They have college educations, good jobs, they’re married, and some of them even have kids. But when the working day is done, while their wife is preparing dinner or working around the house, these Generation X and Millennial men retreat to their man-cave basements and play video games.

According to Rutgers University sociology professor Deborah Carr, this behavior is actually not the least bit surprising.

“This is just another instance of men doing things for fun that they’re comfortable with and that they’ve done their whole lives,” she said.

“Men who are Generation X and Millennials, they grew up playing video games, so that’s what they know, that’s entertainment to them.”

“It’s really no different than men 40 years ago going bowling or playing poker, or whatever activity they did in their younger years, and they just carry with them when they’re older.”

Carr said men tend to spend more time on themselves than their female counterparts do.

“There’s actually heaps of data showing that men, especially married men, have much more leisure time than women, and that is because they choose to use their time doing activities that benefit them,” she said.

“But women take their time off work and use it either cleaning house or shopping or taking care of the children. And so no matter how much changes, women are still the ones holding down the fort at home.”

She said the video game playing is probably really annoying to a lot of wives who are stuck doing chores and taking care of the kids.

“While men do what they enjoy, women tend to forsake their leisure time to help the family,” she said.

“There are many, many women out there who would prefer to not be working in the garden on a Saturday and would prefer to be at the gym or with their friends or getting a pedicure or playing video games themselves, but they feel that sense of responsibility to forsake that personal time for something that helps the family more broadly.”

Ben Pasqua, the owner of Video X-Press in Trenton, said playing video games is a great way for hard-working men to chill out.

“Every once in a while you just like to kick back, pick up a controller and just relax,” he said.

“You forget about things, you forget about problems sometimes, you forget about just other things going on.”

He noted several shooting games are very popular with Generation X and Millennials, especially if the games are online, so you’re able to compete with other players.

Pasqua added video games are fun, but “if my wife came home and saw me wearing one of those virtual reality headsets like Captain Video, she’d probably throw me out.”

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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