The majority of young people in Scotland would pick a career in the booming video games industry over more traditional professions, according to new research.
Barclays surveyed children aged between eight and 18 and found nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents would choose a career in gaming over becoming a lawyer.
Meanwhile, 57% would rather go with gaming than be a doctor or nurse and the same proportion would rather work in that industry than be a professional athlete.
Scotland has a rich gaming history with Rockstar North – the company behind the popular Grand Theft Auto franchise with more than six billion dollars (£4.6 billion) in global revenue – based in Edinburgh as well as a number of other firms originating in Dundee.
Gavin Smith, relationship director for tech and media at Barclays Business Banking, said: “It’s encouraging to see more young people have the ambition to work in the video games sector, with the skills required to help the UK maintain its position as a gaming hub.
“Britain’s gaming ecosystem is thriving, already employing nearly 50,000 people across the development, creation and publishing of some of the world’s most exciting games.
“The Government has introduced tax credits for producers to encourage them to create and publish their games in the UK, and our loan acts as an advance on these credits, helping with vital cash flow in the early stages of a games development.”
The survey also suggested 45% of Scottish youngsters find video gaming more fun than the real world, with 57% saying gaming is now their favourite hobby.
Almost half (48%) added they either streamed or would like to stream their gameplay on platforms like Twitch, a streaming service that allows users to earn money from posting their content.
Julia Cwierz is a law graduate and was the UK’s first recipient of the e-sports scholarship from the University of Roehampton in London.
She said: “This is going to create more jobs, with lawyers required to help professionals with contracts and media rights.
“I hope to find a position at a law firm specialising in e-sports and to become an expert in this relatively nascent field.
“There are plenty of other opportunities for passionate gamers to explore careers in the wider sector and so far, I have found it to be a friendly, collaborative industry eager to help the next generation turn their hobby into a career.”