Boys and Their Toys

BOYS AND THEIR TOYS….The New York Times tackles everyone’s favorite new social trend today, the “boy crisis.” Why is it that girls are doing way better in college than they did 30 years ago while boys are treading water? By cherry picking a few paragraphs from the story, I think I have the answer:

[Jen] Smyers, also at American, said she recently ended a relationship with another student, in part out of frustration over his playing video games four hours a day….”That’s my litmus test now: I won’t date anyone who plays video games. It means they’re choosing to do something that wastes their time and sucks the life out of them.”

….In the Dickinson cafeteria on a spring afternoon, the byplay between two men and two women could provide a text on gender differences. The men…talked about playing “Madden,” a football video game, six hours a day, about how they did not spend much time on homework.

….Some professors and administrators have begun to notice a similar withdrawal among men who arrive on campus with deficient social skills. Each year, there are several who mostly stay in their rooms, talk to no one, play video games into the wee hours and miss classes until they withdraw or flunk out.

This spring, Rebecca Hammell, dean of freshman and sophomores, counseled one such young man to withdraw. “He was in academic trouble from the start,” Ms. Hammell said. “He was playing games till 3, 4, 5 in the morning, in an almost compulsive way.”

Contra Steven Johnson, is it possible that everything bad really is bad for you?