5 Bizarre Video Game Experiments

The PainStation

As the previous experiment shows, videogames are not always harmless, but this custom built console takes the pain of defeat to new levels, as it combines the game Pong with a torture machine.

Volker Morawe and Tilma Reiff, the designers of the experience, nicknamed it PEU (Pain Execution Unit).

As volunteers played a match of Pong, they needed to control the game with their right hands and place their left hands on a metal surface, which would heat up, emit electric shocks and pop out a wire to cut the hand of the loosing player.

If a player removes his/her hand from the metal surface, he/she loses the game immediately.

Katherine Isbister, in her book How Games Move Us: Emotion by Design, describes the experience of watching a match and also reveals the objective of the experiment:

"It was a mesmerizing and horrifying demonstration on how physical stakes can radically shift the emotion and social tenor of the play experience."

Since 2011, the game became a permanent exhibition at the museum Computerspielemuseum Berlin, in Germany. Any visitor older than 18 can play it.

The last two experiments focused on the designers finding ways to inflict pain on the players, but the next one offers a reversal of roles.

Published Jan. 8th 2017

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