Study: Gamers of 1986 Less Likely to Go To College

April 8, 2011 -

A researcher at Oxford University has conducted a survey that comes to a conclusion that may agitate gamers. Mark Taylor, who conducted the research for the Department of Sociology, asked 17,200 people who were 16 in 1986 about their level of education, their current career and extra-curricular activities during their teens. Taylor concluded that there was a correlation between gaming and a "decreased likelihood" of going to college. Around 19 percent of male gamers were likely to go to college, compared to 24 percent for those who did not play games. The survey also found that 14 percent of females enjoyed games during their teen years, compared to 20 percent who didn't play games.

While Taylor believes gaming impacted higher education, it did not appear to impact careers. Thinq, who uncovered the study, asked Taylor if he believed similar findings would be found in studies covering more recent years, since gaming was not as popular or mainstream in 1986 as it is now.

"It's difficult to say, as we have no data on kids who are growing up now," he said, adding that it would be "completely insane to say that you're going to see exactly the same results replicated across time," and that he would be "very surprised" to see similar results for modern teenagers. "Not many [people] were playing video games [in 1986]. The picture is completely different nowadays. I wouldn't like to make that generalisation at all."

Taylor also told Thinq that he considers himself a serious gamer. He plays around 4 hours a week with his college friends and peers.

"Education is not just about piece of paper you get at the end of the exercise. If people get something out of gaming then that's fantastic. While playing games might not make you any better at your English A Levels, it might make you more interested in programming."

The most important thing Taylor told Thinq is that he is concerned about his findings being taken out of context because he included extra-curricular activities such as movies, going to museums and gaming. The study, he says, represents how all of these activities can affect people's likelihood of going to college, but that a major finding is that "it doesn't bear out further on people's lives," such as what they go on to do in their careers.

Source: Thinq


Comments

Re: Study: Gamers of 1986 Less Likely to Go To College

As I was 16 in 1986, was and still am a gamer, and basically spent a good chunk of my adult life in higher ed, including completing a PhD that involved video games, I'd like to see the questions used to generate this data.  Specifically, I wondering what sort of socioeconomic variables might influence the results of this poll.  Also, since this was presumably conducted in the UK, would the results differ in other nations?

--
Stefan Hall, PhD
Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies
8 Dana Hall
Defiance College
701 N. Clinton St.
Defiance, OH  43512

Re: Study: Gamers of 1986 Less Likely to Go To College

BS!

The only reason why I went to college, and got a degree in 3D computer animation was because I played videogames back in the 80s.

Did I ever get a job in the industry? Not really. But I decided what I wanted to do in life at 10 years of age and I'm almost there today. Like a boss!

I just need a job to finish it off.

 

Re: Study: Gamers of 1986 Less Likely to Go To College

Why would this agitate gamers? He explains the limitations, that it's correlation only, that it can't be generalized, etc. Seems like he did about the best study he could with the material he had. That's one data point for future meta research. That's about it.

Re: Study: Gamers of 1986 Less Likely to Go To College

I wonder if his data can help determine whether gaming caused this drop in college attendance, or if low-ambition people were more likely to play games anyway.  Regardless, this study will be taken out of context very soon, if it hasn't already.  Fox News, I'm looking at you.

Re: Study: Gamers of 1986 Less Likely to Go To College

Given the statement about it not impacting careers, it is also possible that gamers of the erra were more likely to be self educated and self motivated, moving on to careers via merits instead of degree.

I can recall my previous company, we had programmers who had been gamers in their youth and were self taught.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Will we ever get Half-Life 3?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
prh99The unflattering characterization "They don’t know how to dress or behave." & "‘Games culture’ is a petri dish of people who know so little about how human social interaction..." probably didn't help.10/02/2014 - 1:52am
prh99Probably not many as it was purely a vindictive move. The headline alone was plenty of ammo, but for those that did read and complain..10/02/2014 - 1:42am
Andrew EisenI wonder how many of those who complain about that article actually read past the headline.10/02/2014 - 1:37am
prh99http://intel.ly/1tjh1AH http://bit.ly/1rGPHOY http://intel.ly/Zu6go9 it isn't surprising "Gamers are over" didn't go over very well.10/02/2014 - 1:34am
Papa MidnightCan you parlay that to #WriteAGawkerArticle? The cesspool of horrid crap over there extends far beyond Kotaku.10/02/2014 - 12:34am
Andrew EisenWow! Intel dropped Gamasutra due to GameJournoPros? Over Matt Matthews? The only Gamasutra guy in the group? Who hasn't written a single thing about #GamerGate at the site? Where did you read that?10/02/2014 - 12:32am
Neo_DrKefka#WriteAKotakuArticle "#GamerGate is responsible for breaking millions of Intel powered macbooks after angry SWJ hipsters slam them shut" or "How Toxic Processors from Intel causes sexism. "10/02/2014 - 12:15am
Neo_DrKefkaSo Intel has dropped Gamesutra due to there support of your Gaming News Cabal Fudge. Anti GamerGate article soon? Or like your e-mails are you hoping this narrative dies down soon?10/02/2014 - 12:14am
Andrew EisenWell, time to eat some dinner and work on the Hyrule Warriors guide until bedtime!10/02/2014 - 12:11am
Andrew EisenJust finished my stream. That... could have gone better. Technical issues prevented me from playing a console game so I instead played and bitched about The Walking Dead for two hours. Oh well, the folks watching still seemed to enjoy it.10/02/2014 - 12:09am
Matthew Wilsonwe all know valve can not cout to 3.10/02/2014 - 12:08am
MechaTama31Who cares? Gimme Portal 3!10/01/2014 - 9:38pm
quiknkoldAndrew : Mostly I decided there were better people who could explain what was going on, or fight any battles that may come up. so I decided not to talk about it anymore.10/01/2014 - 8:49pm
Andrew EisenI don't recall you promising that. GamerGate is not a taboo discussion here. Anyway, thanks for the link. Very interesting.10/01/2014 - 8:47pm
quiknkoldI know I promised to not talk about Gamergate again, but Intel just pulled sponsership from Gamasutra over it http://techraptor.net/2014/10/01/gamasutra-intel/10/01/2014 - 8:40pm
quiknkoldP.T. is a game I just cannot play alone. I puss out hard on it. need somebody with me when I play that. Kojima was right. it is Pants Shittingly Scary10/01/2014 - 6:17pm
quiknkold@james_fudge not playin all the way through. P.T, Silent Hill(Not sure which), Resident Evil Gamecube Remake, Alien Isolation, Ghostbusters, Outlast, Super Castlevania 410/01/2014 - 6:04pm
james_fudgeI wish I could like that last shout.10/01/2014 - 5:48pm
MechaTama31Tried out Sims 4 on my brother in law's pc. Promptly got my sim exhausted, to soil himself, then sent him without cleaning up to mock people at the museum. Good times...10/01/2014 - 5:33pm
E. Zachary KnightSo they figured out how to share CPU cycles between pools and their advanced emotions engine? Sweet.10/01/2014 - 2:53pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician