for what it’s worth

stories and stimulus from a consumer insight consultant

Cruel 2 B Kind- Watch Out for Compliments

Picture_16Beware- random compliments handed out in the street are really people trying to kill you! A new street game called Cruel 2 B Kind uses acts of kindness as secret weapons to assasinate their targets- the difference though is that players don’t know who they’re looking for. Each team receives a personally assigned secret weapon and secret weakness meaning their is only one target hidden in the crowds of the very public areas where the games are held.

“Your secret weapon is the act of kindness you perform on suspected targets. Example: Praise your targets’ shoes. If you perform this weapon on the correct target, they will surrender. If you perform this weapon on other players who are not your target, they will say “You are too kind.” If you perform this weapon on non-targets – well, we have no idea what might happen!”

The idea behind the events that were launched in New York in September is to encourage people to interact in a positive way within public spaces- players must approach strangers within the gaming area and use their secret weapon to score points and stay in the game.

Creator Jane McGonigal is a game designer and researcher (and recently named on MIT Technology Review’s 2006 list of Top Innovators under the age of 35 who are changing the world through technology) who is looking for ways to draw people out of their shells and interact with the community around them- “I feel that games are a powerful way to build connections, to add to the quality of life…Compliments are very powerful. I think giving them out contributes to public wellbeing”.

Look out for the next game which will be held in London’s Soho this Saturday Dec 9th. With so many christmas shoppers around it should make for a very interesting experiment in social behaviour- I’m tempted just to go and watch!

Some players will be slain by a serenade. Others will be killed by a compliment. You and your partner might be taken down by an innocent group cheer. Will innocents be caught in the cross-fire? Oh, yes. But when your secret weapon is a random act of kindness, it’s only cruel to be kind
to other players…

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Filed under: creative ideas, good, stuff on the streets, ,

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