A Ukie study has highlighted the potential for esports to spark UK students' interest in both games industry careers and academic subjects related to computers.
The findings of the study were unveiled at Ukie's AGM, which took place at EGX 2018 in Birmingham yesterday. The study was conducted by Staffordshire University, supported by Newman University, at the the Digital Schoolhouse Esports Tournament, the final of which was played at the London Games Festival.
The tournament's participants and staff - some 2,000 people aged between 12 and 18 - indicated that the experience had led to a greater interest in the games industry, and in studying subjects that could lead to a career in the field.
In fact, 94 per cent said that the tournament had made them more interested in "computers/computing subjects," while 88 per cent said that it had made them more interested in pursuing a career in video games.
The study, Esports: Engaging Education, also showed positive effects on interest in team sports (82 per cent), and perceived improvement in skills such as teamwork (80 per cent) and communication (74 per cent).
For Ukie, though, the key takeaway is that esports could be a tool for guiding young people toward the sort of subjects and careers that can address a skills shortfall in the UK.
"With the skills gap we face in the UK, this study shows that esports can be an important bridge for introducing young people to important skills through games and interactive entertainment," said Ukie CEO Dr Jo Twist OBE in a statement.
Ukie also used the AGM as a platform to announce its new board members: Des Gayle (Altered Gene), Andy Payne OBE (AppyNation), Stuart Dinsey (Curve Digital), Ian Livingstone CBE (Fusebox Games Ltd), Veronique Lallier (Hirez Studios), Noirin Carmody (Revolution Software Limited) and Miles Jacobson OBE (Sports Interactive) were all elected this year.