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Old 05-11-2020, 04:52 PM
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We discover an alien species. How likely to play ball games?


Let's say it was announced tomorrow that we'd discovered evidence of an alien species. For this purpose I'll consider "now" to be whenever the signals were created, not right now, so if they're 600 light-years away and the signals travelled at lightspeed "now" is the 1400s.

It's not clear whether they deliberately signalled us or we just intercepted some noise, but it is clear that they are bipeds who are more or less as functional as humans and that their tech level is pretty much the same as ours, with some things we developed early they never discovered and some stuff that they discovered early we never did, but more or less the same.

Just based on this info what does your gut say to "Do they play ball games for recreation?" For this purpose a ball game is any game where players try to control and manipulate a spherical/ellipsoid object and for recreation means that groups or individuals of them regularly play for no reason other than the enjoyment of it.

Last edited by Calavera; 05-11-2020 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 05-11-2020, 05:12 PM
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Seems fairly likely, given that ball games have developed independently here in so many different places.
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Old 05-11-2020, 05:36 PM
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If they're anything like us, then it's highly likely that they'd throw things, highly likely that they'd have a concept of "recreation", and fairly likely that they'd throw things for recreation.

Whether any of the the things they'd throw would be roughly spherical, I don't know. But something like darts or javelins, probably.
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calavera View Post
For this purpose a ball game is any game where players try to control and manipulate a spherical/ellipsoid object and for recreation means that groups or individuals of them regularly play for no reason other than the enjoyment of it.
This bit made me laugh because the question is so straightforward, yet this is the dope, and it is absolutely necessary to disinfect any thread against the scourge of the pedantic nitpickers. But as sure as water will eventually breach any dam given enough time, they will find a way in.
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Old 05-11-2020, 08:14 PM
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We discover an alien species. How likely to play ball games?


To answer the question: I think our love of games and sport is very much connected with an evolutionary propensity to hunt for food. Sport replaces this. In fact sport itself seems to have evolved from the hunting of and working with animals.

A herbivore may work with animals but certainly wouldn't hunt them except in extremis for religious purposes.

How many non-meat eating creatures on Earth toy around with objects? I'm not claiming it's none BTW - it's an open question.

The next question I guess might be: can a herbivorous, non-game playing, creature evolve to high intelligence? I'd wager that playing with objects is a part of the curiosity a species needs in order to get to high intelligence. At least quickly.

My wag is that only a meat eating player of games can evolve to intelligence and they would therefore play ball games. I think it's maybe possible for a herbivorous non-gaming species to reach that level over a much longer period of time but considering the lack of alien presence in the galaxy in the manner described by the Fermi Paradox I would say such an alien species would be rare amongst possible alien species and therefore extremely unlikely to exist.

Last edited by Fiendish Astronaut; 05-11-2020 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 05-11-2020, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calavera View Post
Let's say it was announced tomorrow that we'd discovered evidence of an alien species....what does your gut say to "Do they play ball games for recreation?"
We've already had an alien playing major league baseball. "Lefty" Scott broke the species barrier in 1945.
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Old 05-12-2020, 07:37 AM
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I don't know if they play with toys in the wild, but elephants in captivity certainly seem to enjoy toys given to them by humans. Some have even played soccer.

And an herbivorous species might well develop weapons to defend themselves against predators.
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Old 05-13-2020, 02:45 PM
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Depends on way too many variables.

I think the Vulcans would catch on pretty quick, although they might well question why we're doing it.

Don't know that I'd want to try to teach the Velantians how to play basketball.

And those hyperintelligent shades of the color blue, now, I don't even think we could watch the game on TV together.
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Old 05-13-2020, 05:55 PM
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Not even all humans are interested in ball games. It's widespread in humans, but it doesn't get everybody. If not even all humans are interested, why assume that all intelligent species would be interested?

Intelligent aliens might play ball games. Or they might not. If we ever meet any, I suspect they're going to think differently than we do in ways we can't well imagine, because we're not them.
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Old 05-13-2020, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Master Wang-Ka View Post
Depends on way too many variables.

I think the Vulcans would catch on pretty quick, although they might well question why we're doing it.

Don't know that I'd want to try to teach the Velantians how to play basketball.

And those hyperintelligent shades of the color blue, now, I don't even think we could watch the game on TV together.
Baseball is actually quite popular among Vulcans.

https://youtu.be/QnQ-U0Ovgks
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Old 05-14-2020, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Fiendish Astronaut View Post
The next question I guess might be: can a herbivorous, non-game playing, creature evolve to high intelligence? I'd wager that playing with objects is a part of the curiosity a species needs in order to get to high intelligence. At least quickly.
That's a good question - my own question would be, could playing with the capabilities of your own body 'count' here? Thinking about goats and their propensity to have fun jumping on things.

I suppose that a highly advanced goat-like alien race would be playing World Series Parkour as their major sport of choice
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