Soft Guerilla

Kyle Bean : Knuckle DusterKyle Bean has created a series of “weapons made from harmless materials” for CUT magazine.

These images have a playful quality — playful about violence — which makes me think about game design, and the pleasures of violent videogames.

CUT magazine: ‘Soft Guerilla’

A series of weapons made from harmless materials for a feature article centred around the topic of ‘Guerilla Gardening’ and ‘Yarn Bombing’.

Photography: Sam Hofman

Kyle Bean

Game violence as positive reinforcer

Over at Gamasutra (“Kill Polygon, Kill”), game designer Noah Falstein offers some interesting comments about the usefulness of violent videogames:Re-Mission

I contributed to the ReMission game from Hopelab — fairly violent 3rd person shooter. But the violence is directed against cancer cells and bacteria, and the game is proven to help kids with cancer stick to their treatment regiments — so it makes for a good example when people tell me they wish they could ban violent videogames. And for the record, I think the violence in ReMission is part of what makes the “take your chemo drugs” message stick with them.

Noah Falstein @ Gamasutra

Re-Mission

Gamers are more aggressive to strangers

According to a recent study of gaming and aggression:

Victorious gamers enjoy a surge of testosterone – but only if their vanquished foe is a stranger. When male gamers beat friends in a shoot-em-up video game, levels of the potent sex hormone plummeted.

This suggests that multiplayer video games tap into the same mechanisms as warfare, where testosterone’s effect on aggression is advantageous.

Against a group of strangers – be it an opposing football team or an opposing army – there is little reason to hold back, so testosterone’s effects on aggression offer an advantage.

“In a serious out-group competition you can kill all your rivals and you’re better for it,” says David Geary, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Missouri in Columbia, who led the study.

However, when competing against friends or relatives to establish social hierarchy, annihilation doesn’t make sense. “You can’t alienate your in-group partners, because you need them,” he says.

Ewen Callaway @ New Scientist

Via Slashdot.