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Science says: Men's brains get more 'reward' from gaming

Kyle Orland

Developers and executives that are struggling to develop games that appeal to women now have a new excuse to fall back on if and when they fail. According to a study by Stanford University's Alan Reiss, men are hard wired to feel more "rewarded" playing games than women.

The study, which looked at 11 men and 11 women, asked participants to play a simple territorial point-and-click game while hooked up to an fMRI machine. The men in the study showed much great activity in the brain's "mesocorticolimbic center," which is associated with reward and addiction.

Interestingly, the amount of activity for men went up as they did better at the game, while the amount of activity for women stayed roughly constant, regardless of achievement. "The females 'got' the game... they appeared motivated to succeed at the game," Reiss said. "The males were just a lot more motivated to succeed." Yeah, yeah ... tell it to the Frag Dolls.

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