“愤怒的小鸟”火爆，在世界范围内受到喜爱。为什么愤怒的小鸟如此吸引人，人们可以从不同角度来解释。最近，WSJ 的 Matt Ridley 写了一篇有趣的文章，从人类进化心理学的角度解释来这个问题。
Angry Birds popularity blamed on 'arc trajectories'
A science columnist has claimed parabolas are to blame for your Angry Birds' addiction
We like Angry Birds because we like launching things in an arc. Simples.
Published on Jan 26, 2011
Matt Ridley, a human science columnist for The Wall Street Journal, has suggested the popularity of Angry Birds could be attributed to an innate human appreciation for predicting and using arc trajectories, known as parabolas, for thrown or launched objects.
Ridley's theory explains humans have been hard wired to be good at predicting parabolas and actually enjoy the process because it has in the past been part of our evolutionary development for survival.
Ridley also extended his idea to cover modern competetive sports involving parabaolas such as golf, basketball, cricket and baseball.
The theory claims that parabolic throwing is a uniquely human ability, citing evidence that Neanderthal remains are often discovered with wounds implying they got close to the animals they hunted. Meanwhile European Homo Sapien remains display shoulder displacements similar to those found in modern baseball players.
Ridley said: "Until 10,000 years ago, most or even all human beings relied on this talent for gathering at least some of their food — by killing it at a distance.
"With the arrow, the spear thrower, the blowpipe, the boomerang, the sling, the harpoon and the thrown rock, we were killing prey from fish to birds to mammoths. Not to mention each other."
As David Gilson at OVi Gaming observed, Angry Birds isn't the first game to combine our love of parabolas with cute cartoon creatures smashing each other around - the Worms series of games was also very popular in the 90s with parabola-centric gameplay.
Ridley believes that because we might associate parabolas with the reward of food, we get a great deal of satisfaction from using them in other contexts such as sports and video games.
"Imagine how much keener the joy of the throw if the prize was food after a day of hunger. No wonder we still love to experience the thrill of a well-launched parabolic projectile—even a cartoon of an angry bird," Ridley concluded.
For developers seeking to mimic Angry Birds' success this could be a very interesting revelation.