For years, #video games have been the scapegoat for educational failure, laziness, and vehemence. Parents worldwide have unanimously concluded that video games should be blamed for their son’s (or daughter’s) slacking and violent tendencies, and while it holds true in the rarest of cases, there’s actually a lot of benefit to gaming.

The good sides to gaming have been established, but a newly published study by the National Bureau of Economic Research may jeopardize everything – not that we’re discrediting all their hard work. But according to the paper authored by economists, innovations in video games could be the reason why there are fewer men in the workforce.

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Young men are working fewer hours

In the 1960s and 1970s, innovations in housework helped women enter the #Labor Force once dominated by men. This time, however, innovations in leisure – specifically video games – have the exact opposite in men, reports the New York Times.

The published study, prepared by Kerwin Charles, Mark Bils, Mark Aguilar, and Erik Hurst, indicates that younger men, ages 21 to 30, have a larger decline in work hours over the past decade compared to older men and women. Data collected in the study shows that younger men are spending more time playing due to the vast improvement of today’s video games.

Between 2004 and 2015, men have added two more hours to their leisure time on a weekly basis. When it comes to gaming, in particular, young American men spent 60 percent of their extra time playing video games.

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What’s surprising is that the statistics include full-time students, who for some reason have conjured up extra time to juggle school and gaming, along with socializing, watching TV, and sleeping.

Meanwhile, women of the same age group have an increase of 1.4 hours of leisure time a week. A negligible amount of that extra time was spent on video games. If you’re curious what young women mostly do for leisure, the data shows a spike in the activity labeled “Optional sleeping, eating, and personal care.”

Video games: Better than ever

While alarming, #Young Men spending more time playing video games isn’t exactly surprising. After all, we’ve seen the development over the years – from the eight-bit virtual animations to the now jaw-dropping magnificence that’s so unreal, one could go on a quest with a buddy for days. These days, many games have an online component that vastly improves the gameplay experience and interactivity, often superseding the importance of the player’s offline game objectives.

Should we accept the study’s claim that men are opting out of the workforce to play games and is that a reason to panic? It’s worth noting that the paper mentions that non-college educated men, those who took up the largest part of the gamer demographic, reported being happier than their peers a decade ago, which in itself isn't a bad thing.