Why boys' brains love video games

Michael Gurian, MFA, CMHC Family Counselor, explains for parents what it is about video games that makes boys' brains love playing them so much
Raising Boys | Why Boys' Brains Love To Play Video Games
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Why boys' brains love video games

You may have noticed, if you are raising sons, that they are visual. They pick video games. Video games are played mainly by boys, girls don't tend to gravitate toward them as much. Video games are what we call a spatial, medium, so objects are moving around in space. Most of TV is that way too, objects are moving around in space and, of course, virtual space. This feels really great to the right side of the brain. That's the spatial, medium graphic side. We want to remember that girls do verbals on both sides, word on both sides, but boys only do spatial, mechanical and visuals on the right side. They want to activate that side of the brain and they try to find spatial, mechanical things to activate it. Video games are one of those. It can actually be great for that brain because it keeps the brain active. Too much is too much, and that's dangerous. A guy who is inactive in other things, we may find we can get him activated by giving him the video games as a reward. For example, if he's doing very badly and not handing in his homework, we take the video games away. Absolutely, we got to take them away. Then once he makes the B or hand in his homework, we give the video games back because his brain wants them. We, as parents, can use them as leverage. Just remember the rule: Too much is going to hurt the brain, but if you can take control, you can use it to the advantage of that guy's brain.

Michael Gurian, MFA, CMHC Family Counselor, explains for parents what it is about video games that makes boys' brains love playing them so much


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Michael Gurian, MFA, CMHC

Family Counselor & Author

Michael Gurian is the New York Times bestselling author of 25 books published in 21 languages. He provides counseling services at the Marycliff Center, in Spokane, Washington. The Gurian Institute, which he co-founded, conducts research internationally, launches pilot programs and trains professionals. Michael has been called "the people's philosopher" for his ability to bring together people's ordinary lives and scientific ideas.

 He has pioneered efforts to bring neuro-biology and brain research into homes, schools, corporations, and public policy. A number of his books have sparked national debate, including The Wonder of Girls, The Wonder of Boys, and Boys and Girls Learn Differently!, and The Minds of Boys.

Michael has served as a consultant to families, corporations, therapists, physicians, school districts, community agencies, churches, criminal justice personnel and other professionals, traveling to approximately 20 cities per year to keynote at conferences. His training videos (also available as DVDs) for parents and volunteers are used by Big Brother and Big Sister agencies in the U.S. and Canada.

 As an educator, Michael previously taught at Gonzaga University, Eastern Washington University, and Ankara University.  His speaking engagements include Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, Macalester College, University of Colorado, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and UCLA. His philosophy reflects the diverse cultures (European, Asian, Middle Eastern and American) in which he has lived, worked and studied.

Michael's work has been featured in various media, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, Newsweek, Time, People Magazine, Reader's Digest, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, Parenting, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, and on the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, PBS and National Public Radio.

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