According to research conducted by Autodesk, the world leader in 2D and 3D design software for the media and entertainment market, 84% of tech enthusiasts believe playing next-generation games has contributed to skills that help them in their everyday lives.
The survey - carried out through AREA, the CG community for Autodesk's 2D and 3D products - found that 25% of games developers, animation experts, designers and students that frequent the site, feel that the skills they've acquired through game playing have helped them in their education. 37% agreed that these skills have been useful in their careers and 22% also felt they've helped them in their social lives.
Among the top skills gamers feel they've acquired were improved hand-eye coordination, faster reaction times and reflexes and more interactivity. Other skills cited included patience, understanding, creativity and precision. Those in the games industry also felt they'd gained skills relevant to their roles.
"I find it exciting that the community on the Area - a very creative workforce - has found playing games beneficial to themselves and in their careers," said Mary-Beth Haggerty, senior games industry manager at Autodesk. "Games can have a real impact. I remember never looking at a city the same way after playing Sim City growing up. As a professional I've judged the Future City Competition during National Engineers Week - a competition where teenagers create future cities using Sim City 4. It's great to see that young people are being inspired by games and using them in such positive ways."
The survey backs up recent research highlighting the benefits of game playing. A study published by Michigan State University found that 12-year-olds who spend hours every day on their Playstation or Xbox consoles are increasing their brain-power and improving their learning skills. Psychologist Professor Linda Jackson who led the study found that game playing increased visual-spatial skills where a child learns by thinking in images. These crucial skills contribute to performance in science, technology, engineering and maths.
The University of Rochester also recently released a Nature Neuroscience study that found game playing improved colour contrast sensitivity, important in poor visibility conditions such as driving at night. The study concluded that vision can be improved by playing games, opposing the general assumption that sitting in front of a computer screen is harmful to eyes.