The following applet is a minimalistic point-and-click game: just click on the colored balls before they fade away - the more you keep ``alive'', the higher your score. Before reading further, give it a try!
The pattern of every colored ball is the Voronoi diagram associated to a given set of points (for a given sequence of colors). These points and colors correspond to the genetic code of the balls, whose reproductive success depends on their fitness.
There are two (non-distinguishable from the user's perspective, and non-interreproducing) species of balls:
Shy ones (avoiders), that prefer not to interact with the user (the less they are clicked, the higher their fitness);
Gregarious ones (seekers), that prefer to interact with the user (the more they are clicked, the higher their fitness).
The question that this project explores is the following: does the fact that two families of balls are subject to opposite evolutionary pressure lead to their aspect to diverge after a number of generations? And if so, how?
Apparently counter-intuitively, avoiders evolve to develop bright colors, whereas seekers evolve towards drab colors.
The reason, in hindsight, is clear enough: the human player will prioritize clicking on balls that seem on the cusp of disappearing, and thus the ones that whose default colors are already faded-looking will tend to be clicked more often than the ones that look brighter.
As they say, it is the squeaky wheel that gets the oil!