Competitive team games, in which men test their courage against others, are spread worldwide and can have deep roots in our evolutionary past. Among the hunter-gatherers, these games allow men to improve their physical and stamina skills, assess the commitment of their team members, and see how everyone works under pressure. All of these activities suggest motivation for performing deadly robbery-related abilities, says Michelle Scalise Sugiyama of the University of Oregon in the US, lead author of a study in Springer's Journal Human Nature .
It is believed that gaming behavior in humans and other animals is a way to develop, rehearse, and refine skills that are critical to survival or reproduction. Chase games, for example, build stamina and speed, which is useful for avoiding predators. Similarly, match fighting is considered to develop skills used in actual battles. Although many animals fight, only humans do it in teams. The results of the study suggest that team-playing matches are not a recent invention of agrarian societies.
For this study, Scalise Sugiyama and her colleagues examined how widespread indigenous forms of coalition struggle were among hunter-gatherer societies and whether these games rehearse motor skills used in deadly raids. This type of game involves the use of coordinated action and non-lethal physical force by two opposing teams, each trying to reach a predetermined physical goal, for example scoring a goal, while preventing its opponents from doing the same.
Scalise Sugiyama and her colleagues analyzed the early ethnographic records of societies described as hunting and gathering in Murdock's Ethnographic Atlas. Although the game (or its absence) was not widely or extensively documented by early ethnographers, Scalise Sugiyama and her colleagues found information on hunter-gatherer team contact games for 46 of the 1
"Interestingly, in 39 percent of the cultural clusters and 26 percent of boys' mocking division found a mock warfare, suggesting that they are motivated to play coalition games in their childhood, "says Scalise Sugiyama
The safety of a game not only had physical benefits, it also offered also the opportunity to work as a team. Men learned to anticipate, monitor, and respond strategically to the actions of their opponents, continually assessing situations as tired or lost fighters.
"Periodic participation in such games during childhood, adolescence, and early to middle-aged opportunities to rate the aggressive formidability and commitment of their own and – when played with neighboring groups – visual assessment of other coalitions, as their composition and skills change over time, "explains Scalise Sugiyama. "The widespread evidence of such games among hunter gathering societies suggests that the motivation to engage with them is a universal feature of human psychology that generates behavior that develops, tests, and develops the coalition's combat capabilities in deadly raids refined."
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Scalise Sugiyama, M. et al. (2018). Coalition Game Battle and the Evolution of Coalition Intergroup Aggression, Human Nature DOI: 10.1007 / s12110-018-9319-1