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Reprinted with Mike Popovic's permission.
|Article Archive - 16 February to 20 February|
17 February, 12.02am est
BeOS' Nerdkill Saves Lives, Study Shows
Nerdkill, a violence simulation application (VSA) for the BeOS saves lives and generally improves the standard of living for its players, a study to be published in next month's New England Journal of Medicine claims.
"Unlike other VSAs where a player comes away with feelings of violence undampened or indeed heightened, Nerdkill offers such a realistic and satisfying experience that its players report a serene sense of calm after just ten minutes of play," Dr. Ira Ridky explained.
"I've never actually shot anyone in real life, but, sure I've wanted to. Who hasn't?" asks Ohio postal worker Carl Davis. "But I kept myself pretty under control, sticking to dropping fragile packages, bending photos and kicking the occasional dog. But since we've adopted the Nerdkill program, even that has stopped, and I haven't felt like shooting anyone, even my supervisor."
Davis is part of a clinical trial in which postal workers in the town of Canton, Ohio are required to play Nerdkill for at least ten minutes everyday.
"By substituting simulated violence - not only shooting but electrocution and other forms of destruction - for actual violence, we have reduced customer complaint and supervisor fatality by 68%," Ridky reported.
An earlier attempt at the trial, where several Windows-based machines were setup with Quake failed when three technicians were killed after frustrated postal workers tried for hours to create a working boot disk.
Dr. Ridky plans to expand the trials to other stressfull occupations, including air traffic controllers, heart surgeons and Microsoft tech support personnel.
"I have never been less fearful of my daily mail delivery," a Canton resident stated, "it's good to see my tax dollars at work."