Gaming industry: Time to integrate soft skills into curricula, say experts

The gaming industry is thriving worldwide, and Pakistan is no exception. With an increasing number of gamers and game development studios, the country is well-positioned to capitalize on this expanding market.

Speaking to WealthPK, Babar Majid, Chief Executive Officer of the National Information Technology Board (NITB), said Pakistan's gaming industry had witnessed significant growth, driven by Google's inaugural Gaming Growth Lab and supportive initiatives from the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) and National Information and Communication Technology and Research and Development (NICT R&D) Fund.

As of 2023, the country boasts a thriving gaming ecosystem comprising 257 game development companies, 300 game studios, and a talented pool of 8,500 game developers. 

The Pakistani gamers have achieved international recognition. Gamer Pakistan, a Pakistan-based esports company, became the first entity listed on the US stock exchange in October 2023.

"The expansion is being fueled by the growing popularity of mobile gaming, the rise of esports, and the advancement of new technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)," he said.

He opined that soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving were essential for success in the gaming industry. Game development involves collaboration among the designers, artists, programmers, and writers, making effective communication and teamwork crucial.

"To address the gap, the educational institutions must integrate soft skills training into their curricula. Workshops, group projects, and mentorship programmes can all be used to build important soft skills," he stressed.

The NITB chief executive officer suggested that the educational institutions should invite the industry experts to discuss their experiences and insights about the value of soft skills in the gaming industry. This will assist the students in understanding the practical applications of soft skills and their importance in the industry.

Talking to WealthPK, Anees Amin, Chief Executive Officer of TechScape Private Limited, said the gaming industry in Pakistan was poised for exponential growth, and with appropriate strategies, it had the potential to contribute significantly to the country's economy.

He pointed out that the industry was constantly evolving, requiring professionals to be adaptable and able to think critically. Many educational institutions focus primarily on technical skills, neglecting the importance of soft skills. This can lead to graduates who are technically proficient but struggle to work effectively in teams or communicate their ideas.

He suggested that the educational institutions should establish game development clubs or teams in which the students could collaborate on projects while learning both technical and soft skills. 

The advantages of prioritizing soft skills training go beyond the gaming sector. These skills are transferable across industries, making students more appealing to the potential employers and better prepared for the workplace.

Furthermore, soft skills training would also enhance the student's personal development by improving their confidence, time management, and leadership skills. To ensure the efficacy of soft skills training, the schools must measure and evaluate student progress, providing feedback and guidance to help them improve.

He concluded that it was time for the country's educational institutions to level up and recognize the importance of soft skills training in preparing students for success in the gaming industry. By doing so, they would help shape the industry's future and unlock the country's gaming talent.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt