If you play computer games you are less likely to get into university, according to a recent study.
The study, prepared by Oxford University students who obviously did not play computer games and whose parents had money, have found that playing computer games appears to reduce a teenager’s chances of going to university, while reading enhances the likelihood that they will go on to study for a degree.
The study tracked 17,000 people born in 1970. If they read books at least once a month they were significantly more likely to be in a professional or managerial job at 33 than those who didn’t read books at all.
Girls had a 39 percent probability that they would be in a professional or managerial position at 33 if they read at 16, compared to 25 percent if they didn’t pick up a book.
Boys had a 58 percent chance of being in a good job as an adult if they had read as a teenager, compared to a 48 percent chance if they had not.
However once they started playing computer games regularly and doing no other activities the chances of going to university fell from 24 per cent to 19 percent for boys and from 20 percent to 14 percent for girls.
The boffin who headed the research for Nuffield College, Mark Taylor, said that there was “something special” about reading for pleasure.
While kids who went to the theatre regularly did well in life that was usually because their parents had dosh. But books were cheap for everyone.
In fact everything seemed to be better than computer games because they were either communal, like playing in an orchestra, or had a direct academic application, like reading.
Playing computer games frequently did not reduce the likelihood that a 16-year-old would be in a professional or managerial job at 33, the research found.