why do people,especially men, like video games

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Video Game addiction

Why do people like video games?
Why would someone spend hours playing a game instead of doing anything else?
And why would a teen miss his college just to complete a difficult level on a game?

In order to understand any human behavior you must be aware of an important fact which is that different people could be doing the same exact behavior for different reasons.

While there are many video game lovers out there still this doesn't mean that all of them have the same motives.

In this article i will explore with you the most common reasons that attract people, especially men, to video games.

why do people Like video games

  • 1) Mirror neurons and saving the world: Our brains contain nerve cells that are called mirror neurons. Those cells allow us to put ourselves in someone's shoes and to experience his same emotions. When we play a video game we experience the same emotions the Hero we are controlling experiences. In other words, when the hero saves the world we feel like we saved the world as well.
  • 2) Problem solving and self esteem boost: Most games contain certain puzzles that give people a self esteem boost when they solve them. Even games that contain no puzzles make people feel good about themselves as they master them. Defeating all other human players in call of duty can make you feel superior to others and elevate your self esteem
  • 3) Stress relief: Life is full of stressful events and one of the best things a person can do to defeat stress is to escape to another world for few hours. But how can that be done? thankfully video games are draining enough to allow people to live in a virtual world for sometime while forgetting about all what's going on in the real world. This is also one of the main reasons why people like action and fantasy movies
  • 4) Dopamine rush: Our brains doesn't seem to care about the kind of thing we get addicted too as long as it provides enough dopamine. Dopamine is the chemical responsible for the excitement we feel when we chase a reward. Many people get addicted to the amounts of dopamine video games allow them to experience (see also Why masturbation lowers self esteem)
  • 5) Running away: Some people get addicted to video games just because they are too afraid to face the real world. A lonesome teen might get himself indulged in video games just because he is unable to face the fact that he can't socialize like his friends. Many people use video games to run away from the mess in their real lives(see Examples of self deception)
  • 6)Regaining control: Many people who feel that they lost control over their lives seek other areas where they can regain some of that lose control. A controlling person might have became that way just because he feels that he lacks control over his life. Because the environment of a video game is highly controllable a person who seeks to regain the lost control can easily become a video game addict
  • 7) Redemption: When people fail to live up to their dreams they might escape to a fantasy world where they can get another chance to fulfill them. For example, the guy who always wanted to be a hero but failed to do it can find a great relief in video games since they allow him to relive his dream (see also How to fulfill your dreams)

Why do men like video games more than women

Studies have found that the areas in the brain responsible for reward and addiction got more activated when men played video games than when women did.

Unlike women, Men are hard wired to be hunters, conquerors and fighters and that's why they experience more excitement when they play video games.

In addition, women are more wired to seek social connections when they feel stressed. A woman might feel better when she talks to a friend than when she plays a video game. A man on the other hand can cope with a stressful day by playing a video game.

Video games can be very good for you but provided that you understand the real reasons that motivate you to spend hours on them.

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