More Guys Are Techies Because They Play Video Games?

from the correlation...-causation... dept

One of the early things you’re supposed to learn in statistics is that correlation does not automatically mean causation. That doesn’t mean it isn’t necessarily true, but by itself, you can’t assume. However, this also appears to be one of the more popularly forgotten rules of statistics when it comes to trying to prove a point that doesn’t have any other evidence. So, I’m not sure I believe this new study that claims more guys go into technology work because they play video games. The only basis for the argument seems to be: (a) a lot more boys play video games than girls (b) a lot more guys work in tech than women and (c) therefore, video game playing leads to a job in tech. Seems like there should be a lot more to back up such a claim.

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Comments on “More Guys Are Techies Because They Play Video Games?”

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caiuschen (user link) says:

Personally for me...

For me, computer games lead me down the path into the techie world. You see, I spent a lot of time trying to get enough conventional memory (remember the 640k memory limit in DOS everyone?) to get X-Wing working. I actually looked through the DOS manual and stumbled onto QBASIC. This was fourth grade. And I eventually did get X-Wing working. I think for a few years after that, most of my computer knowledge was gained either 1) trying to make a game work 2) making it work better or 3) attempting to program my own game.

bbay says:

Re: Personally for me...

Oh yeah, X-Wing was particularly nefarious because of it’s desire for a large chunk of expanded memory (EMS) (not to be confused with extended memory (XMS)!). And the drivers for EMS took up too much space below 640k, so you had to do the hi-mem trick and so you have to get all your drivers loaded in the correct order because there are different sized chunks of hi-mem and you want all the little peices to fit in there and ARG! *throws manual across the room*

90 percent of the time it was fun, the game-before-the-game, but the other 10 percent, bleh.

(I was going to write something about how kids today don’t get that experience, but it makes me sound like a fogey. And besides, kids who have the programmer bit will seek out today’s equivalent experience.)

Bakaneko says:

Re: Re: Personally for me...

Heh, I’m a (computer) generation older than you.

My fourth grade experiences in exposure to computing through videogaming were trying to program a skateboarding game like SK8 or Die in Garry Kitchen’s Game Maker because I couldn’t afford the actual thing, playing around with 6502 assembly to program the perfect “demo” screen to impress my friends, and using Disk Doctor to recover deleted blocks from a disk another friend gave me to see what game he’d had on the disk before.

All that convinced me to go into a career in aerospace engineering. :P… Of course, 2 years into college and the aerospace collapse convinced me to go into Comp Sci and later focus on IT instead.

As for today’s kids… Mod development. The things they are doing for that quite frankly amaze me.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Personally for me...

Getting X-wing to work? Sadly, I remember games far before that, that were so difficult to configure. I *never* understood what kind of crazy systems these programmers had, that had so much free memory after the drivers were loaded. They must have slimmed all theirs down… it was crazy, loading and re-loading things to get the game to work. And what about having to actually *flip switches* to get a sound card to configure on a PC?

none of that drove me to programming – away from it, if anything – but it did instill me with a sense of competence and confidence in dealing with computers that’s served me well.

Anyway – I’m more curious how the whole modding thing will effect future generations. Because that involves a LOT of artistic merit as well as technical ones… I could see myself doing something like that if I was a teenager nowadays…

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