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Comment of the Day: Unemployment and Video Games


[I regret the delayed reporting of this letter but it seems that human error has caused drafts of posts to be mistaken for actual posts… therefore, there will be many posts for a few hours…]


Boston 18 hours ago [+2 months]

Everyday the media reports on a new study that blames anything from avocados to video games to parents for low wages and unemployment, but never once actually experimentally controlling for employment opportunities. Every single one of these studies relies on the same obfuscation: confusing correlation for causation, like blaming cancer on chemotherapy because a majority of cancer patients do chemo.

These articles are all begging the question. They blame unemployment on people doing things that unemployed people do; they say, in effect, “you are unemployed and lazy because you are unemployed and lazy. Stop being unemployed and lazy!”

These studies are not published to persuade academics, but to be reported on and tweeted by politicians, thereby impeding scientific literacy while pushing a political agenda.

It seems that the mainstream media will stop at no length to avoid acknowledging the real problems: rampant deregulation that dangerously erodes working conditions and lowers wages; an evermore self-serving mainstream media and elite socio-economic class that exploits the values of truth, honesty, and science to the extent that Americans are losing the ability to distinguished reality from fantasy; a political and economic modus operandi that rewards automation and outsourcing while eroding work opportunities and safety nets for its citizens.

New York Times, when will you wake up to the nightmare you have helped create?

[The gist of this comment is that a reverse causation has been assumed: that is, that young men are unemployed because they play video games…

When in fact, young men play video games because they are unemployed.  This conclusion runs counter to the moralistic “they are poor because they deserve to be poor” explanations for poverty, in that video games are a symptom, not a cause, of unemployment.  Thus, this conclusion will receive little or no attention in the right-wing media reportage on this study…]

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