Danny Izquierdo, a 22-year-old who lives with his parents in Silver Spring, Md., has found little satisfaction in a series of part-time, low-wage jobs he’s held since earning an associate degree from Brooklyn College. But the video games he plays, including “FIFA 16” and “Rocket League” on PlayStation and Pokémon Go on his smartphone, are a different story.
“When I play a game, I know if I have a few hours I will be rewarded,” he said. “With a job, it’s always been up in the air with the amount of work I put in and the reward.”
Izquierdo represents a group of video-game-loving Americans who, according to new research, may help explain one of the most alarming aspects of the nation’s economic recovery: Even as the unemployment rate has fallen to low levels, an unusually large percentage of able-bodied men, particularly the young and less-educated, are either not working or not working full-time. An additional reason many of these young men — who don’t have college degrees — are rejecting work is that they have a better alternative: living at home and enjoying video games. The decision may not even be completely conscious, but surveys suggest that young men are happier for it.
– Ana Swanson