We’re losing a whole generation of young men to video games
One night in the mid-1990s I tried out a computer game called “Civilization.” You started with a screen that was completely black, except for one square of land. As you pushed outward from this base, you’d make discoveries about the land around you and its inhabitants. You’d start to build a society, first primitive stuff like granaries, then advancing to roads and weapons.
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After a while I realized that becoming master of a fake world was not worth the dozens of hours a month it was costing me, and with profound regret I stashed my floppy disk of “Civilization” in a box and pushed it deep into my closet. I hope I never get addicted to anything like “Civilization” again.
Today millions of people, disproportionately young men, are similarly caught in the throes of video games, which are far more enticing than their 1990s counterparts and often involve many players engaging at once. The hand-eye coordination of these men is no doubt impressive, plus they form friendships and learn to work through problems in teams.
Before young American men get back to work, they should switch off the video console.
Younger men’s working hours have declined more than those of older men over the last 15 years, according to a working paper by researchers at Princeton University, the University of Chicago and the University of Rochester and distributed by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Cambridge, Mass.-based research group. The researchers analyzed how people spend their time when they are not working.
As a friend of mine commented yesterday on a posting of this article on Facebook, “When was this written, 1982?”
There are lots of things this article blatantly fails to take into account. Young men are working less hours because fewer hours are being offered, usually as their employers try to duck and dodge around the requirements for providing group insurance, to say nothing of jobs being overtaken by automation.