Saturday, 9 February 2008

Just one more go…..

Do you like video games? Do you ever get caught in the ‘just one more attempt at the level I am trying to complete as I have got work in the morning but which actually involves a further two hours play’ syndrome? Do you get surprisingly large amount of satisfaction at the final destruction of the last of the enemy squadron / Zombie horde / secret rebel base / chances of Spurs remaining in the Premier league?

If any of the above sparks a slight degree of recognition the odds are that you are male and whilst there is no help available there are the glimmerings of a scientific explanation.

At team at Stanford University School of Medicine led by Allan Reiss have shown that the part of the brain that generates rewarding feelings is more activated in men than women during video-game play.

The researchers designed a game which involved the acquisition of territory on a screen by clicking on dots. Whilst playing the game the participants (11 men and 11 women) were scanned by a functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, machine . fMRI produces a dynamic image showing which parts of the brain are working during a given activity.

The researchers found that whilst both genders tried to succeed at the game the males seemed to have a much greater motivation to succeed.

After analysing the fMRI data for the group, the researchers found that the participants showed activity in the brain's mesocorticolimbic centre, the region typically associated with reward and addiction. Male brains, however, showed significantly greater activity and this correlated directly with how much territory they gained. A finding that wasn’t replicated for the female participants. The research also suggested that male neural circuitry made it more likely that men would feel rewarded by a computer gaming (especially with a territorial component) and that this explained why males are more prone to getting hooked on video games.

Of course it does make you wonder how this particular piece of male brain function has influenced the course of general human history.

But at least I have an excuse for, on occasion, crawling into bed a little later that is probably reasonable.

Not sure that the boss will give any credence to me attempting to use the explanation but I’m not irresponsible it’s just that I’m made that way.

Oh and which way is Poland?


lewisham kate said...

I have to keep playing til i get a certain point or finish the boss level....lose many hours replaying levels that seem near on impossible.

Liz said...

My name is Liz and I am a Solitare addict. I can't do video games.

lewisham kate said...

Oh i love solitaire. Anyone can do video games you jusy need to be a little bit interested and i happen to have a slight addiction to bright flahy lights. ;0)