Applicability of e-games in youth work

At a time when the world is becoming increasingly digital, people are looking for ways to harness innovative digital opportunities in different areas of their lives, including education. Digital game-based learning is fast becoming one of the dominant learning methods in today’s education and youth work. However, the application of e-games and their usefulness in youth work still needs to be discovered. There needs to be more knowledge about which games are best suited to develop competencies, complement curricula or promote youth work. 

E-games have become increasingly popular in Estonia, as shown by e-game purchasing statistics, which show that Estonians spent around €8 million on video games in 2020. Today, this figure is estimated to be close to €10 million. The popularity of e-games among young people is also confirmed by the 2019 pupils’ health behaviour survey published by the National Institute for Health Development. According to this, more than half of the respondents aged 11–15 spend more than two hours playing video and TV games on school days. We can therefore conclude that the use of e-games is on the rise in Estonia and that it is, therefore, worth exploring the use of e-games among young people and analysing the possibilities for implementing e-games in youth work. 

The aim of the study is to provide an overview of the most commonly used e-games by young people (aged 7–16) and their impact on the development of young people’s general competencies, as well as the potential link between e-games and opportunities and competences in youth work, both in Estonia and in other countries. The primary data collection methods of the study are focus group interviews with youth workers and young people and a questionnaire survey conducted online.