This time I would like to tackle the question: Why do we love puzzles?
As I want to create a good puzzle game it would be beneficial to understand why people like solving puzzle.
I am big fan of the evolution. I think every aspect of human behaviour can be explained by evolution. So let’s start with a time travel to the time when there was no life on land and all living animals where happy creatures in oceans. The time before a crazy fish, which decided to pay a visit to land.
It is a 7200 B.CF. One awesome fish is swimming as usually and suddenly she spots SOMETHING. Something new, there is nothing like that in her brain to make assumption what that might be. In order to survive the fish needs to classify the SOMETHING into some category, for example: a) danger, b) food, c) neutral d) potential mate.
This classification problem is some sort of a high-stake puzzle game. A good solver will stay alive and he will propagate his genome inside a population. Moreover this solving mechanic will propagate along the evolution process to other species.
Let’s do another time jump. This time to the human era. Mushroom picking. If you do not know anything about mushrooms, which means that your memory does not contain any reference to mushrooms, it might be a high-stack survival puzzle game for you. You might eat deadly mushroom, or you might skip eatable one.
So why do we like solving a puzzle or play a puzzle game? I think due to survival pressure, every unknown thing needs to be classify somehow, as might be potentially dangerous. I guess this is an “addictive” component of any puzzle. And this is the essence. With the time we, humans, have shifted puzzle games towards more abstract ideas. But the essence is still the same we do not know the outcome and potentially it can be dangerous.
Is this origin of all puzzle games on earth? What do you think about that?
I will search for some medical research to prove that. I would like to see if the some part of our brain is active during solving a crossword and solving a survival problem. And I will search for the first abstract puzzle game created by human, I strongly believe it will be related to survival somehow.