Darwin to Gamers: “It’s Natural”
Such a good read, check out this study about video games and evolutionary social motivations:
“Gamers now have a scientifically viable explanation for their obsession with videogames: evolution. In a study at the University of Missouri, scientists found that the hormones that are emitted during reproductive and territorial challenges in other species are being seen in men while playing violent video games. Next time your girlfriend, mother, or wife complains about your gamer habits, you can throw Darwin at them.
The study split 42 men into two groups playing Unreal Tournament 2004, in two different tests. The first was an “outgroup” test in which the gamers played Team Deathmatch, bonding socially as a group and fighting a common enemy. In the “ingroup” test, these same allied players were pitted against each other in a Free-for-All style match, where players must survive on their own.
The “outgroup” test showed that men on the winning teams had higher testosterone levels than the members of the losing team. In the wild, there is a similar pattern. All members have increased aggression, but the winning party will experience a strong post-contest testosterone surge.
In the “ingroup” test, players who had previously bonded with teammates were pitted against one another. After these matches, players showed a decrease in testosterone with the winning men actually having the lowest levels. And again, In the wild, it’s uncommon to see males engage in intense competition among allies as it will disrupt the balance of the group.
In conclusion: This test was able to simulate the same physiological reactions male animals have in the wild when competing for mates or defending territory. Now I know why my boyfriend gets angry when I stand in front of the TV when he’s playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.”