August 2, 2009
I’ve been reading Dr Paul Ekman’s book on emotions, and have been finding it pretty damn interesting in regards to emotional responses from stimuli. He basically theorizes that we have hard-coded emotional responses for evolutionally survival traits- scared of fire, snakes etc for example. Known as themes.
But on top of these are what’s called ‘variations’ – i.e. emotional variations of key themes we form throughout our lives. The greater the amount of variation on a given theme the greater conscious emotional input we have. The smaller the variation of a theme the greater the sub-conscious response.
If the variation of a theme is tiny, auto-appraisers take over, millisecond sub-conscious emotional responses. E.g. Getting out of the way of an on-coming car. These are basically instinctive responses.
The larger the evaluation of a theme from it’s variation, the more input we have for the consciousness to take over. In a way it’s cross-checking our instinctive brains response to a situation and if need be consciously reacting.
I’m wondering if they use this idea in current games like Asassin’s Creed? I.e gauge the situation > examine the variation of the situation > react > repeat?