Do Gender Differences Effect Video Game Play?

by Jeanie Litteken

One of the most entertaining moments of a GenderSpeak workshop can occur when participants are asked to name their favorite toy or activity. Often participants from younger generations, both male and female, say playing video games was their favorite…

and the question usually becomes, "Do gender differences effect video game play?" Research published in Communication Research, October 2004 examines that topic and here are some interesting findings from the research of Kristen Lucas and John Sherry: Young men are more likely to play video games than young women and young women will play fewer hours than young men will. Challenge motivates young women and young men to play video games; however, young men are more motivated by competition than challenge. Young men are more likely to seek out game play situations for social interaction than are young women. Those of you who have attended a GenderSpeak Workshop will recognize that these points reflect lessons learned in the Hierarchical Structure in which most men are raised and in the Flat Structure in which most women are raised. It is truly amazing how these differences affect our lives and how understanding them casts a new light on things – even the games we play!

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