100'000 years ago, our ancestors didn't have much of a language. By giving daily objects a name and then sharing their knowledge, they managed to agree upon common dictionaries that became proto-languages. Then, these shared conventions grew by acquiring more speakers until a few global languages remained.
This simulation represents that evolution of primitive languages and their whole life cycle from a general, simplified perspective.
Now, click on the "play" button on the left or just press "p" to start the simulation!
Within the simulated context, a "Settler" is one pre-historic human being, represented with a color dot (pale pink in the beginning). Settlers move around the map discovering new items and naming them. An "Item" is a static pale green dot on the map that has an unique genomic appearance used by Settlers to match them with other similar items already discovered and so "recognize" them.
Whenever a Settler finds another one, they exchange and merge their dictionaries. The second Settler may name an item as the first one does, or it may be the opposite, depending on each one's Karma. The Settler that "convinces" others to take its dictionary sees its Karma increase, and the other's decrease. There is a chance for neologisms to appear in this transfer, which will produce new dialects even when languages have converged to a common global dictionary.
Barbarians are foreigners with a common dictionary that invade the terrain creating chaos. They tamper with the Settlers' dictionnaries thanks to their big Karma, are immune to dictionary degradation and may occasionally kill some Settlers they encounter.