What Now? “Video Bums?”


The Week says a report by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the number of work hours put in by men aged 21-30 between the years 2000 and 2015 declined around 12%. The report’s authors believe that about a third of that decline “is due to the increasingly immersive world” of video game playing. They think these out-of-work guys would rather play in an imaginary video world at home than take a minimum wage job in the real world outside.

But, a chap named James Pethokoukis (in TheWeek.com) disagrees, saying: “If young men are working less, it’s because the 2008 recession wiped out so many low-skill jobs. In our not-so-great recovery, employers are demanding more education and/or experience in new hires, which many young workers lack. Young men are probably turning to (video) gaming because of their joblessness, not the other way around,” he observed.

To “put a hat” on this subject, The Week’s managing editor Theunis Bates declared: “As virtual reality takes off in coming years, and the real and digital worlds get ever harder to distinguish, the number of video gaming dropouts will only grow. Tech firms are developing haptic suits that will let players feel what their on-screen avatar is experiencing, like the coil of a rifle, or the ground shaking of a passing tank.” We shall see.


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