The Primal Video Game

Andrew Sullivan —  May 31 2011 @ 8:23am


Scott Adams delineates how Angry Birds satisfies our most basic urges:

The player flings birds from a slingshot and tries to destroy various structures and kill the pigs within. It's a basic hunting metaphor, and pigs are a symbol for food in Western cultures. That part is obvious. The less obvious part of the addiction is the joy of destroying structures that are man-made. I believe this taps into our basic need to tear down the accomplishments of others in order to feel better about ourselves. It's Shadenfreude – the satisfaction or pleasure we get from the misfortune of others.  Someone unknown built those structures, and presumably they would be unhappy to know you knocked them down. The game would be far less satisfying if you were destroying trees or other natural creations.

(Photo: Angry Bird bagel sandwiches via Family Kitchen)