Education & Career Trends: A Career in Online Gaming

5 min read

Edition: July 23rd, 2021
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS

A career in online gaming can actually boost your mental health. (Image Credit: Unsplash)

Video games have suffered a poor reputation in the past, as they were stereotyped as detrimental to emotional health of young gamers.

In India, particularly, gaming has not been popular with parents and teachers as they have traditionally looked at the time spent on gaming as the time that could have been spent in ‘studying’.

This is now changing, as gaming has become one of the most exciting career options for youngsters. Time spent on gaming is now being seen as time invested in a possible career.

In addition, new research shows that online gaming can:

  1. Boost concentration
  2. Improve motor neural ability
  3. Enhance Hand eye-coordination
  4. Promote healthy competitiveness
  5. Boost new skills
  6. Improve mental wellbeing and all-round development

Here are 7 ways in which online gaming impacts mental health, positively:

1. Relieves stress

  • There have been multiple studies that have found a direct correlation between playing online games and reduction of stress.
  • Online gaming reduces cortisol (stress hormone) levels by 17% during gameplay.
  • This helps in relaxation and allows for enjoyment.

2. Gives online socialisation opportunities

  • Gamers have been using gaming platforms as socialisation tools, especially during the pandemic.
  • By assembling in guilds, teams, fraternities and groups, gamers interact and even play together, which makes them happier by improving feelings of social connectedness and peer bonding.

3. Improves focus

  • Playing the right games can be akin to mental exercise – improving coordination, decision-making abilities and focus.
  • Staying sharp and focused is important to avoid cognitive distortions (thinking traps) and depressive thoughts.

4. Enhances self-confidence and leadership

  • Success, especially team success, in online gaming can boost self-confidence.
  • An active attitude in accomplishing the mission of a game has been linked positively with game leadership, which can also translate into confidence and leadership qualities in real life.

5. Provides an emotional outlet to the ‘less-expressive

  • A lot of people are not comfortable with the physical nature of sports and group activities and find online gaming a viable platform to express themselves.
  • Self-expression is important for emotional balance and interpersonal communication.

6. Comes with a sense of adventure

  • Outdoor adventure is crucial for general psychological well-being.
  • However, while that is not possible due to lockdown measures, online multiplayer gaming can provide the fair competition of real sport and sense of adventure through vivid gaming scenery and role-playing games.

7. Gives a mental boost though rewards & recognition

  • Being rewarded and recognised for your achievements is a mental boost that everyone craves.
  • Leaderboards and monetary rewards in online gaming provide that recognition to the gamers, stirring feelings of accomplishment.

Career in online gaming

Making a livelihood and career in gaming is not just about being a gamer or gamestreamer.

There are various other options to choose from such as

  • Game developer
  • VFX and graphics artist
  • Shoutcaster (commentator for gaming events)
  • Gaming animator
  • Game producer
  • Gaming events or community manager and many more.

But in order to be successful, you need to choose any one of these roles and put in dedicated and consistent efforts.

If you are someone who’s looking to kick-start your career in the gaming space, here are 5 important tips that shall prove to be useful:

1. Set the right expectations

  • One should not be jumping into the gaming bandwagon just for the sake of being rich or famous.
  • It is crucial to do your own extensive research, in order to discover the best gaming career path that is aligned to your passion and skill-sets.
  • Also, it doesn’t make sense to expect overnight success in this industry; so, keep hustling with a long-term vision.

2. Be serious from Day 1

  • You should be serious about your attitude and finances, and also be ready to invest your time and efforts or money right from the start.
  • Broadly, there are two categories of professionals in this domain: the self-employed ones who are working for themselves and the ones working in a job.
  • If you are a completely new to the industry, it is recommended that you gain some hands-on experience working for someone else first.

3. Make learning your priority

  • The gaming industry is an ever-evolving one and hence you need to constantly learn, relearn and upgrade and/or upskill yourself to stay relevant here.
  • In today’s Internet era, one has access to so many sources of learning.
  • Nowadays even many colleges and academic instructions have started offering gaming-related courses, subjects or degrees.

4. Connect and build your network

  • Put on your ‘networking switch’ right from the beginning, as you make entry to your gaming profession. 
  • Over the long term, networking will provide you a lot of ‘leverage’ and help you stay abreast with latest opportunities, trends and developments in the industry.

5. Dream big, start small

  • Set your short-term and long-term goals.
  • While writing down your career goals, do not be afraid of dreaming big, but at the same time, remember to keep your goals measurable, specific and time-bound.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above mentioned article are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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