Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Video Games Are Way More Cool Than College

my teenage addictionA recent poll by AP-AOL Games found that 40% of Americans play video games. That’s a million times infinity percent increase from 100 years ago. A shocking statistic, to be sure. To put that in perspective, that increase is even greater than Tom Cruise’s recent decrease in popularity polls.

Ok, I get that American’s like to play video games. Even I like to indulge in some Ms. Pacman from time to time. What’s most interesting is that the poll found that “men, younger adults and minorities were most likely to play those games.” Something about the group sounded familiar, and then it hit me. Aren’t men, younger adults and minorities also less likely to go to college? Can there be a correlation?

Not one to waste time on scientific research when vague generalizations will do, I offer the following indisputable truism: while there may not be a direct cause-and-effect event here, video games are the sole reason that less men and minorities are going to college.

As for younger adults, I don’t think there’s much we can do there. My guess is that no matter what kind of age progression genetic tampering we do, most of the people who decide not to go to college will be young adults. It’s the men and minorities that I’m worried about.

Here’s my solution for these at-risk groups – incorporate college attendance as a requirement to proceed to level 5, or to upgrade to the atomic disintegrator ray. Only then can we hope to get these people in college. Or we could trick them with online degrees that they unwittingly earn by playing Grand Theft Auto: Diploma Edition.

1 comment:

Ayo Adeyemi said...

"Video Games Are Way More Cool Than College"?

Really?

As a 'man', a 'young adult' and a member of a "minority group", I couldn't help but post a few thoughts of my own.

Firstly, I'm in the UK studying medicine at the University of Cambridge.

Secondly, I thoroughly enjoy indulging, with my younger brother, in a particular online RPG - almost fanatically regularly during holidays, while also finding time during the term to compete in athletics at university level (among other activities).

And finally, although video games may be to blame for the serious inequality in higher education you've highlighted, I feel it might be worth considering the concept of a deep-seated social dogmatism regarding the acceptable limits and life-pathways often imposed on males and minorities. I am lucky to have perspicacious parents that realise that “potential” is not solely present in any one particular group – and that talent needs to be nurtured. Schooling has a pervasive and enduring impact on the way people understand and perceive the society that surrounds them. It makes sense to first deal with society’s current silent-prejudices that limit our ability to harness the full potential of each new generation, before depriving us all of our beloved ‘video games’...

(aea29[at]cam.ac.uk)