Summary of Escape to Another World

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As video games climb to new heights of sophistication and physical beauty, more and more young American men are withdrawing from personal relationships and the workforce to spend more time in virtual worlds. In this piece for The Economist Group’s cultural magazine 1984, editor and global economy expert Ryan Avent poses more questions than answers as he explores the relationship between America’s dwindling young workforce and the comfort they find within the confines of video games.

About the Author

Ryan Avent is a senior editor and economics columnist for The Economist and an expert on the global economy.



In 2015, for example, more than half of US men in their 20s without a college education still lived with their parents or other relatives, and they seemed to be in no hurry to start lives on their own. That trend mirrors a 10% drop in employment rates among members of that same group since 2000 – despite an overall decrease in unemployment rates. Economist Erik Hurst from the University of Chicago notes that those men have replaced the time they might have spent on the job with leisure activities on an almost hour-for-hour basis. Of that ...

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