Video games could help students develop 'graduate skills' for university

A trial found that playing games improved young people's resourcefulness, adaptability and communication skills

Video games could help students develop 'graduate skills' for university

Picture by: Yui Mok/PA Archive/PA Images

Video games could help young people develop important skills for university, new research suggests.

A trial at the University of Glasgow found that playing games could help people develop "graduate attributes" such as "communication skills, resourcefulness and adaptability".

As part of the research, a group of undergraduate students played specific video games - including popular titles such as Minecraft, Team Fortress 2, Warcraft III, and Papers, Please - under controlled conditions over the course of eight weeks.

Compared to a control group, researchers say the video game players showed improvements in "communication, adaptability, and resourcefulness scales".

The results of the trial have been published in the Science Direct journal.

Matthew Barr, lecturer in Information Studies, observed: "The way games are designed often encourages critical thinking and reflective learning, commonly cited as desirable attributes in graduates. 

“This work demonstrates that playing commercial video games can have a positive effect on communication ability, adaptability and resourcefulness in adult learners, suggesting that video games may have a role to play in higher education."

He added that the results suggest that discussions around alleged negatives effects of video games "should be tempered by considerations of the potential positive outcomes of playing video games".