Computer games may boost work effort, says USC academic

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Computer games may boost work effort, says USC academic


1 May 2012

1 May 2012

Playing computer games at work may improve productivity and mental health, according to a gaming expert from the University of the Sunshine Coast.

USC’s Associate Professor in Interactive Digital Media Christian Jones, who is currently researching the effects of computer games on the mental health of young people, said his findings could also be used by employers.

“There is a misconception that people play games alone in the isolation of their homes,” he said.

“Instead, gamers are cooperating and collaborating to achieve goals.

“Employers want staff who can collaborate and problem solve, so being proficient with computer games could well indicate proficiency in the workplace.”

Dr Jones said some companies were already forward-thinking in this area.

“Many companies and CEOs are playing computer games at work as a type of stimulation, encouraging them to think more quickly,” he said.

Dr Jones said by the age of 21, the average person will have played 10,000 hours of computer games, which shows they must be gaining something from it.

“Research has already shown that people are interacting and engaging with others in the virtual world,” he said.

“They work together and the skills each person brings to the game are valued.

“So rather than computer games being a form of escapism, they may well be improving our mental abilities and wellbeing.”

Dr Jones was a guest speaker at the Science of Wellbeing Conference in Adelaide earlier this year which featured Dr Martin Seligman, Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

— Michelle Widdicombe

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