrome? :)
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Parents should look at this properly - but they can't, for reasons Steve suggests.

Firstly, enjoying playing a game is vastly different from enjoying making one. Although obvious I think some parents assume that it must be easy, particularly as games are so much fun to play.
If you're unlucky being in the process of making some games may kill your love of gaming forever.

The natural 'ebb and flow' of project headcount has to be a concern, as your son or daughter may be potentially looking for a new project or new job every year, and some parents no doubt are expecting a job for life, like they had.

If the kids aren't excellent at programming, art, testing, design or managing (or more often, all of these) then they probably won't be as successful as they as they first thought. Theres nothing wrong with working through an alternative path, though, its just that parents probably want their children to be instantly a technical director. Theres a lot of competition for the good roles - this is good though as it drives productivity, initiative and ingenuity - parents can assume that their kids won't work 9-5 though in these careers.

Game development has been, and is getting more, technical. The complexities of tools and the hardware - and the rate at which the tools change - may mean that some university grads, (including some gaming specific grads), are not suitably prepared. The beautiful, easy to play games are great at masking this from your average grandma (by design?).

Parents will probably say, that if you're going to be in IT, then get yourself a job in banking software. Then you can buy every game...

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Lisa Ohanian9 years ago
This is encouraging. Luckily my parents fall into the 62%. :)

For the record, when I told my dad I wanted to go into the industry, he just bought me an Xbox and told me that I have to get him tickets to BlizzCon if I ever work for Blizzard.
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Saint Walker Games Manager, Creative Skillset9 years ago
The really important point in this article is that Ian has managed to galvanise huge portions of the games industry to respond to the employer surveys. Traditionally the industry responds in small numbers to surveys, whereas the film and tv industries tend to reply in larger numbers, and therefore their training needs can be quantified and presented to government more effectively. I'm hoping that this review represents a watershed in how the games industry can unify around getting it's skills issues articulated.
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