Mr Dylan Tovey s201165 at student.uq.edu.au
Wed Nov 7 10:16:13 CET 2001

I should preface this by saying that I'm not really sure how
workable this is in a game environment. Howevever, it interesting
just for discussions sakes.

I study neurobiology and some recent directions have interesting
implications for defining behavioural traits

The first things is that the human brain is plastic. That is the
information we receive after birth has a direct and measurable
impact on the construction of neuronal pathways.

Our behaviour is not defined by genetic information (pre-coded
behaviours) but by the post-natal stereo information we receive from
our environment. (usually societal culture or family culture)

Our genetic information defines a set of functional potentialities
(skills perhaps) for the entire human race.

     - an example is speech - our genetic information defines
     congenital structures such as vocal cords - the neuronal
     pathways for the integration of functional associations etc.

   Individuals have congenital predispositions for certain
   traits. (particular individuals are predisposed to skills.)

    - continuing the example a particular individual make have a
    genetic substratum that faciliates the passage of blood to areas
    involved in speech - or particularly developed language
    association areas.

However, this information only provides the substratums for our

It is the Post-natal information we receive from the environment
that defines the set of behaviours we display.

Thus, although aggression is a functional potentiality of the human
race - it will only be expressed in an individual if it exposed to a
particular environment.

In game terms

   1) You define a set of functional potentialities for an npc (what
   is its species capable of)

   2) Each individual is spawned for certain congenital
   predispositions for traits. (could be assigned randomly)

   3) However behaviour is defined by interaction with the game

       - A NPC is the target of aggressive players will become
       aggressive itself.

       - Or vice versa - one that is left alone will not respond
       aggressively to threats. Until of course, players begin to
       attack it - which results in a gradual development of a
       culture of aggression.

       - NPC's 'adopt' the behaviour of other NPC's - since
       particular behavioural traits will be selected out -
       i.e. killed by players - this should result in much more
       survival orientated objects.

         - For instance - the choice between fight or flee in
         creatures comes down to the relative success of each
         behaviour. If creatures are continually killed when they
         attack players- they will gradually learn to flee.

As I said its probably not possible in present day computational
environment. Anyone want to comment?

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