Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Birds, Beauty, and What We Eat

I was watching birds a little today. I was musing on the sexual dimorphism in birds and how extreme it is in many species, and (almost) always the males. The males are brighter and the color more vibrant. Some species have a fantastic spectrum of colors. The females are more subdued and more practical. Well, someone needs to tend to the nest. I was wondering why that is, and not so in mammals. Dimorphism in mammals, if present, tends to be more about body shape, or exaggerated features. In human culture, masculinity has alternatively associated with bright colors or subdued tones.

Then I noticed a bright yellow butterfly flitting about. I thought, well, consider what birds eat. Insects and seeds. Many various insects and seeds are multicolored for whatever reasons. Beauty could be linked to what is good to eat. A constant evolutionary force (because it definitely affects reproduction over long terms) acting with or against practicality.

In all animals, down to the lowliest of jellyfish, the brain is never far from the mouth. Eating is the basic action of life, it would make sense the decision maker be various close to the eating information center. Consider kissing, we explore each other by eating each other. Kind of an odd thought isn't it, but, I'm sure I'm not the first person to think beauty and eating are connected on a fundamental biological level. I should really take an aesthetics class.

What does this have to with games? (not that you were thinking that but it's a nice transition) That eating is an easy verb that should be done more in games. Pac-man and Katamari are not enough!