Nowadays, team sports can be a form of entertainment, but, tens of thousands of years ago, competitive behaviors were a fundamental part of survival.
This is according to a new study, which suggests that game behavior helped hunter-gatherers develop the skills and stamina needed to carry out lethal raids, especially during childhood.
An analysis of hunter-gatherer societies' records found that 46 of the 100 regions of culture studied did some kind of contact games, from hitting objects (and people) with clubs to running and kicking rugby-like games.
A new study suggests that gaming behavior, including contact games and fighting the game, helped hunter-gatherers develop the skills and stamina to carry out lethal raids, especially during childhood. Stock image
The new study suggests that the fight against gambling goes far beyond the advent of agricultural society.
In an article published in the journal Human Nature, the researchers examined the records of hunter-gatherer societies of the Murdock ethnographic Atlas.
Game behavior, such as combat games or contact games, often includes activities that include running, grabbing and throwing.
According to the researchers, they mimic the skills used by hunter-gatherers to attack other groups.
These games were mainly for men to build their physical abilities and endurance, the researchers point out.
"Interestingly, feigned war was found in 39 percent of the culture groups and in the fake war of children at 26 percent," says Michelle Scalise Sugiyama of the University of Oregon.
"This suggests that the motivation to participate in the coalition game struggle arises in childhood."
Nowadays, team sports can be a form of entertainment, but, tens of thousands of years ago, competitive behaviors were a fundamental part of survival. An analysis of hunter-gatherer societies' records found many types of contact games. Artist's impression
Contact games of this type probably helped children learn to hit, block, kick, dodge and even throw projectiles, sometimes to other group members.
These skills will ultimately increase your chances of survival during subsequent raids and reduce your chances of injury.
In addition to developing their physical abilities, the researchers say that the fight against the game built teamwork within groups, teaching men how to anticipate each others' movements and respond to the actions of their opponents.
HOW THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE HISTORY OF THE HUNTER-GATHERER SOCIETY WAS FORMED
A recent UCL study showed that 70 percent of the stories of seven different hunter-gatherer societies focused on reinforcing and regulating social behavior.
The research shows that hunter-gatherer narrators were essential to promote cooperative and egalitarian values.
The study found that expert storytellers had an average of 0.53 more children than those who did not have skills.
Almost 300 members of 18 Agta camps were also asked to choose who they would like to live with, with skilled storytellers almost twice as likely to be nominated as less trained individuals.
"Periodic participation in such games during childhood, adolescence, and early and middle adulthood gives individuals the opportunity to viscerally evaluate aggressive formidability and self-commitment, when playing with neighboring groups, other coalitions as their composition and skills change over time. " Scalise Sugiyama said.
"The widespread evidence of such games among hunter-gatherer societies suggests that the motivation to participate in them is a universal feature of human psychology, which generates behavior that develops, rehearses and refines the coalition's combat skills used in the lethal incursions. "