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A New Study Says That Video Games Are a Guy Thing, Because They Appeal To Men's Urge To Conquer

Video Games Are a Guy Thing? Someone Forgot To Tell Us

When I read this article on a study that said guys are more into video games than women (it's infuriatingly titled "Games Are a Guy Thing"), I thought I'd do a poll about it — and then I realized what a big Duh that was. Of course video games aren't "a guy thing" — but do our reasons for playing them differ based on our genders?

The study says that video games appeal to a man's need to conquer, which I can't argue with, because I think I play video games out of my need for fun, not because I want to be the dictator of Sims land. Games, they say, activate the mesocorticolimbic (I dare you to pronounce that correctly) center, or the place where addiction and reward are based. There's more activity here in men's brains than women's, which is interesting, to say the least. Sometimes I feel very addicted to a certain game (I can quit anytime, I swear!), but I have always felt my boyfriend needs to play a little more than I do.

I would really like to see a video game/brain study on what causes video game burnout, but in the meantime, what are your thoughts on the video-game-as-guy-thing?


Join The Conversation
jennacyde jennacyde 9 years
whatev. that's so stupid i can't deal with it.
ehadams ehadams 9 years
Okami is totally awesome, and my boyfriend and I both enjoyed it a lot. A good example of a game that both sexes can enjoy.
Lyv Lyv 9 years
Of course it's total BS! Nonetheless, I do have a lot of rich preppy girl-friends who say they've never owned a video game and I'm always so sad to hear it... It's just not natural, specially when you think of how back in the day games were so much cheaper. :(
looseseal looseseal 9 years
It's getting to the point that anytime I see the words "A study has been done...", I know a big steaming pile of BS is coming. Any video game makers that believe this stuff are limiting themselves a lot by cutting off half of the potential market out there. You can't please everyone all of the time, but I think video games are one of those things that are so versatile, there can be something for everyone. There's almost no limit to what it can do, what fantasies it can fulfill, desires it can satisfy, etc. It's like saying "books are only for the religious" just because most of the first books happened to be religious texts. Some day video games will be a more or less respected medium like books and films. Seriously, there was a time when film and photography were considered trash that only appealed to people with low standards or some such thing.
cleegiants cleegiants 9 years
as a woman, i don't play a lot of video games sine we couldn't afford them growing up, but from what i know from friends and others, it's not limited to just guys! i think a lot of the games are marketed or geared towards guys (shooting, conquering, blowing stuff up, etc.) but you can't just say it's a guy thing.
colormesticky colormesticky 9 years
My husband might waste me at Halo, but I'd kick his ass at Mario Kart. A lot of games are geared toward guys, but that doesn't mean girls don't like them or aren't good at them.
penguins0885 penguins0885 9 years
I love video games so much I made one of my degrees be something I could use to work and make video games :).
kcwebgirl kcwebgirl 9 years
word to big bird. i love video games. i play tons of online puzzle games like scrabulous and texttwist. but i also play tons of console games. and i easily get addicted to games and must force quit to get anything done!
SweetnLow SweetnLow 9 years
I completely beg to differ about the gamer status in my household. Who buys the games in our house? That'd be me. Who put Wiifit on pre-order months and months before it came out? That'd be me. Who was the one who didn't let his kick-ass wife pre-order the Wii to begin with? Yeah, That'd be him. And the rule about girls not liking fighting games? I want the person wo said that to come to my house and watch my 4 year old Daughter kick some Pokemon booty!
ALSW ALSW 9 years
My husband and I are both addicts. Just to different types of games usually. I do like a lot of the conquer games and also fluff like Mario Kart. He's more into things like Super Paper Mario and Smash Bros.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
CoralAmber - I'm definitely going to have to check out Okami, based on your description. I've been curious about it and it's nice to hear from someone that's actually played it. -- My boyfriend fits that description of addiction and reward. He isn't satisfied unless he's completed 100%. He does certainly need to play more than I do. But I wouldn't take that as being reason enough to make a blanket statement like "gaming is for guys." I love my video games, but it's not a way of life for me. I get just as addicted and into a great game, playing it every second I can get... just as I would a great book.
robynfromdahood robynfromdahood 9 years
I love gaming and I always surprise all my guy friends when I say that I play. It's not just a guy thing I know plenty of my girlfriends that spend hours playing games.
sparklemeetspop sparklemeetspop 9 years
I have to admit, I have usually considered gaming to be a guy thing. However, that is definitely changing. After speaking with a EA game developer, she was saying how girls like games with stories. Me personally, I LOVE WII! I don't like sitting on my patootie pressing buttons. I'm also a "control turner" so Wii is my perfect gaming match.
asmariamoon asmariamoon 9 years
I'm sorry, but I'm just as much of a gamer as some of my guy friends, and much more of a gamer than the average guy. The first time I played Halo was at an XBox LAN party, which would have been a sausage fest had I not been there. :P It took me a while to get used to the control scheme, but once I got the hang of it, I was kicking butt and taking names. Also, I can beat practically anyone on any Tony Hawk game, just ask my friend Daniel, who got frequent butt-whoopings no matter what mode we played in, be it high score, tag, graffiti, etc. When we played high score mode, the point spread was ridiculous, mine would be in the hundred thousands, sometimes the millions, and his score was in the ten thousands.
evalution evalution 9 years
I had to get rid of my playstation cause it completely took over my life. I just couldn't stop playing, and there is definately nothing male about me. I recently bought the wii and love it. I have made some rule for myself to better control my use. Hopefully I'll get to keep this longer than the PS.
hkmarks hkmarks 9 years
MEH-so-CORE-tih-coh-LIM-bic ;) I personally burn out on games when I either feel I've been doing the same thing for too long, or I figure out the trick (or at least a major trick) that makes the game easier to beat. (For instance, in City of Heroes, I figured out how to stack enhancements properly, and that was a major factor in getting bored with the game.) All RPGs have basically similar rules (whoever deals/resists the most damage per second wins), so even if there are variations in the gameplay or plot, I'll only stay interested for so long. Most puzzle games really only vary in difficulty. First-person shooters and fighters are a matter of reflexes and practice, and they tend to be either too easy or too hard unless you're playing against humans. The one game I can always play is Tetris. There's no trick to it, it's just skill and a little luck.
ninjastarlett ninjastarlett 9 years
That whole "guys' need to conquer" thing makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint, in addition to the aggression exhibited in video games alone, but I doubt many people, male or female, would give that as an answer when asked "why do you play video games?" I think the article and the research are taking video games too seriously as a representation of raw male behavior; it can be just a game, you know.
glam-sugar glam-sugar 9 years
I'm way more addicted to video games than my boyfriend.
dormouse dormouse 9 years
I've been playing video games since I was three years old. Oddly enough, the person who got me into gaming was my older sister. Sometimes I feel that guys do get more games oriented towards them... but I don't know if that's for the best. I don't like it when specific companies feel that they need to gender orient games. I love games from Team Fortress to Kirby... heck, I even play Dungeons and Dragons (a typical "boy" game in some peoples eyes). I am a proud gamer ^-^!
ladychaos ladychaos 9 years
I love NBA street (yes, I have a classic playstation), own all the tomb raider games for ps1, and am a mass murderer in gta... ..did I mention that Halo is my sh*t. Sorry there, but some of us that rock handbags and heels also will rock out on xbox and be the first at buffalo wild wings with a cosmo at hand watching the football/basketball game. We do exist. There's nothing in the rule books that say you can't like the "rougher" aspects of life and still be girly. Just think of Danica Patrick...
CoralAmber CoralAmber 9 years
I love Okami which is a great mix of fighting and creative problem solving. When you win a level you replenish a dead forest and everything blossoms and cute animals (which you can feed) return to the area. It's really great for guys and girls.
ehadams ehadams 9 years
Personally I think if video games were made without gender preferences then more women would buy and play them. Look at World of Warcraft or all the Wii games that are so popular- and I am not talking about Cooking Mama!
ehadams ehadams 9 years
I play a lot more than my boyfriend does. >_>
neko neko 9 years
I don't think it's really fair to make a blanket statement such as "Games are for Guys", but there definitely are games geared towards men and women. I enjoy playing Halo as much as Super Princess Peach, but I doubt my boyfriend would enjoy playing the latter. I've been around that kind of mentality, that most of the things I like to do are "boys" activities that it doesn't bother me anymore.
EvilDorkGirl EvilDorkGirl 9 years
That is such B.S.!!!! This didn't even take into account the fact that most games are geared towards men to begin with (DoA Beach Volleyball, anybody?). Or that they're constantly portrayed as a "guy thing." And that, generally speaking (although I don't have research to back this up) girls get dolls and easy-bake ovens while little boys are getting gaming systems. There are so many different reasons that could account for men playing more games than women. In any event, this is rapidly changing with the advent of the Wii. Also -- did they take little internet games into account? Because I know a lot of women who play things like Scrabulous or Bejeweled or online Sudoku. All I know is that there have been PLENTY of games that I've felt like I... just... can't... put... down. SSX Tricky is what immediately comes to mind, but I was also pretty addicted to MLB 08 The Show and NHL 2K7 and (waaaaay back in the day) Soul Calibur 2.
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