On Campus

Video gamers less likely to go to university

Oxford study tracks university participation for those born in 1970

Teenagers who play video games regularly are less likely to attend university, according to an Oxford University study. Researcher Mark Taylor tracked 17,000 people born in 1970 and found that university participation rates for males dropped from 24 per cent to 19 per cent if they were avid computer gamers, and from 20 per centto 14 per cent for females. Taylor also found that those who read at least one book a month, accounting for parental income and school attended, raised the chances that a student would go on to hold a managerial or professional position by the time they were 33, from 25 per cent to 39 per cent for females and from 48 per cent to 58 per cent for males. Taylor acknowledged that while reading may improve intellect, there could be little causal link as those headed for managerial careers may simply be predisposed towards reading. He also acknowledged that the video game industry has changed significantly since the mid 1980s when the cohort being studied would have been in their teens.

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