Study Blames Gaming for National Park Attendance Drop

Video games have been the convenient whipping boy for the anti-gaming faction for quite a few years. Video games have been blamed for everything from contributing to the moral decay of youth all the way to causing acts of extreme violence among the general populace. But a new straw of criticism has been added to the industry camel’s back, this time by Oliver Pergams, an assistant professor of biological science at the University of Illinois. According to his study, titled Nintendo vs. Nature, the decline of attendance of US national parks is directly related to the appearance various forms of indoor entertainment media such as video games and the Internet.

Pergams was quoted on NPR (National Public Radio) in stating, “So, we think it likely that these kinds of increases in sedentary lifestyles and recreation not only affect how much time people have to go to national parks, but how much they want to go to national parks.”

Pergams, study revealed that since 1987, trips to the national parks declined from an average of 1.2 trips per person each year to 0.9 trips. The assistant professor,s numbers seem to indicate a real drop in attendance by the public.

While the decline in outdoors recreational activity may be, in part, due to the emergence of interactive video entertainment, the lifestyles of the general public are also a factor to consider-most people simply do not have the time to go on vacation. According to a report done by the Journal Gazette, “Compared with other developed countries, Americans receive the fewest vacation days per year on average: 14 days, as opposed to 17 in Australia, 19 in Canada, 24 in Great Britain, 27 in Germany and 39 in France [according to an Expedia survey]. So not only do we earn less vacation time, but we also take less than we,re provided.”

And some people would argue that playing video games, in lieu of taking a long trip to a national park, isn,t a bad compromise when time is at a premium.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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