[MUD-Dev] Male and female brains

Valerio Santinelli tanis at mediacom.it
Mon May 5 21:04:10 New Zealand Standard Time 2003

Koster, Raph wrote:

> There's an article to be found here:

>   http://www.guardian.co.uk/life/feature/story/0,13026,937913,00.html

> discussing how male and female brains tend to have different
> attributes on average--more males tend to have "systematizing
> brains" and more females tend to have "empathizing brains." Along
> with the article, there's a couple of tests to assess the
> "systematizing quotient" and the "empathizing quotient" of your
> brain.

That's a very interesting article, especially if we look at it the
way it's been written by the author, thinking about people affected
by autism. Very interesting indeed. I'm going to show this to
friends of mine working as educators.

> I personally scored as a "type B" brain, meaning that I had a
> balanced quotient--fairly high in both, actually (52 and 43).

I'm a B too, by a few pixels.. a few pixels from being an S brain
(36 EQ, 39 SQ).

> Now, as it happens, I've also been playing a socializer-heavy
> online world recently, one with no combat abilities. And I am
> playing a female avatar in this world, something which has been my
> habit for years now.  Almost all the friends I have made there are
> female. As is fairly typical, I've been sexually harassed already,
> fairly crudely, and when there is misbehavior in the game, it's
> generally assumed that the perpetrator is a younger male.

I think that my type is not very much influenced by what I've been
playing lately. Really, it seems more like a test where I would have
scored the same result even if I had taken it years ago.  Current
habit surely have some influence but I doubt it's going to be very
strong. Most of the questions I answered to were toward aspects of
my own character that have not changed in years. We can maybe say
that since I've been involved in games since I was a kid the kind of
games I always liked to play has influenced me towards being the way
I am now.

> I wonder:

>   -- would we find a correlation between type E or B brains in
>   males and their preference for female avatars?

I'm a type B but I don't like playing female avatars. I think I only
played a female avatar once in a game where I could choose the
gender, and never in online games. Probably E brains are more likely
to be playing female characters.

>   -- would we find a correlation between typical behavior patterns
>   in online worlds and brain type?  -- say, Nick Yee's facets
>   study?  http://www.nickyee.com/facets/home.html -- or the Bartle
>   Quotient?

Yes, that's very likely to be. And looking at the graphs on Nick's
site it seems that males are good achievers and griefers while
females are best at relationships.  Looking outside the online games
world, many female players that own a PC or a PS2 (or the one of
their boyfriend) are more likely to play games like The Sims or
classic adventures (alla LucasArts) or social games like board games
ported to PC.  That's my experience in the field. This does not mean
that my girlfriend does not like to beat me at Soul Calibur 2 :)

>   -- would we find, I wonder, in research, that male brains tend
>   to shift from S brains to B brains as they age? There's evidence
>   for this shift in playstyles among male players, according to
>   Nick Yee.

This really would need some more research on the subject. According
to Nick I would agree with you, but I don't know if there's any
clinical reason for such a shift.

>   -- would we find that designers in general, and perhaps of
>   online worlds in particular, tend to have B brains?

I am not a professional designer but I do it as an hobby and I'm
B.. let's see the others :)

Valerio Santinelli


I'm gonna chase you at LucasArt's booth during E3 this year.. you're
not going to elude me easily :)

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