General Question

annaott22's avatar

Why is it that men are so easily addicted to video games than women are?

Asked by annaott22 (516points) February 29th, 2008 from iPhone

so my husband has been on this MortalKombat rampage for about a week. Don’t get me wrong I have fun playing it but my god he won’t put it down!

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13 Answers

needleinthehay's avatar

did you read a study that said this or something, i don’t know what you’re asking.

rawpixels's avatar

Men naturally like gadgets and challenges. Video games provides both

annaott22's avatar

well it seems to be that he is so excited to play it at anytime but I’m not so much any more it got old the first night its like its brand new to him he’s acting like he’s 12 again and its the best thing in the world!

annaott22's avatar

I love technology I’m the one who wanted my iPhone and after he saw how awesome it was he wanted it to. I guess I’m loosing all my attetion to video games and its kind of weird to me I’m not use to it he’s normally all over me all of the time. Now its the xbox, game cube, and nintendo 64

squirbel's avatar

Your question is fraught with generalizations. The one that irks me the most (and I am female) is claiming “men get addicted” to video games.
Video games are a diversion. They are what golf was years ago, TV sports watching, or building model cars, or rebuilding classic cars. All of these were activities that men dove into and many times neglected their spouses as a result. It is their escape activity – labeling it an addiction is only allowing you to let the media’s memes to think for you.

The other generalization is “than women are”. Today’s 20–35 year-olds (male and female) grew up with video games. When they were kids, video games were only for kids. That was a societal norm. But that norm is changing. The majority of games on the market grew up with this generation. They cater to adult interests and present challenges and interaction that adults enjoy. The problem is that the media is stuck on the old societal norm and has not recognized the shift – they berate these adults for not growing up.

It is not an addiction until he stops paying bills, or doesn’t work, or won’t come to bed with you (serious problem). If you are a mature couple, you can sit down with him and let him know that you feel left out of his time schedule (work/play/eat/sleep). It’s perfectly fine to ask that he moderate his hobby-time so you two can spend time together. But don’t monopolize his time, everyone needs alone time.

Good luck!

phoenyx's avatar

I don’t know that men are necessarily more susceptible to “video game addiction” than women are. The best-selling PC game in history is The Sims of which about 60% of the players are female. I personally know several women who are similarly “addicted.” A quick google search had some pretty interesting results.

I suspect that if they made video games that were as researched and geared toward women as they’ve done for games for men, we’d see the same levels of “addiction.”

squirbel's avatar

@phoenyx: World of Warcraft stole the best selling title and Sims gave it up without a whimper. Lol!

zephyrstarfields's avatar

An excellent article that talks sour this need for some men and women to “escape” is a blog post entitled “The Nerd Handbook” (linked below). In it the author explains how some men and women have “projects” that take up their time, which explains the seeming “addiction” to video games, as each game is like a project that gamers are spending their energy trying to complete. It challenges and stimulates the brain, and unfortunately for significant others, sometimes even is more exciting than sex due to the challenge that it provides. Add to that the fact that endorphins and dopamine can be secreted into the brain while playing video games and it begins to make sense why they can have such a hold. Your best bet is to find a as to share this time with him if he’s interested, but know that he WILL want alone time to unwind.

fortris's avatar

Video games are usualy made for guys, I hate to sound sexist but its true. I havent met many women that want a way to simulate kickin’ ass.

artemisdivine's avatar

its biological. sorta how shopping appeals more to women. i am a girl and you could not PAY me to sit there and play video games. and i have played them. i just dont see the point.

Stanford University researchers recorded male and female gamers’ brain images as they played a video game in which the goal was to gain territory. The brain area associated with reward and addiction was activated in all the players.
But the male brains showed a much higher level of activation than the females when they gained more territory.

Writing in a recent Journal of Psychiatric Research, Allan Reiss at Stanford University’s School For Medicine said: “These gender differences may help explain why males are more attracted to, and more likely to become ‘hooked’ on video games than females.” Reiss was not all that surprised either: “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—they’re the males.” It’s also no surprise then that most of the games played by men include territory control and aggression.

The study finds that when men play the games, a part of the brain involved in feelings of reward and addiction becomes much more activated than it does in women.

This may explain why men are more likely to report feeling addicted to video games than women are, the researchers say in in The Journal of Psychiatric Research. The lead author is Fumiko Hoeft of the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Did you ever wonder why there aren’t that many games out there catering to the female demographic? Perhaps it’s because game developers know that inside the brain, video games are more exciting and worthwhile for men than they are for women.

Spargett's avatar

I just think a man’s brain is naturally more pre-programed towards most video games.

As much as we try to deny it there are certain things that each gender are more inclined towards.

Stereotypes don’t appear out of thin air, based on nothing.

bulbatron9's avatar

Most video games are created and marketed with males in mind. If there were shopping games, yelling at your husband games, interior design games, fashion games, etc., I doubt very many males would get addicted to them.

phoenyx's avatar

squirbel: You are right. I was basing my comment off of a paper I wrote in college which predates WoW.

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