Taking part in esports competitions boosts the confidence and personal skills of school children, a study has indicated.
The scheme, called Digital Schoolhouse, is backed by gaming giant Nintendo and uses competitive gaming – better known as esports – as part of its teaching approach in the computing curriculum.
A study showed pupils who took part in the programme felt their communication skills had improved as a result, as had their self-confidence and willingness to study computing further.
The research indicated that 80% of those who took part in esports tournaments in the scheme said they were now more likely to participate in other team sports.
It also found that 74% of those asked said they felt the gaming had helped with their communication skills.
According to the report, 98% of pupils said they were more confident about computing as a subject after being involved in a Digital Schoolhouse workshop, with 40% saying it had increased their interest in studying it further.
The research also noted that female participation in the subject increased by 46% after taking part in esports aspects of the programme.
Luke McWilliams, event and community manager at Nintendo UK, said: “Esports and gaming has historically conjured negative stereotypes amongst those distant from them.
“This research and programme show the often overlooked or unknown benefits that esports and competitive gaming offer students.
“As the lead sponsor of the Digital Schoolhouse programme, we are working with Ukie to bring these benefits to more students with recognisable characters in games such as Super Smash Bros Ultimate and the ease and accessibility of Nintendo Switch.”
Esports has grown rapidly as an industry in recent years and is estimated to generate more than a billion dollars annually, with reports estimating more than 450 million people watch esports competitions.