Good news for the twelve million of you who are slowly losing your lives to Angry Birds: it's not that you're selfish and lazy; your addiction may have been genetically preordained long before you or bird-slingshots ever existed.
After making its debut on the iPhone in late 2009, Angry Birds has gone from a quick distraction to one of the most popular games of the year, with releases now planned across several gaming platforms. The meteoric success of Angry Birds has even drawn the attention of professionals outside the videogame and phone industries looking to discover the root of the game's massive appeal.
As it turns out, part of the answer may be coded into our very DNA. Biologists at Stony Brook and Duke Universities have suggested that one of the ways in which our species was able to distinguish itself from the more primitive Neanderthals was the simple ability to throw. Consider the last time you played golf, or had a snowball fight, or even threw a piece of paper into a trash can — we seem to have a knack for tossing stuff onto a spot. Even the most athletically disinclined have little trouble visualizing the trajectory of a basketball shot, or, as it were, the path of a catapulted bird, because it may be an evolutionary trait.
To those of you who couldn't finish reading this without whipping out your iPhone to beat a couple more levels, take comfort in knowing it isn't entirely your fault — there are forces at work outside your control. And to any of you who haven't yet downloaded this miraculous crack-cocaine-disguised-as-a-game — rest assured, Neanderthals probably wouldn't have enjoyed it either.