Games Are a Guy Thing, Say Researchers

May 27, 2008 -

New research says that video games appeal to the male urge to conquer, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

The newspaper cites a new study by Stanford Prof. Allan Reiss (left), published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research

Professor Allan Reiss, who led the research, said women got the hang of the game and understood how to win the most territory, but were not as driven as men...

 

After analysing the MRI data, the researchers found participants of both sexes showed activation in the brain's mesocorticolimbic centre, the region typically associated with reward and addiction. Male brains, however, showed much greater activation. The amount increased as they gained more territory.

Reiss commented on his research:

These gender differences might help explain why males are more attracted to, and more likely to become "hooked" on, video games than females. I think it's fair to say that males tend to be more intrinsically territorial. It doesn't take a genius to figure out who historically are the conquerors and tyrants of our species.

 


Comments

Re: Games Are a Guy Thing, Say Researchers

This research seems a little limited. They seem to have used a rather arbitary, abstract game design, deliberately centred around the idea of 'territory', and then used it to prove that men are more likely to enjoy videogames because they're more territorial. It also doesn't actually say whether or not the men claimed to be enjoying the game any more than the women.

The popularity of DS and Wii with those who don't fit into the traditional gamer demographic seems to contradict this research. Regardless of whether or not it's because women enjoy 'conquering' too, or whether it's because many of the games released today don't fit into the 'conquering' archetype, the point's still moot.

Re: Games Are a Guy Thing, Say Researchers

Don't tell Jack Thompson! He'll now suggest that when men play video games, it will make you into a conquer happy tyrant, wanting to expand our territorial reign over all! :P

Re: Games Are a Guy Thing, Say Researchers

All his base will soon belong to me!!

Re: Games Are a Guy Thing, Say Researchers

 This is a bunch of crap. 

Games today are designed FROM THE GROUND UP to appeal to men. Games like Oni, a game with a heroine that happens to have DDs; or Resident Evil 4, which has the most useless female character I've encountered in ages. No wonder we haven't discovered the cure for AIDs or cancer: We have these guys to thank!

Re: Games Are a Guy Thing, Say Researchers

Thats the stupidest thing ive heard in some time.. I dont know whats more wrong with that string of verbal diarrehea, first off are you actually implying we dont have the cure to aids and cancer because most game developers are men and -oh my god- men like breasts, their are plenty of female characters out there, and CONSIDERING that most developers are men, it would be pretty obvious to assume that they are going to make a game that is fun for them. If, subconciously, that happens to come out as a game that appeals to other men.. well that should be pretty obvious from the start.

Its completely ignorant to say that those games are made only for men, my girlfriend loves halo/cod/re4, just because you dont doesnt mean anything... get off your soap box, you can come back when you have your facts straight.

 

And eva was NOT useless, she saved leons life on SEVERAL occasions, and was actually a pretty key character plotwise, and developers shouldnt have to give a power role to every female character just to silence the loudmouthed idiots why cry sexism at the drop of a hat.

 

You seriously need to grow up, you're raving like a child.

"Oh my god a female character has breasts! get the torches! its misogynistic!"

Of course you dont notice that EVERY video game character who is in a power role, male OR female is either brilliant, strong, or exceptional in SOME way, why cant I complain about them setting an unrealistic standard for men?

Re: Games Are a Guy Thing, Say Researchers

This is only good enough to show that war games are a guy thing.  There are many different kinds of games that aren't wholly competitive in structure.

Re: Games Are a Guy Thing, Say Researchers

"It doesn't take a genius to figure out who historically are the conquerors and tyrants of our species."

Apparently, he's never heard of the likes of the Empress Dowager, or Elizabeth Bathory

Bathory

True, but, Bathory wasn't really a tyrant in the sense a political sense. I don't think she ruled over anything. I want to say she was a Dutchess or something. If I'm wrong, though, apologies; history wasn't my big subject.

But I certainly won't argue she was a tyrant in the home, a brutal madwoman whom be a bringer unimaginable suffering...a real psychobitch

Re: Bathory

Maybe so, but what about Queen Victoria?  She ruled the largest empire in the world, and her reign was marked by considerable acquisition of territory.

Re: Games Are a Guy Thing, Say Researchers

My Girlfriend plays a lot of games. But when I think about it, its mainly Animal Crossing, The Sims, Harvest Moon etc. An Ex-Girlfriend of mine was into action-rpgs and racing games though...

Re: Games Are a Guy Thing, Say Researchers

I have a few friends who might well dispute these findings, especially where RPGs and MMORPGs are concerned.

I do wonder with these 'brain activation' scans just how much weight of evidence should be placed upon them.  Sure they show a responsiveness, but I can't help but feel that the significance of the quantity is overstated.

Re: Games Are a Guy Thing, Say Researchers

Any research that attempts to divide the sexes up will be pretty skewed to start with.  This is not very scientific.

Re: Games Are a Guy Thing, Say Researchers

It's not about dividing the sexes, it's about understanding our differences.  Some people take the philosophy of equality too far and try to assume that men and women must be the same in every way when it comes to the brain.  That simply isn't true.

Re: Games Are a Guy Thing, Say Researchers

I mean it makes sense when you think about it.  But he didn't have to go through the whole "tyrant" and "conqueror" rant.  That just makes him sound like he's making political statements based off his research which is scientifically unethical.

Re: Games Are a Guy Thing, Say Researchers

The only game that comes to mind off the bat in which you win by gaining the most territory would be Pac Man.

And I'll admit that game totally gets me in a conquering and tyrannicaly hooked mood......I just can't stop eating those pellets cause its soooooooooo......addictive.....

 

Re: Games Are a Guy Thing, Say Researchers

Dawn of war:Dark Crusade as well as Soulstorm both have territorys that you have to capture in order to win.

Re: Games Are a Guy Thing, Say Researchers

Thank you very much for this useful article and the comments.

evden eve nakliyat

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ankara evden eve nakliyat

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ankara nakliyat

Re: Games Are a Guy Thing, Say Researchers

Yeah I'm what one would call a casual gamer so I'm not down on the new hip young games you wipper snappers now play to get territory in. 

Re: Games Are a Guy Thing, Say Researchers

Not so much a question of newness or hipness as of genre, and to some extent, platform. There is a long, proud tradition of strategy games (which are more often than not on the PC) that deal with territory in one form or another, going back at least to PowerMonger. Or to give examples more people have actually heard of, Civilization and Master of Orion.

Re: Games Are a Guy Thing, Say Researchers

Men like power?

Wow, i never knew that.

 
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