Scientists have found answer to the question that intrigued women for years: Why men are ‘hooked’ on video games? According to the researchers, the ‘passion’ stems from a deep-rooted urge to conquer.
Through the magic of brain-scanning, scientists at the Stanford University have determined that playing on computer activates parts of the male brain which are linked to rewarding feelings and addiction. The more opponents they vanquish and points they score, the more stimulated this region becomes, the scans revealed. In contrast, these parts of women’s brains are much less likely to be triggered by sessions on the Sony PlayStation. Professor Allan Reiss of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research at Stanford University, California, said, “Women understood computer games just as well as men but did not have the same neurological drive to win.” “These gender differences may help explain why males are more attracted to, and more likely to become ‘hooked’ on video games than females,” he said. “I think it’s fair to say that males tend to be more intrinsically territorial. Most of the computer games that are really popular with males are territory and aggression-type games,” he added. To reach the conclusion, scientists wired up a series of men and women to an MRI scanner while they played a video game, which involved competing to win on-screen territory by clicking on a series of balls. After analysing the MRI data, the researchers found participants showed activation in the brain’s mesocorticolimbic centre, the region typically associated with reward and addiction. Male brains, however, showed much greater activation, and the amount increased as they gained more territory. This was not the case with women.