57 per cent gamers admit that they can learn practical life skills through online games: AIGF report

The internet connectivity has transformed our life into digital space. As the years pass by we are becoming more internet dependent. In fact as of January 2021, 624.0 million internet users are there in India and India is set to reach one billion internet users by the year 2025 and our country’s smartphone base is estimated to reach 820 million in the next two years. As the number of smartphone based internet users are rising, it is resulting in a massive leap in the number of Indian gamers as per AIGF recent report Online Gaming is a Life Skill. 

India recorded about 365 million online gamers in the financial year 2020. This number is estimated to reach 510 million by fiscal year 2022. In India, the industry grew at a CAGR of 21 per cent during the lockdown, with a steadily increasing customer base. The report also sought to understand which skills were considered ‘life skills’ by gamers, how gamers acquired such skills, whether the workplace effectively taught them such skills, and which of these skills could be learnt through gaming.

All India Gaming Federation CEO Roland Landers said, “Varied skills like critical thinking, creative thinking, decision making and problem-solving are essential for one’s growth in life. Through this research, we sought to understand whether consumers genuinely realise the value of mobile gaming. This study has helped us conclude that gaming is a way to collaborate, engage, and it is becoming a sector where people want to build their careers.”

Agarkar Centre of Excellence (ACE) founder Fatema Agarkar said, “As this form of edutainment evolves, gaming becomes a source of exercise for memory, analytical ability, concentration and other complex cognitive skills. In fact, gaming is used by many in the education field when planning lessons as their break-away sessions in the blended learning format, including assessments. As it continues to gain prominence, fine-tuning cognitive and analytical skills to sharper response time, and heightened spatial ability, it has been noticed that gamers get better prepared to handle problem-solving as they make those split-second decisions.”

Here are the key findings:

  • 26 per cent of respondents shared that online games act as a stress buster. While, 24 per cent of the respondents see online games as a way to earn some money, one in seven respondents (13 per cent) believe that online gaming can teach individuals some important skills and improve their cognitive ability.
  •  More than three quarters of the respondents, which is 76 per cent, admit that online gamers develop strong analytical abilities in regularly trying to assess the best way to win at a game.
  •  63 per cent of respondents consider ‘self-discipline’ as a life-skill and more than half of respondents, which is 53 per cent, believe that ‘determination’ is an important skill for an online gamer.
  • Similarly, analytical thinking and problem solving are life-skills for 55 per cent of the respondents and a corresponding 68 per cent of respondents believe that strategy and logic are essential for playing online games.
  • Another illustration of this trend is the comparable proportion of respondents who consider ‘hand- eye coordination’ as a life skill (58 per cent) and those who believe ‘reflexes’ are crucial for online gamers (65 per cent).
  • More than half the respondents, 57 per cent, admit that an individual can learn as many such practical life skills through online games as through a whole day in the office. In fact, more than one-third of the respondents, 38 per cent, feel more than half of online gaming skills are helpful in dealing with real-life experiences.
  • 50 per cent of the respondents claim that they would tell the truth at all times, amongst their own work colleagues, however, the number rises to 53 per cent for when respondents are collaborating with team-mates on online games.
  • Respondents are more inclined to be more honest with their online gaming team-mates than with their office colleagues. Respondents who would tell the truth at all times are 56 per cent when the audience is an online team- mate, the number drops to 51 per cent for their work colleagues. In comparison, for those above 46 years, the number only drops to 49 per cent when the audience changes from online team-mates to work colleagues.
  •  When the respondents of the survey were asked which life skills are necessary for online gaming.This was their reply:

o   69 per cent of GenX respondents are self disciplined followed by millennials at 64 per cent, above 45 years at 61 per cent, and GenX 58 per cent.

o  59 per cent of GenX, 58 per cent GenZ, 57 per cent above 45 years and 58 per cent millennials believe that hand-eye coordination is important for gaming.

o   57 per cent of millennials have analytical thinking followed by GenZ at 56 per cent, GenX at 55 per cent and above 45 years at 50 per cent. 

o   52 per cent of Gen Z have an understanding of risk/opportunity, followed by 48 per cent of millennials, 41 per cent of Gen X, 42 per cent above 45 years. 

  •  43 per cent Gen Z and 41 per cent millennials, which is nearly double of the older age group who are above 45 years (25 per cent), believe that friendships/relationships made online between gamers can be as meaningful as real friendships.
  • 77 per cent men and 75 per cent women concur that skills acquired through online gaming are transferable to real life, their opinions diverge on the type of skill inculcated via the process, and the proportion that can actually be applied to real-life.
  •  51 per cent women believe that physical and mental skills like ‘memory’ and ‘reflexes’ are essential for online gamers (compared to 33 per cent men), more than two-thirds of men (67 per cent) believe that cognitive skills such as strategy, logic, understanding of risk and returns, and determination are prerequisites for online gamers (compared to 49 per cent of women). Also, while 40 per cent of men believe that more than half of online gaming skills are useful to real-life experiences, the number drops to 34 per cent for women.
  • 43 per cent of women and 55 per cent men would be completely honest while collaborating with a team-mate while playing an online game compared to more than half the women (53 per cent) and 50 per cent men would tell the truth to their work colleagues at all times.
  • Mobile gamers have clearly outnumbered the PC or console gamers, with only 12 per cent Indians playing games on consoles as compared to 67 per cent who use a smartphone or tablet.
  • Currently pegged at $1.2 billion (end-2020), India’s mobile gaming market is expected to $1.6 billlion in 2025.
  • 70 per cent claim that the mobile phone is the device of choice for playing online games. Gen Z, having been born and brought up in the era of digital transformations, are most comfortable with the mobile phone for this purpose (73 per cent) while those over 45 years are the least comfortable (66 per cent). Surprisingly, the proportion of Gen X using the mobile device to play online games (72 per cent) is almost comparable to Gen Z, and even higher than millennials (70 per cent).
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