Instinctive programs and the path to success

    We summarize the generally accepted (intuitive) approaches to the implementation of the behavior of game characters; try to comprehend them in the light of modern scientific ideas; We offer some ways of conscious development of game concepts.

    The purpose of the study is to observe what everyone sees, to draw conclusions that no one has yet done. Albert Saint-György, 1927 Nobel Prize Laureate.

    People involved in the creation of alternative realities, by and large, take on the role of "creator".

    The question arises, does the “creator” (developer) take into account the needs of the person playing? That is, it is clear that by all means it is trying to take into account, but it turns out less often than we would like.

    And here it is important to note the development trend of various industries, both the gaming industry, and the film or music industry. In many ways, large corporations are developing towards globalization. By the word "globalization" here we mean the unification of products that allows you to sell them, not limited to the boundaries of a particular country or region.

    To solve such a difficult task, it is worth comprehending the general that is understandable to every human individual, and, in my opinion, one of the ways to solve this problem is to take into account genetic programs that are not recognized by a person, or instincts.image

    I tried to take these things into account when working on the Stone Age project. At a certain stage in the development of the “Stone Age” concept, there was a feeling of involuntarily folding mosaic, which ultimately appeared in the form of a world with many interconnected and complementary details. And the most interesting is that these details, as it were, of themselves, have formed a holistic picture of the world. At some point, this picture began an independent life.

    Many writers comment on their creative process in very similar terms. At some stage, the structure of the work begins to dictate the further development of the storyline.

    At some point, the thought arose: are there scientific studies that shed light on the deep nature of the mechanisms that make people (and animals) behave this way and not otherwise? Suspicions were more than justified. Instincts, like genetically engineered programs, influence our behavior contrary to our consciousness. Instincts are not trained, they are laid in the form of genetic information. Instincts are necessary for the survival of species.

    In this article we will use the research of ethologists. For clarity, we will try to draw the reader's attention to the intuitive (possibly conscious) application of instincts in the Peter & Molyneux Black & White game.

    Reference: Ethology is the science of the instinctive (congenital, based on genetic programs) behavior of animals and humans.

    Introductory part

    one statement, I quote:
    In Hollywood, we learned with high probability to calculate the success of a product, which is proved by the dominance of American cinema in the world.

    This statement is directly related to the topic of this article.

    * A man, like all animals, has many innate behavioral programs (we are born with some knowledge about the world and the rules of behavior in it), and at the right time they work.
    * Instinctive programs have arisen over many millions of years, and helped to resist external aggression. Largely for this reason, human behavior is not always adequate, rational and desirable. Not all that is natural is good.
    * Due to the initial programming, people are not completely free in their behavior, they carry out one scenario easily, the other with difficulties, and some scenarios may not be possible at all. (Not all plans invented by the mind are feasible for us.)
    * For most situations, a person has a sufficient set of alternative programs on the basis of which several behaviors can be built. (Everyone initially “knows” how to steal, and knows that it’s bad; whether we are thieves or honest, depends on us, not on our nature.)
    * The structure of the human brain is such that the part responsible for consciousness not only cannot affect innate programs, but even has no idea about their existence. For this reason, when you turn on the program, the consciousness begins to obey the instinct, not understanding the primary source. The motivation of actions is explained later, and not always true. From which it follows - you can not rely on the subjective perception of what is happening, since it gives a confused and unreliable picture.

    It can also be noted that research in the field of genetic programs (instincts) was used, among other things, by the creators of the modern school of "neurolinguistic programming - NLP". They are also widely used by political strategists during the elections.

    Based on numerous studies, ethologists have found that people interpret instinctive clues incoherently and incorrectly. And this misunderstanding is explained by the fact that the "rules of subordination" between instinct and reason were developed even when strong instinctive programs were the main pillar of complex and perfect behavior, and a weak mind occupied a subordinate position. But in humans, unlike animals, the correlation between them is the opposite, although the parts of the brain that determine the innate behavior still give commands to the mind, without giving any explanation.

    Often a person is not aware that an instinctive program is triggered in him, influencing his behavior. In such cases, everyone is trying to explain their behavior with a manifestation of their own will: “I want it like this”, “but how else” or with traditions - “this is how everyone does it”, or how the fulfillment of your will - “it is necessary”, “I have to do it”.

    Instincts and how they work.

    Zoologists name four features by which a person is unique among modern mammals: upright posture, speech, use of fire and the ability to perfect their tools more and more. Humanities add a fifth to this set - a religious feeling.

    Further, it is precisely this feeling that divides people into those for whom it is evidence of the existence of some supernatural power, and those who do not believe in it. The latter have to somehow explain the phenomenon of religiosity. And then they come to a standstill. Trying to bring this feeling out of the savage’s fear of nature and the mystical primitive consciousness, they do not say anything significant. Why did primitive man have to fear nature more than his prehuman ancestors, and more than other animals? We know about the latter that they love nature - the world around them - they love. And the art of ancient man - and the Late Paleolithic figures, and drawings in caves located on the territory of Spain and France, and thousands of drawings on the rocks in the Sahara - all are imbued with love for nature. Images of any animals - large and small,

    In recent decades, a lot of important information for humanities has been collected by ethologists studying congenital (genetically inherited) animal behavior programs. This is not to say that the new science has explained all the mysteries of human behavior, because it is still very complicated. But some of the mysterious for the social psychologist, for the ethologist becomes obvious. In many ways, materials were selected deliberately taking into account the specifics of game development. We use the Black & White game as the material for analysis. The reader is invited to pay attention to how genetic programs are used in this game.

    Ritualized behavior

    Many animals have ritualized behavior, they like to follow the same path, repeating the same movements, adhering to the daily routine. Children are also ritualists (who did not go on boards or floor slabs in childhood, carefully avoiding stepping on joints?).

    K. Lorenz showed that it is forbidden for a weak or inexperienced intellect to be presumptuous, to seek causal relationships in everything. He is better off not looking for them, but simply memorizing events connected with each other and striving to repeat them again if nothing bad has happened. If you confuse the cause with the effect, it can turn into a disaster. According to such a peculiar logic prompted by instinct, the fox should again look for a hare under the bush where she caught him yesterday. Instinctive logic inevitably leads to the development of a lot of signs, taboos, rituals, secret knowledge, superstitions and religions.

    In Peter & Molyneux's Black & White, the religious component is, in a sense, the foundation of the game. The metaphysical world of the game "Black & White" is completely built on rituals that determine the behavior of both the player himself, acting on the game universe with an invisible hand, and the population worshiping the god - the player. It should be noted that the implementation of magical actions is ritualized, for example, to create food, our incarnation should draw an S-shaped figure with our hand, and after a moment we get a cornucopia from which we can feed the starving population, asking the god player for leniency. Rituals determine not only interaction with the player’s environment - god, but also characters. The villagers, believing in the omnipotence of the player - god, charge him mana, which allows him to expand his sphere of influence. Thus, there is a mutually beneficial cooperation.

    An example of magical thinking on modern material is the film “Amelie”: a scene where the main character in childhood was carried away by photography. A collision of two cars occurs, which coincides with the click of a camera. The neighbor decides to play a trick on little Amelie, and claims that the culprit of the incident is none other than herself. Subsequently, Amelie, sitting at the TV screen, with horror feels that all the disasters are due to her fault.

    Different types of aggression

    In ethology, the definition of the term “aggressiveness” differs from the generally accepted one. In everyday life, aggression is associated with an unjustified and unjust attack. In ethology, the term "aggressiveness" means anger, anger, hatred, rage. It is not colored emotionally - neither negatively nor positively. This concept is neutral.

    For developers, understanding the true nature of aggression is very important. The concept of many games is based on aggression. Often, developers try to make a certain message to the person playing, which in turn can interpret it completely differently. And this means that the meaning may not be conveyed. And if this moment of the game was the key, then perhaps the whole essence of the game will elude the player’s understanding.

    Interspecific aggression

    In nature, some species inevitably attack others. But not every attack in ethology is called aggression. When a wolf catches a hare, this is not aggression, but hunting. Similarly, when a hunter shoots ducks or a fisherman catches a fish - this is not aggressive behavior. After all, they all have no hostility, fear, anger or hatred towards the victim. Aggression is the attack of a dog that guards its territory, or the reaction of a person throwing stones at a dog. Aggression can cause even annoying mosquito.

    Interspecific aggression, even manifested by a weak animal in relation to a stronger one, is an important instinctive program. It allows the seagull to drive away or distract a person from the nest, despite the fear.

    “Black & White” by Peter Molyneux is a huge self-contained world, an ecosystem with its own laws, in which various species develop. The being, who is our companion, and in a sense a prophet, turns into "our faith." The creature often manifests interspecific aggression, both against the villagers and against other Creatures, fighting in battles. In the game, you can also observe the hunting of wolves for sheep, fishing ...

    Interspecific aggression is a wonderful way to build staging scenes in the game, territorial claims in the game space naturally fit into the concept of games. And it is not at all necessary that the game was about animals, it is important that everyone understands intuitively why the robot may not like the society of the aggressor.

    Intraspecific aggression

    In the life of most animal species, intraspecific aggression occupies an important place. Individuals of one species come into conflict, protecting food, choosing a home, of course, because of the female, etc. etc.

    The appearance or approach of another individual with unclear intentions inevitably causes alertness (a mild form of fear). If the intentions are not clarified, often there is nothing else left, either to escape or attack first. Entering into a conflict, both animals experience fear. And then aggression arises.

    Intraspecific aggression in the game "Black & White" is manifested in the form of opposition from players who embody different gods and try to expand their zone of influence. After all, the struggle takes place with an equal in strength but hostile god for the expansion of the zone of influence, in the context of the struggle for the souls of the villagers.

    Often this context is the meaning of games. Is this instinct forcing people to arm themselves now to protect themselves from uninvited guests?

    The relationship of aggression and fear

    Dealing with a safe animal is not difficult. But to confront a truly dangerous creature, regardless of size, can be very scary. So, shaking off a scorpion from clothes is accompanied by aggression mixed with a fair amount of fear.

    Ethologists argue that aggression and fear are interconnected. Aggression is accompanied by fear, and fear can develop into aggression.

    If fear is raised on a group of animals, they become more aggressive. The same thing happens with a crowd of people or society as a whole. Aggressive and cowardly state is the most dangerous.

    In the game "Black & White" the relationship of aggression and fear is one of the main factors in expanding the zone of influence. The god-player can use force to conquer the village, bringing down his anger in the form of fireballs or incinerating lightning (the usual repertoire for God). The villagers gradually out of fear stop believing in a warring god, and as soon as the level of faith disappears, fear develops into a love for a new strong god.

    A small note: genetic programs usually work in conjunction; in our example, other genetic programs related to the hierarchy in the herd begin to work. See bibliography.

    Aggressiveness can accumulate

    In the recent past, psychologists have argued that fear arises solely under the influence of external stimuli. But ethologists have proved that aggression is a constant factor that gradually accumulates, even in the absence of an irritant, and the threshold for triggering aggression gradually decreases. For this reason, even a minor cause can lead to quite serious affects.

    This was observed in many interesting experiments. One of them, accessible to every aquarist, was described by Lorenz. Take a couple of family fish - cichlids and place some source of conflict - a third cichlid or another cocky fish in their aquarium. A pair of cichlids will fight with them, and among themselves maintain the very best relations. Now remove the object of aggression - and after some time the male will begin to attack the female. Now divide the aquarium in half with glass and place another pair of cichlids in the other half. Couples will be at odds with each other through glass, and as a result, peace will reign within each pair. Make the glass translucent - and there will be conflicts in both pairs.

    The same accumulated aggression explodes from within small, closed collectives of people. Several friendly people respecting each other, firmly knowing that in such conditions it is impossible to conflict, leave for the winter or for an expedition. Time passes, and if there is no external object for the manifestation of aggression, people in the group begin to hate each other, and aggression, which is long held back, finally finds the most trifling reason for a big scandal. There are many cases where close friends who fell into such an “experiment” reached meaningless murder.

    In ordinary life, our aggressiveness is discharged daily through a mass of minor conflicts with many people. We can learn how to manage our aggressiveness in some way, but we cannot completely eliminate it, because this is one of the strongest human instincts. And it is important to remember that protecting an aggressive personality from irritants, we do not reduce its aggressiveness, but only accumulate it. It will still break through, and immediately in large portions. Disappointing, but true.

    Many opponents of computer games are trying to ban so-called violent games in some countries. It seems to me that ethology will allow each developer to reasonably respond to such attacks. Games are a factor that significantly discharges the accumulated aggression in society, and raises the launch threshold.

    Aggression redirected

    Aggression is redirected if the stimulus is real, but scary. In this case, the redirected aggression also serves as a demonstration to the enemy: “Look what I can do with you.” Very often, aggression is redirected to living objects, both of a foreign species and their own, if only they could not give back. An angry owner can kick his dog. The husband who has gotten to catch up on work - to scold, having come home, the wife; angry wife - scold the child; child - hit the kitten. Redirecting aggression to the weaker and the innocent plays an important role in maintaining the hierarchy.

    In Black & White, a complete analogy can be seen in the following example. A totem creature can be raised both good and evil. Raising an aggressive character, and often punishing for certain misconduct, you can watch how it breaks its anger in the villagers or animals.

    Perhaps this is precisely what the Russian proverb says: “Beat your own, so that strangers are afraid.”

    Demonstrative behavior

    Demonstration instead of attack

    The demonstration, causing fear in the enemy, allows you to win a skirmish without resorting to a fight that is very dangerous for both sides. Physical confrontation is replaced by mental confrontation. Therefore, developed aggressive behavior, which includes many threats and frightening actions, is useful for the species. And for well-armed species - just saving. That is why Lorentz argued that well-formed aggressive behavior is one of the remarkable results of natural selection. In many cases, it is humane. Everyone agrees that scolding each other, threatening to threaten with a fist over a trifle is much more profitable for everyone and everyone than fighting, especially if both quarreling are armed with knives or pistols.

    In my opinion, animators can very fruitfully use these considerations, clearly imagining what behavior and in what situation is possible and appropriate. Both facial expressions and intimidation poses work here, and the Maori, the natives of New Zealand, use this wonderfully.

    A common medieval custom is a show of strength before a fight. Most often, it took place in the form of a duel of warriors - the most famous warriors of each army. In exceptional cases, a demonstration could replace the battle itself. At some points in the history of ancient China, the two armies lined up against each other, and the generals of the opponents began to play the upcoming battle on the layout. The loser pleaded defeated, and the armies went home. Of course, this happened infrequently, but it did happen ...

    What and how is demonstrated

    A man with a threat, like a monkey, grins his teeth. Note that when communicating, especially with a stranger, we carefully look not only into his eyes (“mirror of the soul”), but also into his mouth. It would seem that we are to the teeth of an outsider. But no. An even row of large, white, brilliant teeth affects our subconscious. In the mouth of the enemy, they cause respect, and in the mouth of a person pleasant to us, they strengthen the disposition towards him.

    Primates have excellent eyesight, so natural selection endowed them with very complex facial expressions. Congenital programs for the perception of facial expressions in a person also work, and therefore, if a leader paints a face, he better commands subordinates. The war paint of the warriors, restoring the face relief to the monkey, makes it formidable and suppresses the enemy. Feather ridges serve the same purpose.

    The “threat of maw” is often accompanied by sounds - from the hiss of many reptiles to the roar of mammals. Instinctively, a man, threatening, emits a cry. In battle, screaming has always been considered an important weapon of psychological suppression of the enemy. Homer in the Iliad, describing the fights, necessarily marks those who knew how to throw the enemy into confusion with one terrible scream. Shouting "cheers" in hand-to-hand combat and charters require. With the development of speech, the suppression of the enemy by vilification has become so effective that most of our aggressive contacts are exhausted. Verily, tongue is worse than a pistol.

    The mentioned Aborigines of New Zealand Maori paint their face and body in a frightening way, and during dances, facial expressions add fear, at times showing the tongue, and all this is accompanied by loud screams. And if you recall that not so long ago, these guys fought well against the well-armed British colonialists ... They hardly taught it, they probably guessed it themselves :)

    So the hype around the facial expressions of characters is not just an advertising move of Valve Software; this is a very serious factor that you can consciously rely on.

    Exaggeration Poses

    Anyone who is higher receives psychological superiority over the opponent. This is a universal factor in the animal kingdom, affecting the behavior of even legless creatures. Two male snakes, rising one in front of the other, try to stretch up as high as possible until one of them loses balance and humiliates itself in the eyes of the opponent by a fall.

    You can also exaggerate yourself due to the crest rising above the head. This technique is used by a wide variety of living things - from fish to birds. Leaders and warriors also use it, putting high hats, helmets on their heads, often crowned with ridges and feathers, which, in essence, are uncomfortable in battle. Finally, an exaggeration of dimensions is also achieved by occupying a higher point in space. The program is so simple that it is enough to make your opponent look upward and he will feel below you. When birds sit on a tree, dominants occupy the highest branches, and often fight for the top. Pedestals, thrones, stands and other elevations - a mandatory attribute of power at all times. Not a single king or leader invented a deepening as a place for his person.

    In the game “Black & White” this aspect manifests itself in different ways: the god player observes the world around him mainly from above, the creatures representing the player are also hypertrophically large, and over time the characters grow to gigantic proportions, which indicates their supernatural nature. As a player, it flatters me.

    The goal is to "humiliate" the enemy

    With an aggressive skirmish, an animal that rated the enemy as larger recognizes a psychological defeat, and there may be no further struggle - one is inferior to the other. If it comes to the fight, then for many species its goal is to humiliate the enemy in the most literal sense of the word: to knock down or throw him to the ground. A person has approximately the same set of programs (remember that young children fight more than beat each other), but they are poorly ritualized. In sports, wrestling takes place according to all the rules, and the ordinary fight of two men occurs in violation of the inborn prohibitions and looks ugly in comparison with the fights of some animals and wrestling. This is because a person in kind is a weakly armed animal, and his morality is accordingly weak.

    I recall “Quake 2”: how wonderful units trying to shoot after a mortal wound die. Perhaps the animators should more often give the player the opportunity to assert themselves, more humiliating poses for the units ...

    Let us recall how, after the victory of our athletes, they show standing, on a pedestal, for example, Karelin. He stands proudly on the highest step of the podium, towering above the losing rivals, and smiles at everyone in the face. And all this extravaganza is accompanied by the raising of our flag to the accompaniment of an anthem.

    There is a ritual in the spirit of the described genetic programs and the identification of the victory of one athlete with the superiority of “ours” over “not ours” when using unifying symbols.

    Question. Does the victory of our athlete allow everyone sitting in front of the TV screen to feel satisfaction or not?

    Reflection information for the designer

    Submission poses

    What does the loser do? First of all, he “puts down his arms” —thorns, crests, claws, teeth, horns — hides them so as not to frighten the winner. Many animals fall and turn upside down - they humiliate themselves as much as possible. A person expresses a different degree of humility, bowing his head, bowing, falling to his knees and, finally, wallowing in his legs.

    In the game "Black & White", the creature can be punished for unwanted art, and it just demonstrates the pose of submission. Having angered the villagers, one can observe them bowing and asking for mercy. And look at the collective worship of the totem ...

    Totemism and its genetic origins The

    deification of animals, their use as symbols, emblems - a favorite field of ethnographers. Can an ethologist add anything to their knowledge? Yes, especially regarding clarification of those places where theories of humanities lose their clarity.

    The most natural sign of a hero

    Leopard is the most dangerous predator for all monkeys living in the savannah. For millions of years he hunted our ancestors in the cradle of mankind - East Africa, and if possible, he preys on man today. In the experiments, ethologists showed that the image of the leopard as the main "native" predator is stored in the genetic programs of monkeys. They are scared of the leopard’s layout from the first presentation, never having seen it before. The combination of yellow and black spots is a danger signal (the use of yellow and black spots or stripes in road signs and advertising is built on this program). The leopard mask also immediately scares the children. Zoologists now know that the herd of great-humans, which was based on the hierarchy of the primitive women, was built similar to the herd of baboons living in the same savannah and having similar problems of defense against predators. Baboons, if they can, run away from the leopard. But in a hopeless situation, they can impose a battle on him. Several hierarchs of the herd attack the beast and are capable of killing him, however, having suffered heavy losses. Imagine how in the eyes of a herd the rank of a baboon rises, having overcome congenital fear and killed a leopard. He is now the One who killed the leopard. What other proof is needed of his exceptionalism, courage, strength, luck and superiority over all?

    Everywhere on Earth, we meet ancient heroes who kill large felids: in Africa - a leopard and a lion, in Eurasia - a lion and a tiger, in America - a jaguar or puma. All these gilgames, heracles, and similar heroes in tiger skin. As an indisputable proof of their highest rank, they wear the skin of a large cat. Everywhere - from Africa to America - there was a custom according to which, in case of doubt, if the leader had not lost his qualities, he had to go and kill a large cat. Technically, killing a leopard and a bear is approximately equally difficult, but in the first case, you need to overcome the inborn fear of a “native” predator, and in the second, only fear in general. Therefore, predators - not feline - occupy a modest place in the symbolism of man.

    You can try to list the Creatures of "Black & White" - living totems that personify the god - the guardian of the player. Here, the lion is the main one among the cats, and the tiger, and the leopard, and the monkey, and even the cow (in the source materials you can also familiarize yourself with the reasons for the deification of the bulls).

    Eagles, owls, snakes

    How did the deification of birds of prey and snakes? There is a Roman eagle, and the goddess Athena - an owl, and the sun god Pa - a falcon, and his friend, the serpent Mehen, and the cobra - a symbol of Northern Egypt, and the vulture - a symbol of Southern Egypt, and snakes, and eagles of American civilizations. Yes, and the first feat of Hercules was the killing of a snake. And this is just that degenerate case that cannot be understood without ethologists. Because the reason for everything is a very ancient instinctive program.

    Because of their large size, birds of prey, owls and snakes are not dangerous to humans and humans. But small tree monkeys are very afraid of them all.

    Some of these smaller predators, such as the monkey eater, specifically hunt monkeys. And monkeys have innate fear programs triggered by the sight of birds of prey and snakes or their patterns. We also saved it, so people, too, are irrationally afraid of these not-so-large predators. The ancient program doesn’t care that they can’t devour us for a long time. At the sight of an eagle or a snake, she commands: “Caution! Native predator! ” So birds of prey and snakes find themselves in our subconscious in the same company with big cats, just as easily become objects of worship, symbols, objects of countless superstitions and signs. Nevertheless, apparently, for the primacy’s subconscious, there is no beast worse than a cat: according to the Egyptian myth, when the sun god Ra, represented by a falcon, needed to fight the snake Imi-Uhenef,

    Eagles and snakes are not present in the Black & White concept, but to complete the picture, I had to include this piece of text. In my opinion, Peter Molyneux did not include these animals, possibly due to the difficulty with character animation. Eagles should fly tolerably well (and on this issue should contact 1C: Maddox Games :)). Although snakes are colorful, they fit perfectly into genetic programs, but the problems are most likely the same - they do not fit into the concept due to the complexity of the animation.

    Symbol of power

    So, our subconscious mind perceives a person in the shoes of a big cat as standing above us, having the right and the ability to exercise power over us. Hence the decoration of thrones and royal residences with the skins of large cats and their images. From this one step to the image of the king as the ruler of lions and leopards (and such images are full, both in the ancient world and not very ancient). The further is very simple: the lion lord is a superleft (basileus). But at the same time he commands us, which means that we are like lions (which is very nice for subordinates), hence the lion is a symbol of our people and kingdom. You see how easy it is, based on the instinctive program of primacy, to create a cult of the winner of the predator after this and the predator itself?

    By the way, Lionhead doesn't say anything? Are there too many coincidences?

    Of course, Peter Molyneux is a very talented person, and I admit that “Black & White” is a purely intuitive find, but who knows ... Who knows, maybe Electronic Arts or Peter Molyneux, when fighting for the quality of their products, attract outside specialists?

    However, one cannot do without the spark of God. We should not forget that the potential of any project is determined primarily by the concept. The considerations that make up the content of this article only allow you to not miss the opportunities contained in the concept.

    The following materials were used in the article:

    * V.R. Dolnik. "Ethological roots of superstitions, beliefs and ancient religions" and "Ethological excursions to the forbidden gardens of the humanities."

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