The researcher himself is a PC gamer – four hours a week, he says – and appreciates that video gaming as an interest in 1986 was quite a different thing from what it is today. He also reminded that the study itself was not fixated on gaming, but was an analysis of a variety of extra-curricular or cultural activities and the likelihood that those who pursued them ended up in secondary education.
“It’s difficult to say, as we have no data on kids who are growing up now,” said Mark Taylor, the report’s author. He said he’d be “very surprised,” to see this kind of data replicated by modern teenagers. “The picture is completely different nowadays. I wouldn’t like to make that generalisation at all.”
That said, 1986’s gamers found no hindrance in their careers, whether they went to university or not; the study found them no less likely to find employment in managerial positions by age 33. That, Taylor said, was the study’s major finding. “It doesn’t bear out further on people’s lives.”
The site thinq_, which reported on the study, spoke to Jessica Tams, the managing director of the Casual Games Association. She noted the fact gamers who didn’t go to university were as likely to end up in managerial jobs within their careers. “This might just say more about universities than video games,” she said.