Video games have been evolving over recent years to become much more immersive and impressive than their older counterparts, but a new study that's been released says that these improved video games have become more of a time sink that's causing young men to work fewer hours.
The stereotype of shirking responsibilities to sit in front of your favorite game for hours on end is nothing new, but this new study from several economists releasing the results in the form of a study paper via the National Bureau of Economic Research says that the trend has been getting worse over the past couple of years.
"Younger men, ages 21 to 30, exhibited a larger decline in work hours over the last fifteen years than older men or women," an excerpt from the study begins. "Since 2004, time-use data show that younger men distinctly shifted their leisure to video gaming and other recreational computer activities."
How many fewer hours are men within that age bracket working exactly? Men aged 21-30 were working 203 fewer hours in 2015 than they were in 2000, according to the study. The age bracket directly above them, the 31-55 age group, was reportedly working 163 fewer hours, and that gap between the two age groups is being attributed to immersive video games.
When the study surveyed these same men about their leisurely activities, it was discovered that 60 percent of the subjects spend 2.3 hours a day playing video games, a number actually seems like it'd be much higher at first glance. The study attributes this shift towards video games instead of working to improvements that have been made over the years that make RPGs and other games feel much more immersive.
One of the researchers who worked on the study, Erik Hurst, said that video games aren't the only culprit for working less, though they're most definitely a factor. Hurst said that there are other factors contributing to men working fewer hours such as lower wages and a lower labor demand.
Much of the draw of video games in recent years has also been attributed to their online capabilities; where video games were previously a single-player or split-screen experience, many more games, such as the crazy popular World of Warcraft, offer online capabilities, allowing players to stay connected without ever leaving.
If you're interested in the full details of the study, it can be purchased online here.