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 limiting Steam services to accounts that have spent at least $5 eliminate spammers?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
InfophileThe filter also misses a lot of slang from non-American dialects of English. I'd go on to list a bunch here that I've learned since living in Scotland, but... well, let's just say "dogging" has a much different meaning over here.04/21/2015 - 4:11pm
ConsterI know about gash's meaning (I googled it prior to my comment, I just meant I can't really see myself ever using it like that). What do you mean with 'the big three', though?04/21/2015 - 3:52pm
Daniel LewisAnd Gash can be used as slang for the female genitalia04/21/2015 - 3:46pm
Daniel LewisActually all the big three are in that list,pretty common place for games to add a filter for words no matter what is used in the game04/21/2015 - 3:44pm
Consterand do people pretend to be software developers a lot or something?04/21/2015 - 3:29pm
Consterapparently 'gash' is also slang nowadays? I just know it as an injury type. Also, how come 'bisexual' is on the list but 'lesbian' (when properly spelled) isn't?04/21/2015 - 3:28pm
E. Zachary Knighthttp://kotaku.com/nintendo-and-other-banned-words-i-cant-use-in-grand-th-169924759704/21/2015 - 2:59pm
E. Zachary KnightGTA 5, a game that uses a vast array of swears, racist and sexist language in the dialog of the game, bans people from using those sames words along with a vast number of others, including 'Nintendo'. 04/21/2015 - 2:58pm
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.wired.com/2015/04/dmca-ownership-john-deere/04/21/2015 - 1:58pm
ZippyDSMleeMatthew Wilson: Classic shell ^_~04/21/2015 - 1:56pm
Matthew Wilson@zipp I dont like the star menu taking up the whole dam screen, so just getting the start menu back will be worth it.04/21/2015 - 11:19am
ZippyDSMleeI got a extra HDD I will take win 10 for a spin. see if tis worthwhile heck if I do not have to move colums over in Skyrims creation kit its a keeper!04/21/2015 - 10:53am
ZippyDSMleeMatthew Wilson: Been on win 8.1 a few months the only thing I do not like is compatibility issues with older programs. 10 won't fix that sadly...04/21/2015 - 10:51am
E. Zachary KnightThe US Supreme Court has ruled that the 4th Amendment does offer US citizens some protections. This is a change of pace from other 4th Amendment rulings. http://reason.com/blog/2015/04/21/supreme-court-says-police-violated-4th-a04/21/2015 - 10:35am
E. Zachary KnightNot sure on that specific. But It is slightly annoying, but it can help to clairfy on occasion.04/21/2015 - 10:13am
IvresseCan I just ask out of curiousity why people repeat the title in their shout when it clearly states it in the URL?04/21/2015 - 9:07am
E. Zachary KnightI would say that is true. It drives me nuts when games are patched. The closer the patch is to launch, the worse it is.04/21/2015 - 9:06am
PHX Corphttp://www.npr.org/2015/04/19/400829880/when-video-games-are-patched-gamers-lose-trust-in-reviews When Video Games Are 'Patched,' Gamers Lose Trust In Reviews04/21/2015 - 9:03am
IvresseWell Totalbiscuit's port report video was positively glowing about it...04/21/2015 - 4:05am
MattsworknameHey, slightly off topic, but, anyone got a good sugestion for a flight stick for elite dangerous?04/21/2015 - 12:38am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician