I tend to ramble about the concepts of Cooperation and Competition over on my other blog, Casual CAS.
Here's a link to a post with a Will Wright interview in which he talks about Spore, and how it illustrates the way in which competition forces individuals to cooperate in order to out-compete mutual enemies.
Competitive pressure drives organizational structures towards ever-greater complexity, as previously unrelated entities are forced to either stand together or fall apart. My favorite book "Nonzero" calls this the "logic of human destiny": the reason why sentient life, societies, and world wars were inevitable from the time the first single-celled organisms appeared.
I previously wrote my own little app called the Rise of Cooperation which attempts to show some of the logic of cooperation in a very simple scenario. Let me know if you check it out! :)