Friday diversion: These Quake 3 bots learn that pacificism is the only way


A user of 4chan recently took to its forums to discuss an experiment he started and long-since had forgotten. Essentially, the user created a series of Quake 3 self-learning bots and pitted them against each other, wanting to see how quickly they’d learn and adapt. He expected them to become expert killing machines.

Then he forgot about them entirely. For four years.

After remembering the bots were still on a server, scrapping it out, the user finally went in to check on them. He found that the bots weren’t fighting at all, but merely standing around, doing nothing.

Chalking it up to a glitch, he reloaded the bots on a different map. They still simply stood there. It turns out, the bots DID figure out how to win: by not fighting. Pacificism means they neither kill, nor be killed. Their kill-death ratios are as perfect as can be at 0:0.

Just to check that it wasn’t a glitch that’s getting too much credit, the user then went and shot a bot down. The bots ganged up and decimated the real user, but again, didn’t try to kill one another. Once the user gave up, the bots went back to standing around.

So, that guy’s basically started SkyNet, eh?

You can read this story in full here.

Thanks to Dan for the tip!