Yet research finds Speccy and C64 gamers' careers on track

80s gamers least likely to go to university

Oxford university research has found that reading for pleasure as a teenager greatly increases the chances of going on to study at university according to a Guardian report.

Playing computer games exclusively was found to lower the chances of going to university compared to those preferring paper-based entertainment in their formative years.

Book worms were more also more likely to get a good job than those who did not read as a youngster, according to research Mark Taylor of Nuffield College, Oxford which tracked 17,000 people born in 1970.

However Taylor also pointed out that the 70s-born group examined by the research were playing games in 1986. "That’s not very many people, and the state of videogames in 1986 is nothing like it is now," he said. He’s not wrong.

According to this timeline owners of classic 8-bit systems such as the ZX Spectrum and Commodore C64 playing cutting edge home videogames such as Donkey Kong, Druid, Gauntlet and Saboteur, were the ones less likely to go to university.

These pioneering gamers, now aged 40, had a 19 per cent chance of attending further education versus 24 per cent for those that preferred to curl up to a book. The results were even worse for Ghosts ‘n Goblins girls, dropping from 20 per cent to 14 per cent. 

Taylor, who is to present the research at the British Sociological Association conference today, said that there was "something special" about reading for pleasure but added that results were improved if adding another cultural activity. 

Like, say, International Karate?

Interestingly, while the research found that Bomb Jack blew ones chances at Oxbridge, the research showed no reduction in career outcome with 8-bit gamers just as likely to be employed in a professional or managerial job at 33.

Minds honed by chipping away at coloured bricks in Arkanoid and dodging bullets in 1942 were apparently well prepared the challenges of the workforce.

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