Game Academy is a new careers programme that helps gamers explore their employability skills

New employability skills programme Game Academy forms the link between employability skills and gaming and a wide range of immersive activities for students and young people. Find out more!

Gamers: Hone your skills and play your way into a job

“I’m the manager of a pizza parlour. The games I play time and time again: Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty. Problem-solving, following non-linear paths, muscle memory, I so couldn’t be efficient or successful in my job without all of that, especially the button memory!” Jordan, 21, Belfast

There are 35m players of video games in the UK, 2.7bn worldwide. Day in, day out, hour after hour, many are yes, having fun and for sure, making new friends but beneath the experience, there are some fundamental things going on: confidences built, skills acquired, lives transformed.

Game Academy, a new tech venture, has launched the first platform version of its new careers programme built for gamers. We’ll provide gamers with free reports on their game skills and employability. They’ll be able to participate in a free online course, or quests, designed to sharpen skills playing the games that they love. Insights to share on CVs… recommendations for skills-rich games to play…streams on Twitch… social activities on Discord…gamers are super-talented and games rich in skills, and this is both the focus, driver and catalyst to our Game Academy experience.

Everything that Game Academy does is powered by cutting-edge technology and scientific research. We’ve looked at the game traits and behaviours of 50,000 players and the top 100 games on the Steam game hub. And we’ve built a large dataset that can connect traits in game play with skills and careers, linking playing a game like X-Com with management, Defense Grid and IT, Football Manager with roles that call upon risk management, Stardew Valley and creativity, Call of Duty with leadership.

Gamers have important skills for life AND work

More and more organisations in the global economy are suffering from skills shortages, and many of those skills are ones that gamers have in abandon. Problem-solving, leadership, communication, flexibility and adaptability, to name but a few. A game like League of Legends revolves around a player helping a larger group of friends overcome challenges and succeed. Some role-playing games throw players into unusual situations and ask them to survive; in Kingdom Come Deliverance for example a fighter character is obliged to join a monastery and cope as a novice. Football Manager is more spreadsheet management than ‘beautiful game’, an essay in managing the scouting, assessment and masking of skills of players to be bought and sold.

The exciting news for young people seeking employment is that some firms are catching on. The Royal Air Force is employing video game players to pilot unmanned drones. Media and entertainment agencies have recruited game players for creative roles via Fortnite. Gamers have shared at interview their high scores in Rocket League to evidence their competitiveness – and been hired. IBM has employed players of multiplayer online games like World of Warcraft for leadership roles. Hospitals in the United States have hired surgeons who are game players, because they outperform more seasoned surgeons and execute surgical procedure faster and more accurately than non-gamers.

  • Play video games full of intensity? Potential jobs and roles: think of being an operator of complex vehicles or social media marketer.
  • Play games full of creativity and making? Consider editing or design.
  • Enjoy the detail of your game play? How about software development, the repair of complex mechanisms, even medicine?

As gaming as an entertainment medium becomes more popular than music and film combined, now is the time for young people and employers to take heed of the power of game play. Now is also the time to no longer ignore the fact that some of the highest achievers in business and industry have a committed background in gaming. Look no further than Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook. “I definitely wouldn’t have gotten into programming if I hadn’t played games,” says Zuckerburg.

Sign up to the Game Academy careers programme built by gamers at http://gameacademy.co. David Barrie is co-founder of Game Academy.  If you’d like to know more, don’t hesitate to email him at david@gameacademy.co

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For more information, please email info@youthemployment.org.uk or call 01536 513388.

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