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Male Brains 'Wired for Videogame Obsession'

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the i-can-quit-anytime-i-wan-ding! dept.

Education 125

thinkzinc notes a story indicating that, according to a new study, men have a harder time putting down a controller than women do. Researchers at Stanford did brain imaging work on a group of young test subjects while they played a simple PC game. Besides the 'obvious' conclusion that men were more 'aggressive at gaining territory on the screen', the tests also indicated that male brains showed more activity in the reward and addiction components of the brain. "The lead author, Dr. Allan Reiss, noted that most of the video games that are popular with men are territory and aggression-type games. 'These gender differences in the brain may help explain why males are more attracted to, and more likely to become hooked on video games than females,' he said. Other recent surveys indicate that about 40 percent of Americans regularly play games on a computer or console, but young males are two or three times more likely than females to feel addicted to video games, Reiss said. "

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In other news... (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333084)

The male brain is also wired for interest in questionable pictures of the opposite sex.

Re:In other news... (5, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333112)

The pictures my brain is wired for interest in leave nothing to question.

Questionable? (4, Funny)

peipas (809350) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333132)

I prefer to be certain they are pictures of the opposite sex.

Re:In other news... (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333180)

I know this is /. and people round here don't interact that many women apart from the pictures you mention, but if they did they would also find that women like them too.

Re:In other news... (1)

bvimo (780026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333272)

Iga is not questionable.

Re:In other news... (1)

MooseMuffin (799896) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333512)

You got fark in my slashdot.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22333738)

Or sometimes the same sex, too. Actually, I think the male brain is just wired for interest in sex, period.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22336142)

> Or sometimes the same sex, too. Actually, I think the male brain is just wired for interest in sex, period.

At first, yes... but in middle age it typically moves gradually away from sex and more toward golf.

The Result... (1)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22334364)

Lots of guys playing games with buxom female characters with the physics implemented for bouncing boobies.

Re:The Result... (1)

urza208 (1234308) | more than 6 years ago | (#22338162)

There are a lot of us out there where we don't care if that is in a game... it might help a little, but still you make it sound like it is centered around that.

also (1)

smurgy (1126401) | more than 6 years ago | (#22336688)

They've just found a specific branch of male-based dyslexia in which ordinary words come out spelt "pwned", "lolnub", and "biatch".

studies (1)

boisepunk (764513) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333092)

Junk science, the lot of it; sole purpose is to perpetuate a stereotype.

Re:studies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22333356)

you mean generate ad revenue?

Re:studies (5, Insightful)

RoverDaddy (869116) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333554)

Please take your politically correct pronouncements elsewhere. I am a liberal, but also a science-minded person. I feel ashamed for all liberals when science is denounced when it might suggest that humans are not all equal in the ways liberals would like them to be. Sorry, but real science doesn't care how the world should be, it only cares how it is.

Why is it not controversial to investigate whether certain races are more prone to certain illnesses, but it is controversial to offer a drug that seems to have more health benefits to one race than another?

Well I'll answer my own question. Some of the concern is based on justified anger over past atrocities committed by people who called themselves 'scientists' (e.g. infecting blacks with Syphilis). But when that anger translates to 'In 2008 I won't accept a drug that is targeted for my race because it might be a plot to harm us', I think we're talking tinfoil hat time.

Why is it not controversial to suggest that one gender has more physical strength than another, but it is heresy to even wonder whether one gender might have more intelligence/compassion/aggression/addiction than the other?

My suspicion is that people get more sensitive when we're talking about the mind vs. the body, because then the subject is the core of who we are. Fine, we're all sensitive about that. But what justifies a knee-jerk reaction that this is just 'junk science'? As a scientist would say, prove it!

By the way, personal anecdotal evidence suggests that this study is on to something. I know that my son and I are certainly prone to being hooked on territorial/aggressive games, while my daughter and wife don't show such tendency. And this pattern extends to other people I know. This is not proof, just commentary.

Re:studies (1)

Krinsath (1048838) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333990)

I'd be more inclined to call it "junk science" because almost any attempt at a study of human behavior really is not going to be truly scientific at the end of the day. Humans are simply too diverse a group to be effectively measured by present scientific protocols, as you cannot say that this group of people is representative of all people and in this instance, you certainly can't say that 22 young adults represent 6 billion+ humans. Heck, you could collect a sample of a million people, run exhaustive tests on them and STILL not come up with a reliable sample that would allow you to put the results of that experiment as a true trend of human behavior.

Therein is the great failing; even though it's fairly obvious that 6 billion people have 6 billion different sets of experiences, we make the faulty assumption that other humans would react to things in the same way as ourselves or the sample group. Blacks were once thought to be "more aggressive" and "less intelligent" than whites. Was this obviously racial bias of the era? Of course it was, but I can assure you that at the time there were numerous studies just like this one to back up that assertion.

Once you start wandering into the area of the human brain, science falls apart. Science relies on testable, verifiable evidence and you can get none of that out of the human brain. This is a side-effect of humans being self-aware. There is no simple Stimulus -> Response like science can measure, there's a thought process about the response which is a random (i.e. - distinct to each person), uncontrollable variable. That alone indicates that it's not valid scientific data, as you cannot be sure if what you're testing is the cause of the reactions or if it's the unknown variable of the subject's life experience. The wiring of the brain is incidental, as humans can control their responses to stimuli (our claim to being "above" the other animals, after all).

I'm not saying there's *nothing* useful from observing human behavior, but to treat it like it can be applied as any other field of scientific study is going to produce junk ideas. It also absolves people of being human..."It's not my fault I stop going to work and ignored my family to the point that they all abandoned me! I was addicted to the videogame! My chemistry left me no choice!" and I find that to be a dangerous road to even begin to tread, science or no.

Re:studies (2, Insightful)

joggle (594025) | more than 6 years ago | (#22336902)

Just because it's difficult to come up with a good experiment doesn't mean it's not worth doing. Many famous scientists of the past earned their fame by creating a brilliant experiment that nobody had thought of before. Just because you or I cannot think of a good test doesn't mean that it's not testable.

While people can absolve themselves by citing some scientific report about their behavior, it would just be an excuse like any other. Conversely someone could become more aware of their nascent nature and try to more consciously control it. Like anything else, it's up to the individual to decide what they choose to do with the information at hand. For an easy example, someone could claim he beats his wife since he and his mom were beaten when he was a child. While there is a clear correlation between being beaten as a child and then beating a spouse as an adult, it would still just be an excuse. If the guy had been aware of this relationship at a younger age he may have sought treatment for anger management before letting it get out of control.

There's several branches of science built on almost nothing but human behavior including economics, sociology and criminology. It is notoriously difficult to test economic theories due to the complex human behavior as you describe (and even Greenspan has admitted that the Federal Reserve has a difficult time of predicting when a recession will occur and doesn't do it well), but there really is no alternative than to try to use a scientific approach and build various models, adjusting them to meet reality as time goes on.

Re:studies (1)

Krinsath (1048838) | more than 6 years ago | (#22338546)

I'm not arguing that there's nothing of value to be learned, it's a question of when people don't realize the limits on how what we learn can be applied.

For example, building castles on loose sand is generally considered...well dumb, however there's all sorts of things that could be learned from it. New ways of overcoming challenges, novel approaches that *can* be transferred to a more testable environment, etc. Responsible scientists also would analyze the limitations of that knowledge gained...such as a great approach that depends on being around sand not being applicable in a forested environment.

However, the tendency in politics and society at large is to ignore those constraints and say "Well, the castles we built showed that we need to use X, so clearly X is key to building a castle" which completely misses the point. When you change environments you cannot be certain of the applicability of knowledge gained elsewhere, and each person really boils down to a unique environment. As you say, you get a best an informed guess, which is fine as long as you remember it's just a guess.

However, this like many similar studies in various areas will be added as fodder against a topic even though the study itself cannot, and likely does not, purport that this is an immutable fact about human behavior. This will then further be demented to the point that you can claim that a video game company got you addicted to a game on purpose and that you're entitled to damages as a result. That's not the fault of the people who did the study per se, but it does diminish the science involved when you remove the science from the equation and then apply the knowledge in ways that it shouldn't be.

This wouldn't be an issue if the general population had a better understanding of science and the processes and limitations involved...alas...

Re:studies (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#22334090)

As a scientist would say, prove it!
No, not so much.

This study isn't on to diddly. Males are more territorial/aggressive; you don't need a study with 22 subjects playing video games to tell you that.

If a study wanted to generalize about "men vs women" and how they respond to video games, you would need a larger sample of both genders than 11+11, at least several kinds of games (some designed by men, some designed by women), etc. You would also need to apply some sort of statistical analysis to the results (another reason why large sample sizes would be better, to reduce the margin of error).

This "study" reminds me of something I'd find at a high school science fair (freshman/sophomore level). Anywhere else it would seem rather subpar from a methodology perspective (and possibly prior research).

Re:studies (5, Informative)

philspear (1142299) | more than 6 years ago | (#22335368)

Some of the concern is based on justified anger over past atrocities committed by people who called themselves 'scientists' (e.g. infecting blacks with Syphilis).

Just so we're clear, the Tuskegee expiriments did not involve infecting black men with syphilis. I know it was a minor point in your post, but it was inaccurate, is a common mistake, and I think given it's historical significance it's important to get it right. The men already had syphilis, and when the study began there was no known cure for it. 15 years into the study penicillin was known to cure it, so there was no reason to continue the study other than to watch poor uneducated black men die, which they did, and furthermore the men were lied to to keep them from getting cured.

But the study did NOT involve infecting them men with the disease directly. In some ways that's worse, because the study seems to have started off as a good study by good scientists and then morphed somehow into preventing patients from getting cured entirely because of their race. An evil study like "let's infect black men with syphillis" is something only comic book villians will waste time doing. A good study eventually turning into evil, I don't know how that happens or how we would prevent that today.

The Say Something Offensive thread (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22335424)

Now lets all take a little time to combat political correctness by saying something really offensive. I'll go first: niggers annoy me.

It's about use vs. abuse (1)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 6 years ago | (#22335554)

The reasons studies showing differences between sex, race or whatever, especially in mental areas should be swept under the carpet is not that the studies are false. Sex is determined by hormones and race by genes, both OBVIOUSLY have hypothetical causality with human brain's function that you would have to be an idiot to simply discount without some serious research to disprove. The brain is part of the body and is shaped by the same factors as it, thus as our brain is different to other species because of our genes and hormones it is going to differ from other humans, I'm personally amazed about just how few differences there tend to be in cognitive capacity between sexes (who have very differently structured brains) and races (who often have very different genes and environments). The reason we should sweep this stuff under the carpet is not because the data is wrong, or the conclusions are evil, it is because of the potential for abuse greatly outweighs the potential benefits.

Take the controversial race-IQ correlation thing that is being hailed by some as the ultimate in suppressed wisdom and derided by others as pure racist hate and bigotry. It is neither. It is just some data which may be probably true, but to the general public it has less potential to enlighten them than be used as rationalisation of an existing view that has only the ability to be divisive. That data says that the average IQ for Africans is significantly lower than that of Caucasians, does that mean George Bush is smarter than his former secretary of state Colin Powell? (or his new SoS Rice or possible successor Obama for that matter) Of course it doesn't, Powell is a smart black guy and Bush is a dumb white guy and since this is always a possibility we're back to where we started where you need to judge someone on their own, not by their race. It however doesn't mean that someone who already doesn't like blacks won't be able to use it to win over some supporters with their misused statistics.

This study isn't really harmful at all in my opinion but I think if the misandric minority of women were in the habit of using such studies on quite trivial male weaknesses then in that hypothetical situation it might be in the best interest for those in possession of the results to show an amount of discretion as to who was made aware of them and how it was phrased to prevent certain members of the community from being victimised using these studies as an excuse.

Before I finish though, I'd like to discuss something I don't like, pinning the blame on a more traditionally powerful group to appease general harmony. Problems in Africa MUST be blamed on European imperialism even though violence, corruption and even slavery existed in Africa long before a white man went south of Alexandria. Women not doing well in an area? The top hypothesis on this list is usually males excluding them, regardless of whether large numbers of talented women actually want to go into the area or not. As a white male born in the '80, being constantly blamed for ongoing problems that I could not possibly have had the power to create, often in aggressive and personally directed ways really hurts sometimes. I assume people who fit into this category makes up a lot of slashdot, anyone feel the same way?

Re:It's about use vs. abuse (2, Insightful)

joggle (594025) | more than 6 years ago | (#22337372)

Well, the IQ test regardless of race is controversial. On a recent Colbert Report a guest discussed how the IQ test is targeted for people within a certain environment and are not truely universal tests. He speculated that if someone like Lincoln were to take a modern IQ test he would quite possibly score less than 100 simply because people of his generation faced different problems and wouldn't have the needed experience to do well on the typical IQ test. Another example he gave was to show how a tribe in Africa would also score horribly on the IQ test due to living in a completely different environment and facing different problems on a daily basis. (he went into much greater detail in his interview and his book, but I don't recall them now)

I agree that a study of 'intelligence' comparing races using various metrics probably isn't a good idea though. However, if, for example, one socio-economic group of elementary school students is underperforming it is probably worthwhile to become aware of the problem (through standardized tests) and then attempting to postulate the causes and try to adress them.

Re:studies (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 6 years ago | (#22336898)

No, it IS junk science.
Look at some of the quotes the "researches" spew out.

They basically call men a bunch of conquerors, pillagers, and tyrants.

I could look at the same exact results and say men are more focused, goal-oriented, and value success.
I could say the data shows that women are lazy, unfocused, and wouldn't do well in the competitive areas of business, politics, etc.

We all know that the average man will be more competitive / serious about things like your typical video games.
Do the same study with a game about fashion, make up, or shopping, and see what the results are.

Re:studies (1)

skinfaxi (212627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22335686)

"Junk science, the lot of it; sole purpose is to perpetuate a stereotype."

I agree. Any time I see an article titled "X's brains wired for Y" I figure it's junk. Brains aren't computers. People aren't "wired." Perhaps "male brains" are more socialized to be territorial. I think making any generalization from a sample size of 22 is a bad idea, as well. I would be interested in a similar study that tried to control for socialization.

Re:studies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22336146)

I agree. Saying men are "wired" for something just because it increases activity in certain areas of the brain is stupid. Maybe the cause of that is most games reflect things men want to do but can not (e.g. womp ass in space). Wouldn't that imply that we're "wired" for whatever fantasy is being played out on the screen? Maybe women don't respond the same way because there are very few games designed by women. It is so irritating to read this kind of shit from "scientists".

Isn't it the other way around? (4, Insightful)

mkettler (6309) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333106)

Video games are generally written to suit the obsessions of male brains, are they not?

Re:Isn't it the other way around? (1)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333458)

Obviously you've never played http://games.cosmopolitan.com/games/boy-toy/ [cosmopolitan.com]
/Haven't either, don't worry.

Re:Isn't it the other way around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22335316)

Obviously you've never played http://games.cosmopolitan.com/games/boy-toy/ [cosmopolitan.com] /Haven't either, don't worry.
That's a Mac user's dream game.

Re:Isn't it the other way around? (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333940)

It figures since they are written by men.

Re:Isn't it the other way around? (4, Funny)

BattleApple (956701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22335292)

I've always thought it was interesting that many women seem to be fans of Atari's Centipede arcade game, and it was supposedly the first arcade game written by a woman.

I have a theory on why some women would enjoy a game that involves cutting a long snaky thing into pieces before it can get to them, but I'm not going to get into that here

Haven't found the games addictive for females? (2, Interesting)

Ost316 (1035874) | more than 6 years ago | (#22334000)

I agree. While using a "territory" game may fall inline with the mass's perception of video games, they're not the only games out there. The industry has evolved to gear games at their male target audience, though recently innovative and casual games outside of the "territory and agression" mentality are becoming common. When you test subjects on games in which the male brain is supposed to be inclined, it should be little surprise that they find the games more addictive. This shouldn't necessarily mean that video games can't be as compelling to women as to men. Have the study participants play a variety of games -- not just those related to screen territory -- and then let me know if this still holds true.

Re:Haven't found the games addictive for females? (2, Insightful)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 6 years ago | (#22335156)

Precisely. Most modern games are written for men, because men were the big audience when they came out, because men were the ones writing them when they came out.

Can't really study something so heavily biased and expect the bias to go away.

Try them on a game like Animal Crossing or Nintendogs or something and if guys are still more likely to get addicted than I'll buy the verdict.

For some anecdotal evidence one of my relatives is a total anti-gamer except for 3 games, Diner Dash, Animal Crossing, and Guitar Hero. If you were to test her addictedness on, say, Team Fortress 2 or Galactic Civilizations 2 vs. my own addiction I have no doubt you'd find these exact results. Try it on one of the aforementioned games, especially Animal Crossing as both of us were addicted to that for a while (it was a good game), and I bet you'd find the opposite to be true...

Re:Haven't found the games addictive for females? (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 6 years ago | (#22337322)

Definitely true. My aunt and (female) cousin can play The Sims for hours on end. It suddenly made sense when I realized that it's an electronic version of playing with dolls. And the difference between dolls and action figures is playing at life versus playing at war, which I think is the difference (generally) between games that appeal to women and games that appeal to men.

and in other news. (4, Funny)

sam_paris (919837) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333114)

...and in other news, scientists studying grizzly bears in Canada have finally shown that they do, in fact, defecate in the woods.

Re:and in other news. (3, Insightful)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333804)

..and the fact that this study presents something that people think of is obvious is the only reason it's getting news.

They only ran the test on 22 people, and all they did was play a single video game. How can they possibly draw any meaningful conclusions from that?

And how is the an issue with "the male brain" rather than, for example, "men living in America who have had previous exposure to video games." How can they be even a little sure that the entire history of guys liking games more than girls isn't cultural (I'm not saying that it is, btw. Just that this study does nothing to account for anything like that).

He might as well be basing his study on Phrenology, for all the science that he's putting into this.

Re:and in other news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22336592)

All those guys who like games more than girls can send their girls my way. Videogame widows suffer from choosing the wrong men.

In other news... (3, Funny)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333130)

Female Brain 'Wired for Shopping Obsession'... news at 11.

Re:In other news... (1)

77Punker (673758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333450)

I know that my videogame playing leads me to spend far more money than I would if I spent my time on a more constructive hobby. Anyone can become weak and do foolish things.

I'll wager (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333610)

Whoever marked the parent as troll maybe be a no-tail?

Or whatever they call themselves again.............

WOMEN! That's it. /Goes back to IDE

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22334934)

Mod parent up

I had to block my wife from Amazon because she was pissing away so much money on it and couldn't help herself.

Re:In other news... (2, Funny)

Burpmaster (598437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22340170)

Kent Brockman: The weather service has warned us to brace ourselves for the onslaught of Hurricane Barbara. And if you think naming a destructive storm after a woman is sexist, you obviously have never seen the gals grabbing for items at a clearance sale.

Marge: Hrm... that's true... but he shouldn't say it.

Well, I think the conclusion is obvious (2, Funny)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333232)

We need legislation banning video games. We must protect us from ourselves!

Re:Well, I think the conclusion is obvious (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333524)

Won't anyone think of the gamers!?... Oh wait...

and in other news (0, Offtopic)

kevgaxxana (1197617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333330)

al gore thinks the earth is cooling down.

What is wrong with males' strengths (4, Insightful)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333358)

Every time I read a report of this form it always has the underling tone that what men are better at is a debilitating weakness. Why?

Re:What is wrong with males' strengths (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22333648)

Every time I read a report of this form it always has the underling tone that what men are better at is a debilitating weakness. Why?
At the risk of sounding misogynistic, females often set themselves up to be the 'arbiters of acceptability' in our culture. I don't think they want to do it, but it seems to happen like that. Consider an evolutionary perspective: they want to protect the society they are a part of because where they'd spend time together while the men were away hunting. All of the middle/high school drama that takes place in groups of females plays off this "so-and-so isn't acceptable to us anymore, and here's why" dynamic.

I'm pretty jaded, but this is a point I'd like to not believe - unfortunately reality hasn't really shot it down yet, so it persists.

Re:What is wrong with males' strengths (4, Insightful)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333822)

Woman good, men bad

It just goes along with how men are portrayed in most commercials and sitcoms as bumbling, sex starved idiots who have to be set straight but the level headed woman.

Re:What is wrong with males' strengths (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#22334200)

c/but/by

Re:What is wrong with males' strengths (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22334800)

God that drives me nuts. I pointed it out to my girlfriend the other day (we have a particularly irritating one here in the UK for some sort of PC guide) and she tried to claim it wasn't always the male who is portrayed as the bumbling idiot but she's yet to come up with a counter-example.

If the PC guide advert had been made with the sexes switched around there would have been an uproar about how it was sexist. What triumph - we are subjected to continual sexist abuse, and they claim they are the ones being oppressed.

Re:What is wrong with males' strengths (1)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 6 years ago | (#22335270)

Yep, welcome to backlash. It's the same reason that Caucasians are always portrayed as racist, when that, in and of itself, is a racist statement. It's an inevitable part of human nature that the oppressed will almost always become the oppressor when allowed.

This is not to say there are racist Caucasians, or that oppression is a good thing, merely that humans can never swing to the center when then lash out against one side. How many staunch Democrats (to use one side as an example) who have lost faith in their party go to independent vs republican do you think? Much fewer, the moment you become angry or powerful enough to put an end to one group's oppression you will almost always begin to oppress them, whether you want to or not.

Welcome to modern day America, where White Men are simultaneously racist evil corporate rulers who don't care about their companies, are hidden members of the KKK, and misogynist and redneck slobs who can't take care of themselves and only care about beer and football... :P.

Re:What is wrong with males' strengths (1)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 6 years ago | (#22335950)

Welcome to modern day America, where White Men are simultaneously racist evil corporate rulers who don't care about their companies, are hidden members of the KKK, and misogynist and redneck slobs who can't take care of themselves and only care about beer and football... :P.
Except white males get the last laugh, because they are still the richest and most powerful.

Re:What is wrong with males' strengths (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22336564)

So what form do I have to send in to get my riches and power?

White, check, male, check, rich no, powerful no.

I'm in the same boat. (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22336660)

White, check, male, check, rich no, powerful no.
You have to be white, male, exclusively heterosexual (Kinsey 0), and a Protestant. Otherwise, you don't get to be rich and oppress women and 'colored folks'. Also, check your ancestry. If you can find nonwhite ancestors within 10 generations, you're out of the running.

Re:What is wrong with males' strengths (1)

Lost Engineer (459920) | more than 6 years ago | (#22343048)

College/professional school application?

Re:What is wrong with males' strengths (1)

nbauman (624611) | more than 6 years ago | (#22336862)

Men are good for nothing but sex and programming.

I can live with that.

Re:What is wrong with males' strengths (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 6 years ago | (#22334050)

I'd agree. The majority of these things paints males as much closer to barbaric creatures. I see this (horribly insufficient) study and think "Wow, men are more likely to be able to relax and enjoy themselves, show an increased desire to deal with their mental issues responsibly, and have much higher coordination skills!" With the exception of perhaps reading, music, and exercise, there are few "addictions" that are as good for the mind as some video gaming can be - there's no reason to paint us as villains for enjoying the medium.

The flip side, of course, is that anything with a tone suggesting women might not in some way be equivalent to men is treated as a crime against all of humanity. When the president of Harvard suggested during a scientific discussion that it was theoretically possible for men to be simply more pre-disposed to mathematics than women, a huge public outcry was heard and he was forced to resign. He basically said "it could possible for the brains of males and females to potentially be different, I wonder if there's evidence for or against that." This article said "men and women's brains behave differently." The only difference is that in the first example, men came out ahead and in the second women were perceived "winners."

On the other hand, this study just means everyone should stop complaining when they say video games are aimed at men.

I like being a barbarian. (3, Insightful)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22335036)

The majority of these things paints males as much closer to barbaric creatures.

I see nothing wrong with that. I like being barbaric. I like to scratch my nuts when I first wake up in the morning. I like to just shrug it off when women talk about their feelings (Here's a clue, ladies. If you're not my wife, I don't give a flying fuck about your feelings). I like to eat leftover pizza for breakfast and wash it down with a colder beer. I like porn. I like loud, nasty rock 'n roll. I like sex and violence.

After I'm done with my day's work I like to fire up a game and beat the everloving shit out of anything that gets in my way. I don't see anything wrong with this. After all, it's not like I'm at a bar getting drunk and picking fights with other patrons. I'm not hurting anybody or damaging other people's property. Of course, now it's an 'addiction', so I'm sure that there are women and some men who are traitors to their sex who will think that I and other gamers 'need help'.

I don't need help, and I sure as hell don't want any. I like being a barbaric, sex-crazed, gamer who eats too much, drives too fast, and has the volume up way too high. I'm an asshole, and I'm proud of it!

Re:What is wrong with males' strengths (1)

MrVictor (872700) | more than 6 years ago | (#22334374)

"Female virtue has been held in suspicion from the beginning of the world, and ever will be." - Napoléon Bonaparte

Re:What is wrong with males' strengths (2, Interesting)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 6 years ago | (#22335284)

I'm lucky enough to have a circle of friends, both male and female, who are highly attuned to this gender bias in advertising and equally adept at ignoring it. Couple that with the fact that none of us watch much TV and that most of us are aware that large numbers of people are still institutionally sexist and we usually just laugh and decide not to let it offend us. Not sure if the US gets it worse than we do in the UK (there's an inherent sample bias in that people bitching abotu it on /. are largely male and probably more likely to be single than other blocks of males) but there's certainly a large degree of negative male sterotypes in adverts (see below), but that's not to say there isn't an equally large number of negative female stereotypes as well

On the back of that, I'd like to say this: feminists rock, or at least what I consider "proper" feminists (i.e. those women who really do want equal rights and not just an excuse to sneer at "useless" men) and it's pretty much given that if I'm attracted to a woman she's a feminist. They're ballsy, they don't want to be fitted into a "role", they're typically smart and sharp as hell and they're not going to put up with any bullshit. These are qualities that geeks usually admire, and I'm certainly no different in this regard. But I just see the word "feminist" (along with "feminazi", "liberal" and "pro-human rights") bandied about with such insulting regularity that I really wonder if people aren't forgetting what feminism was originally about - namely, not some stupid fucking marketing trick to make women feel superior and buy more sterotyped consumable crap ("I'm a woman in control of my own life... that's why I need to buy some fucking shampoo and lipstick and drool over this neanderthal six-pack on legs whilst I pour diet coke down my throat").

P.S. I hope this is the right one (YouTube blocked at work) but Charlie Brooker did a pretty nice take on it on his screenwipe TV show http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiwmYjk9ARA [youtube.com] - the reason that men are often portrayed as idiots in adverts is that a worryingly large percetntage of them are. Just don't call him cynical :) Unfortunately I share much of his opinion in that I would love for there to be a "B Ark" made at some point in the near future.

Misleading title.. (1, Troll)

sykopomp (1133507) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333362)

...the article is saying the male brain responds more actively to a specific type of game. One cannot draw a general conclusion from this. I'm not the least bit surprised that aggressive, competitive, territory-domination games are more popular amongst men, though.

Re:Misleading title.. (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333974)

I could care less about aquiring territory in some game. Now please excuse me because I'm about to make level and I have my eye on this sweet mace.

I call bull! (3, Insightful)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333394)

My girlfriend is JUST as addicted, if not MORE to the same games as I am. Oblivion and Black and White 2! It becomes a system of trade offs of who's playing what at what time...

It has more to do with the person then the gender! She can wale on me in UT and I make rockin' brownies.

Re:I call bull! (3, Funny)

Tongsy (1188257) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333436)

All that means is that your girlfriend is actually a man.

Re:I call bull! (5, Funny)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333500)

All that means is that your girlfriend is actually a man.
What? No! With those sweet pouting lips, soft skin, and the cutest little Adam's apple you've ever seen...

Wait a second...

Re:I call bull! (1)

RoverDaddy (869116) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333662)

Kudos to you for playing along. BTW, is her name Lola by any chance?

Re:I call bull! (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333768)

BTW, is her name Lola by any chance?
Nope, and I'm not Robert Wace either... Thanks for the Kinks Reference [wikipedia.org] .

Re:I call bull! (2, Insightful)

dctoastman (995251) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333564)

The plural of anecdote is not data

Re:I call bull! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22334126)

The plural of anecdote is not data

It is for a sufficiently large number of anecdotes.
 

Re:I call bull! (2, Funny)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22334512)

It is if you're doing a study on Anecdotes.

Re:I call bull! (1)

twosmokes (704364) | more than 6 years ago | (#22334042)

In other news:
Study which finds that women are more likely to contract breast cancer was determined to be invalid due to scientists discovering that some men have breast cancer.

Re:I call bull! (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22334410)

It's just bad science to use behavioural science [wikipedia.org] and attribute the findings to gender. You could, if you really wanted to stretch it, perhaps apply this to African American Males are more aggressive than their counter parts. We're seeing the Simpson principle at work and as others have pointed out, it may have been due to the games selected. I wonder how many of their male gamers would have been so inclined to addiction if it was "Barbie's Pony Adventure"

GF + Sims = zombie (2, Interesting)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 6 years ago | (#22334782)

I agree. I have trouble putting down the controller, but my gf is afraid of picking it up because she can't stop whatsoever until I snap her out of it.

I think it has to do with attention span. Those who love constant stimulation like my gf get a serious high from video games like the Sims where there is always things going on.

Re:I call bull! (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 6 years ago | (#22335110)

Maybe you are right. Or maybe "she" was born a man. It would explain how someone on slashdot has a girl friend.

why oh why oh why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22333402)

...didn't I choose that research area as well. I could be tenured at Stanford now conducting very prestigious research like that concluding for example that, objects have a tendency to fall down most of the times, if humans don't eat they die, male members of a species have a tendency to chase the corresponding female members with usually a single and overbearing purpose in mind, wonderful wonderful research like that... every day I would wrap up and go home I would feel I'd done something important for humanity...

Sure? (2, Funny)

onion2k (203094) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333432)

Mario and Sonic told me this isn't true.

Warning (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333526)

Does this warrant a surgeon general warning on the side of video game packages?

Bogus science (1)

HyperbolicParabaloid (220184) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333562)

Totally bogus: a study of 11 males and 11 females is not nearly adequate to make any generalizations about the population.
Five bucks say they were students in the researcher's class.

Im not addicted! REALLY!!! (1)

nova1111 (1235076) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333640)

I can put the controller down whenever I want!

Really, I'm not! (1)

tenton (181778) | more than 6 years ago | (#22337814)

I can put the controller down whenever I want!

I just don't want to right now.

Re:Im not addicted! REALLY!!! (1)

LunarCrisis (966179) | more than 6 years ago | (#22339512)

I can put the controller down whenever I want!

Why would you do that!?

Says more about Slashdot editors than brains. (5, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22333724)

Title of the article: "Male brains wired for video game obsession"

That is VERY offensive. Men in the U.S. are the targets of an extreme amount of hostility. I'm guessing that the person who wrote that headline knew that being hostile toward men is in fashion, and wrote it to get attention for the advertisements.

Quote: "These gender differences in the brain may help explain why males are more attracted to, and more likely to become hooked on video games than females," he said.

Fraud: He has not shown any gender differences in the brain. He has shown that, at the time, those particular subjects were using their brains differently.

The article does imply something useful about brains, however. The fact that Slashdot editors wanted us to see it may be an indication that the editors are not in touch with reality. Maybe that's because the editors spent so much time playing games rather than trying to relate to reality.

If you want to experience a society where men aren't hated, go to Brazil. However, don't fall in love with the first woman you meet, like many of my acquaintances.

Re:Says more about Slashdot editors than brains. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22335206)

What's all this about Brazil?

Q: What's all this about Brazil? (2, Interesting)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22338432)

A: If you are male, and go to Brazil (and Thailand), you will begin to realize that all your life in the U.S. you have been treated badly by women.

It's reasonably easy, for me anyway, to find women in the U.S. who are personally very interesting and are responsible. They are often valuable employees, for example. It is difficult to find a woman in the U.S. who I would consider marriageable. My women friends say the men in the U.S. are just as bad, and I have every reason to believe they are right, but haven't done as much personal investigation of men, of course.

In Brazil, you will find many women who should marry someone, even if they are not right to marry you.

But, take your time. It takes a lot of effort to build a marriage-quality relationship.

Women from the Thai culture in Thailand (not from the Chinese culture) are often also quite gentle with men. Although I have met Thai women I thought were marriageable in both Thailand and the U.S., in general they are too childish. Also, there are huge cultural differences.

Marrying someone from another culture, even the Brazilian culture, requires extra effort and insight and willingness to define and learn the best elements of your own culture and the other person's.

If all of this is outside your experience, you may be helped by remembering the song "One Night in Bangkok". The song is about a true story. One year the World Chess Championships were held in Bangkok. Some of the chess players went out at night. The women were so nice to them that some of them fell in love immediately. I have known European and American men in Thailand who did that.

I saw the aftermath of instant love in Bangkok happen with my own eyes, standing on the corner on Patpong road about 20 years ago. A western woman was trying to get control again over the man she came with, after he had seen how nice the Thai women could be, even though the women he had seen were prostitutes, and therefore tended to be far less interesting than more moral women.

Those who don't like what I've said here can express their own theories about why there is a social breakdown in the United States. (Dollar falling in value, highest percentage of population in prison, and so on and on.)

Give me a fucking break! (2, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 6 years ago | (#22343534)

Both of you. Males aren't being persecuted. You have absolutely no fucking idea what it means to be persecuted, to be the target of outright hostility and to be the victim of discrimination. Well, not unless you're black or gay. I suspect you aren't, though.

What I do suspect is that you love your women to be submissive, to accept the man as the head of the household, and to believe in serving him. This is your prerogative - if you find a woman who is like that, go for it.

However, lack of submission has absolutely nothing to do with social breakdown, hostility against males or any other crap like that. If anything, I'd argue that the social breakdown that you see around you and the hostility that is expressed against you is the result of your chauvinistic, self-centered and egotistical attitude. You just can't handle an independent woman.

Seriously - prostitutes were nice to a man? No wai! Getouttahere! Wouldaneverguessedthat. Brazilian and Thai women are nicer? Wouldn't have anything to do with the fact their society is about as male dominated is it could possibly be, right?

Personally, I find that most brazilian women are either crazy or wallflowers. Thai women who made it out of Thailand seem to have adapted fairly well to western habits - but you can still tell who just arrived and who grew up here.

Re:Q: What's all this about Brazil? (1)

cunina (986893) | more than 6 years ago | (#22343538)

So... you're saying that a current social breakdown is underway in the United States, and it's due to "Sex And The City" syndrome?

You might have something there.

I can deal with misandry (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22335282)

If you want to experience a society where men aren't hated, go to Brazil.
I don't see why you're bothered about misandry. Look upon it as an excuse to treat women with the contempt that most of them deserve.

Re:Says more about Slashdot editors than brains. (1)

rapid eyes movement (1230814) | more than 6 years ago | (#22335374)

Regardless our brain is "wired for this & that",any human has the ability to encompass this and evolve (that 's our main "feature") so we don't need excuses for this, I myself am a gamer, I enjoy cleverly designed games but I'm not addicted to all (only one, and I'm still fighting it). If that's the case I don't mind ,the real problem is for kids who often become to attached to this virtual world...

It all depends... (1)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 6 years ago | (#22334076)

The researchers found that while both men and women quickly picked up the game's concepts, the guys were somewhat more aggressive and successful at gaining "territory" on the screen.

As there are no further details on what the game actually encompassed, we can assume 'gaining territory' was the sole purpose of the game. Duh, men have a tendency (either because of nature or nurture) to be more aggressive, and if the purpose of the game is to be aggressive they will enjoy it more. Nearly all games cater to this idea.

Women however tend to enjoy the story-telling and relationship-building aspects of games. My gf and her female relatives are totally addicted to the Sims, while I really can't stand it. I don't mind a bit of FPS, but I don't put nearly as much time in it.

So, like in all _proper_ research, the conclusion should be: It depends. In this case, on the type of videogame. But I guess that wouldn't make such an attention-grabbing headline.

Re:It all depends... (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 6 years ago | (#22336784)

Women are more addicted to games that they can play well and are unoffended by.

Men have spent years getting desensitized to blowing someone's head off. (Or I should say are more likely). They're also more likely to have spent a great amount of time mastering the control schemes. A huge hurtle to overcome.

My Mom was addicted to a game called "birds" for about a year. All the game was was a territorial game. You fly around drawing a line and sealing off "territory" until the birds are trapped in small little provinces of freedom. It was exciting. (Check for good game). It was challenging and therefore rewarding. (Check for good game). The player could instill his will upon his avatar through good controls (Check for good game). And there was the alure of progressing and advancing. (Check for good game).

People often make the jump immediately that women somehow desire different things from their games than men when if you break down all popular and mainstream games the components that make them rewarding for the player are identical across gender lines.

Women + Shopping? (1)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 6 years ago | (#22334110)

Male Brains 'Wired for Videogame Obsession'

Female Brains are wired for...

Mine isn't (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22334250)

Mine is wired for a CowboyNeal obsession.

Disability (1)

dsmoses (653429) | more than 6 years ago | (#22335816)

So, do this mean I can now officially call video gaming a disability, then collect insurance while staying home to play all day instead of working?

where's the surprise? (1)

jsepeta (412566) | more than 6 years ago | (#22335916)

historically, men have been hunters and women have been gatherers.
men seek to dominate or subjugate the world around them, often through force.
women seek to collect objects of beauty and nest themselves in comfort.

hunting and catching an object of sexual desire is not all that different from leveling in WOW or winning races & collecting cars in Gran Turismo.

had to laugh at the "womens brains wired for compulsive shopping" because just look at our examples from popular culture: women and shoes! precious moments figurines! beanie babies!

Re:where's the surprise? (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 6 years ago | (#22337716)

It's kind of funny when you realize 90% of the point of WoW is collecting clothes and acessories for your character.

Wrong Title (1)

sh33333p (1186531) | more than 6 years ago | (#22336244)

It should be "Games designed to appeal more to the male brain."

News at 11.

Flawed methodology (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#22337350)

Male brains wired for video game obsession, because everyone knows a girl wouldn't get obsessed with The Sims or World of Warcraft. Nope. Only males.

In other news, little girl brains are wired to enjoy playing with toys (now that sounded ambiguous), a research revealed by surveying boys and girls when given Barbie dolls to play with.

Meanwhile all the women are... (1)

Alexpkeaton1010 (1101915) | more than 6 years ago | (#22338120)

Meanwhile all the women are watching American Idle and all of the other "reality" TV crap. So are there brains more predisposed to like mindless force-fed entertainment?

Link to actual paper (2, Interesting)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 6 years ago | (#22338810)

Here's the actual paper: Hoeft_2008JPsychiatrRes.pdf [stanford.edu]

I emailed the progenitor of the paper about the "kind of video game" issue. I posit that word jumble games and MMORPGs are the sort of games that are likely to addict women.

If he ever writes back (unlikely), I'll post.
-l

Unless it's Rock Band (1)

Is0m0rph (819726) | more than 6 years ago | (#22340640)

My wife is ready for "just one more song" then I am when we are playing.

No Shit (1)

gregsometimes (1235230) | more than 6 years ago | (#22342728)

What a meaningless study, do you really need a study for this that money is spent on? This is like saying that: The study shows that if you cut your finger off it will bleed, and the blood will be, yes, red. It will also hurt, and you will only have 4 fingers remaining on your hand. What a load of bullshit. There are less women who are interested in playing games to begin with.
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