Are computer gamers less likely to go to university?

An Oxford University study suggests teen gamers could be less likely to reach higher education. Has gaming shaped your educational future?
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

A University of Oxford sociological research study seems to think so, finding those who play computer games are less likely to reach university level education.

A study of 17,000 people followed since they were sixteen years old, found that those who read in their spare time, instead of played computer games, had better success at reaching higher education.

Regular video gamers who have little or no other extracurricular activities were found to have reduced chances of going to university from 24 percent to 19 percent for young males, and from 20 percent to 14 percent for young females.

Teenagers who read a book for pleasure, or visited the theatre, or engaged with at least one arts platform at least once a month, did achieve a higher probability of reaching university.

Simply put, reading books for pleasure instead of playing computer games can raise the probability of going to college.


However, when this study was first conducted back in 1986, video gaming did not even come close to comparing to what it has become since.

One interesting finding showed that regardless of how often a teenager played a computer game, it did not reduce the likelihood that they would be in a managerial or professional position by their mid-30's, however.

Back in the day, even when I was growing up in the late '80's and early '90's, the games may have lacked lustre with poor graphics and mediocre plot lines, but the playability factor meant both my brother and I were playing them for hours on end.

And nowadays, with brain-training games and motion sensitive games consoles like the Wii and Kinect devices, the gaming culture has shifted from an insular, self-serving activity to one where physical interactivity is key.

Reading already has a close association with scholarship, as one would naturally expect. But it is a myth that the Generation Y are reading less than their older Generation X parents. Instead, we are reading more than previously thought.

How do you think gaming has shaped your educational future?

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