Playing More Pleasurable to Males than Females?

Science Daily reports on a study conducted at he Stanford University School of Medicine, in which researcher found out that playing activated the brain’s pleasure center of males more than female.

[T]he researchers found that the participants showed activation in the brain’s mesocorticolimbic center, the region typically associated with reward and addiction. Male brains, however, showed much greater activation, and the amount of activation was correlated with how much territory they gained. (This wasn’t the case with women.) (Science Daily, Feb, 4, 2008.)

The researchers say that this might help to explain why males are more easily addicted to games. However, would this result also implicate that males are, in general, more competitive1 than females, because of the more activation in success in a game?


  1. Stock exchange is not easily distinguished from a game based on the formal features (this applies business also).
  2. Study by Allan Reiss et al., published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

Published by lankoski

Petri Lankoski, D.Arts, is a Associate Professor in Game Studies at the school of Communication, Media and IT at the Södertörn University, Sweden. His research focuses on game design, game characters, role-playing, and playing experience. Petri has been concentrating on single-player video games but researched also (multi-player) pnp and live-action role-playing games. This blog focuses on his research on games and related things.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: