Cheap and abundant entertainment anesthetizes less-skilled and less-educated young men in the present. But in the long run, it cuts them off from the same things that provide meaning in middle age, according to psychological and longitudinal studies —a career, a family, and a sense of accomplishment. The problem is that these 20-year-olds will eventually be 30-year-olds and 40-year-olds, and although young men who don’t go to college might appear happy now, those same satisfaction studies suggest that they will be much less happy in their 30s and 40s—less likely to get married, and more likely to be in poverty.

I logged about two months of continuous real-time on a popular video game called League of Legends. Thousands upon thousands of individual games -- on average 20-25 minutes, some a lot shorter, some a lot longer -- before I quit video games in 2012. It's actually embarrassing and difficult for me to talk about, partly because video games comprise no part of who I am now, and partly because of how extreme an example of indulgence it was. I bring it up to make the point that this is what constitutes a major, if not largest, investment of time on the part of young men.


I take video games to be a symptom here, not a cause. Removing video games won't make these people more educated, it won't make the generation beneath them stay in school.

posted by blackbootz: 770 days ago