Mind Games: Game Engines as an Architecture for Intuitive Physics


We explore the hypothesis that many intuitive physical inferences are based on a mental physics engine that is analogous in many ways to the machine physics engines used in building interactive video games. We describe the key features of game physics engines and their parallels in human mental representation, focusing especially on the intuitive physics of young infants where the hypothesis helps to unify many classic and otherwise puzzling phenomena, and may provide the basis for a computational account of how the physical knowledge of infants develops. This hypothesis also explains several ‘physics illusions’,and helps to inform the development of artificial intelligence (AI) systems with more human-like common sense.

Vol 21, Issue 9 of Trends in Cognitive Sciences