Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

Study shows men's brains hard-wired for games

Chris Chester
February 19, 2008
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links



When it comes to gaming, the popular perception is that it's a man's domain. (Of course, you'd be hard pressed to make that point around Massively HQ, as many of our most prolific writers and senior bloggers are of the fairer sex.) Traditionally, this has been pinned on sociological factors that discourage women from developing as close a relation with computers as men. While there is still probably a kernel of truth to that, a new study out of the Stanford University School of Medicine points to biological factors hard-wired into the brain as the cause. Reportedly, MRI scans taken of both men and women while playing a simple game showed a marked difference in the areas of the brain responsible for feelings of reward and addiction. Men simply got more of a buzz out of games than women, by and large.

What amused me was the description of the game they used in testing, which they described as having no real prescribed goal -- the test subjects simply clicked a series of images depicting balls as they slowly approached a wall. The more quickly they clicked the images, the more ground they gained. Without any instruction, the men in the study "appeared more motivated to acquire terrain." No real prescribed goal? Players motivating themselves to acquire terrain? Feelings of reward and addiction? If I didn't know any better, I'd swear they were using an MMO for that study! At the same time, short of casual Popcap-style games, MMOs probably enjoy one of the highest female to male ratios in the industry, so I'd stop short of saying that sociology has nothing to do with it. Still, very interesting stuff.



All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Elon Musk announces $100 million prize for new carbon capture tech

Elon Musk announces $100 million prize for new carbon capture tech

View
Put Bernie Sanders almost anywhere with this Google Street View app

Put Bernie Sanders almost anywhere with this Google Street View app

View
'Call of Duty: Warzone' is about to get a big esports push

'Call of Duty: Warzone' is about to get a big esports push

View
'Resident Evil Village' hits Xbox One, Series S/X, PS4, PS5 and PC May 7th

'Resident Evil Village' hits Xbox One, Series S/X, PS4, PS5 and PC May 7th

View
Instacart lays off 1,900 workers, including the 10 who formed a union

Instacart lays off 1,900 workers, including the 10 who formed a union

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr