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Carlos Miranda Levy

NEVER HELP: engage, enable, empower and connect, Relief 2.0 / Markets of Hope

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What can we do and what do we do about bullying?

Recently, while playing Red Dead Redemption I noticed another player, LatinLupe752, running in a straight line towards Chuparosa, a dusty settlement in the middle of nowhere.

Obviously a noobie. If you run in a straight line in an open field, you will be shot, in real life and in video games too.

I took my gun and killed him. Bam! 10 seconds later he, or she, respawned and started to run in a straight line again. I shot him again. Bam! He respawned once more; I switched weapons to a shotgun and shot him again, and again, and again. Soon I was "most wanted player" and there was a bounty on my head. I was killed by other players who came for the bounty.

I respawned and looked around for LatinLupe752, and saw him in the distance leaving the area, probably just wanted to play in peace and decided to go somewhere else in the game. I got on my horse, climbed up a hill, took aim with my carcano rifle and shot him in the head from afar. He respawned again and I shot his horse and then I shot him. They never came back.

Why would I, an active collaborating member of Stanford University Peace Innovation Lab, become a bully so vicious to this individual? Why couldn't I just let him play?

I did it because:

- There was a reward for me in doing it: Everytime I killed LatinLupe752 I would receive experience points and increase my reputation. A clean head shot earned me additional points.

- Yes, I was killed twice by other players who came to collect the bounty on my head, but that did not reduce my experience points or my reputation, so I didn´t mind the inconvenience of respawning a few seconds later and continue my behavior going after more points with LatinLupe752's face in them.

More important, it had nothing to do with LatinLupe752, I did not think he or she was weak, weird or different. It wasn't about intolerance and it wasn't personal.

I did it because there was something for me to gain and because the penalties involved were not enough to deter me from it.

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    Jul 6 2012: Put martial arts into the academic education. Children will learn discipline, coordination, and gain a healthy exercise.

    "I did it because there was something for me to gain and because the penalties involved were not enough to deter me from it." Is a natural attitude all of us share; individually it is easy to make choices that will insure us a higher status. And economically... Then consider the corporations that hire people for 'risk value analysis' in which if the penalty of being caught in a criminal action is less than the cost of pursing illegal mannerisms, the decision is made for profit over ethics..

    Martial arts, the profit is 'self' building - beating one opponent or losing to one opponent doesn't mean you are the best or the worse... The idea of working hard to improve oneself is innate in martial arts, that idea can project into other areas of life.

    Bullies gain their esteem by taking others away, if we were trained to learn from defeat and controversy - how could we ever be bullied without letting the person?
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    Jul 2 2012: Hi Carlos,

    This year for TEDxYouth@BIS we focused on student generated Sustainable Action. Many of the grade 5 students at our school identified bullying and conflict resolution as an area in which they wanted to take action, and so, created a website full of programs, resources, websites etc.. for kids to take action against bullying http://actionhub.weebly.com/

    Many of the students spoke about their action at the TEDxYouth@BIS event such as Kaitlyn Fox, Laura Ruben, and Alejandro (Alex) Perez-Lucerga, you can watch their talks on the TEDx Youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6AAF48379A09E839&feature=plcp

    It was refreshing, as an organizer and educator to see students journey from a superficial understanding of the problem to a researched, solution-based understanding of bullying within their own learning community. As their solutions were student-generated, owned and driven by kids they became sustainable. As the older grade 5 students modeled appropriate action, by creating and maintaining programs and inclusive games, younger students realized that it was cool to be inclusive.

    Kaitlyn has a TED profile- http://www.ted.com/profiles/1294495 and I am sure she would love to talk to you about her ideas for ending bullying in schools!
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      Jul 7 2012: Tosca! Touche! I watched some of these excellent videos - you should be soooooooooooo proud! If the kids can get it as they deomnstrated here, so can we, I hope and there is hope for a better world.
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    Sarah M

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    Jul 13 2012: I have a 5 year old who has already experience Bullying. I have taught her to stand up for herself. She knows to tell the teacher and is very good a using words to tell the person they are doing something that she doesn’t like. Will telling the teacher help her in the future? Probably not. Will I teach her that if someone hurts her that she should just take it? No. I will teach her to defend herself with whatever measures it takes.I was bullied at School and I can tell you now if you take on the Bully and win you will never be touched again by anyone. In this society of political correctness we have learnt not to rock the boat or offend anyone even the mean and nasty.
    Recently on YouTube a boy in Australia who was the victim of vicious Bullying finally retaliated and broke the Bullies arm. There was an overwhelming support for the child who finally had enough. www.dailymail.co.uk Overwhelming support any wonder. Society has had enough of Bullying and it has to stop.

    As the mother of 2 small children you worry about your child and the damage that can be done by other children and children can be very cruel.Look at the parents of these children because they learnt it somewhere
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      Jul 15 2012: Sarah, one of the greatest regrets of my life is actually insisting that my sons try to understand bullies. I forebade them at one point from retaliating and it is still the stuff of my nightmare - that my boys at that time did not even have me to count on. Eventually, I got it better in hand as I have written below. It turns out that they are beautiful people but now they are not bullied and are often on the side of the bullied.
      Kids should always be able to count on their own mothers, and it appears to me that your daughter if very fortunate. I thank you for posting that video. I saw it shortly after it occurred and cheered too. I do certainly agree and support your contention that bullying has to stop!
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        Jul 15 2012: Hi Debra
        Unfortunately these bullies only respond to violence. We do what we can at the time. Its not only the pain for our children involved its the pain for us as well as we struggle to protect our children from those who want to hurt, humiliate and terrorise them. I guess all we do is empower our children and teach self defence if neccesary. We can not allow our children to fall prey to these children and end up victims.
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        Jul 15 2012: Debra I am sure you believed you were doing the right thing for your children. We are all just trying to do our best. Sounds like you have lovely kids who because of a great Mum has learnt compassion and understanding:-)
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    Jul 10 2012: I see that younger generations are becoming more mature these days. I didn't see many students bullying others during my high school years. I graduated in 2011. My high school was filled with almost an equal portion of blacks, whites, and mexicans. I think that diversity made students more willing to understand each other from many angles.

    I learned that the kids who were picked on were mainly in 9th and 10th grade. These kids were more likely to lash out when being picked on. Their reaction gave the bully more to feed from. It gave the bully a chance to feel like a victim, in those cases the person being attacked got little or equal justice as the attacker when the situation was being resolved The more the bullying went on, the more of a connection the bully and the one being attacked developed. I've seen students involved in this usually ending up friends in the 11th and 12th grade.

    I believe that it's better for the one being bullied to find a group of genuine friends. Bullies usually don't attack a person that has friends or a group to be social with. I would advise someone being bullied to show no emotion of any kind to their attacker. Emotion is what the bully feeds from. If it doesn't stop, someone high in charge should be notified
  • Jul 9 2012: Start with the parents.
  • Jul 6 2012: I think we can start by quit trying to pretend the world we live in is candyland. If a kid is getting bullied it is purely due to him being beta. It seems to me that little to no parents prepare their children for the real world. We like to think we are above and beyond violence and aggression but the truth is we love it. It's everywhere.. including our sports. There countless reasons for one individual being a bully. To try to approach the problem with the bully would be extremely exhausting yielding little to no result. It would be more effective to start with the victims.. each parent teaching their child the value of standing up for yourself and demanding respect. Is mommy gonna come slap your aggressive boss on the bottom for pushing you around at work later in life? Is your teacher going to be there when a mugger wants your wallet? Nope... You'll be on your own and if you had all your bully problems solved for you then, you'll be last pick as far as women and youll be the mark for the rest of your weak pansy ass life. Let's get real.
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      Jul 7 2012: Dear Anthony, how do you tell your own behaviour from that of a bully or do you consider yourself to be a bully or a "pansy ass mark"
      or a former of either or something else. Your answer should reveal a lot just as your first one did.
      • Jul 7 2012: I've been picked on and I've picked on people. There is always someone bigger and there is always someone smaller. To ask there be no bullying would be like asking there be no lion king of the jungle. Maybe more subtle but it isn't just kids. It's absolutely everywhere competetive which if your goal is to succeed rather than settle then it is literally at all times. If the ultimate outcome is for them to sit behind a desk and take orders for the rest of their life as a subordinate from there boss "a bully" then keep the current course of hugs and candy. If the goal be competence, dominance, self respect and success... Johnny four eyes better rh deep dndr find that inner instinct and confront his alpha counterpart or the lesson be forever repeated. No partner of the opposite sex wants a coward, no boss wants an indecisive femi sorry can't type on my phone. Try later
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          Jul 7 2012: Dominance is never my goal and yet I have been quite 'successful" iin the terms you would use. I worry that this is the sort of lesson that people do take from bullying. I started out as a pacifist and found that while I did not mind (too much) consequences for myself - I could not stand it for my sons. Eventually, we came up with a rule- the bully got not one but two shots- the reason for this is that you can always misinterpret the first given that we are all on our own side and do not see from the perspective of the other.
          Illustation: My son (the one who recently saved my life) was in the stands of his high school gym watching his twin participate in a regional volleyball final. Some guy from the other school took exception to something and slapped him with a loud smack across the face -drawing everyone's attention and then took one more whack - at which point Christian rolled down the bleachers to the floor with the guy.. (Although he is strong and over 6', he had just neen released from the hospital because a woman crossed the center line and hit his then girlfriend's car head on = THUS when he hit the floor, his twin effectively spiked the ball, winning the point and he took over.
          In an environment where violence is an automatic suspension, the entire gym went to bat for my sons and they reeeived no discipline for the event. Why? I have to assume that their nonviolent history and the fact that Christian was very slow to react to provokation helped and in fact those were the very things that the dentist who took time out of his practice to defend him and others stated when they - of their own volition went to ensure that fairness prevailed.
          We will never have a better world unless we work for it.
  • Jul 29 2012: Today, we have electronic media that can bully someone 24/7, send out a digital picture that can be devastating to an individual or just start telling lies on a social media site. Teachers and parents should make students aware that there school or organization will not tolerate bullying and define what that actually means so that everyone has a clear understanding that sending an inappropriate pictures or harassing someone on Facebook is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Setup policies and procedures to deal with the offender and protect the victim, and after 2 offenses with counseling, then the police should be called in and charges filed. Public and sincere apologies from the offender should be enforced. Making people aware of the situation and providing some comfort to the victim, I feel is important. Any type of retaliation will not be tolerated. After a few of those apologies, I believe that bullying will be reduced and students will learn that all people have rights and feelings that should be cherished and not ridiculed or demeaned in any fashion.
  • Jul 10 2012: The school system is the cause of bullying. School is not a natural environment; at no time in nature would a group of 20-30 kids, all about the same age, be required to stay together with only 1 or 2 adults as supervisors. This causes 2 problems:

    #1: Humans aren't designed to function is groups where 20-35 people all have the same "rank." A school situation doesn't have enough leaders. The result is that some kids try to become leaders, but because they're kids, they go about gaining authority in an immature way - by using force and fear.

    #2: Bullying is herd instinct artificially caged. All animal groups have some kind of standard for admittance, and those that fail to meet the standard are driven out. The problem with school is that we force kids into arbitrary groups. The unwanted individual cannot flee to find a group that suits them better. Thus, the "driving out" behavior (bullying) never ends.
    • Jul 13 2012: I recently began investigating education options for my young children. The option the resonates with me more than all others is that of the Montessori style education. One of the aspects that seems most promissing to me in relation to bullying is that the kids are put into mixed age groups. The older kids are encouraged to help the younger kids and the kids are free to collaborate during class with teachers present instead of just during brief interludes during recess where they are obscured by numbers.

      I went to a public school and I still remember hearing "I can't wait until I am in 5th grade so we aren't the ones that are picked on, we'll pick on the 3rd graders." In a Montessori school the younger kids look forward to getting older so they can be the ones helping. It's a difference of how the kids get their feeling of importance.

      In "How to Win Friends and Influence People" the author says that having a feeling of importance is as integral to a person as hunger, thirst and sex. I thought that a bit absurd the first time reading it, but I've kept that in mind as I observe my own behavior and I think there really is something to that.

      I believe that above all else, Bullies bully for a feeling of importance. If that is true, then the best way to stop bullying is to give these kids another outlet for feeling important. That is why I like the Montessori model, kids should get their feeling of importance by helping the younger children.
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    Jul 9 2012: I'm curious if bullying could be seen as an extension of modeling behavior through play, like pre-schoolers playing house, or your video game.

    If we know that play is the work of children, how they learn about the world around them, then is it possible to extend this type of learning into teens?

    Could bullying be a dramatic (meaning played with higher stakes and more drastic consequences) way for young adults to try and understand how it looks like adults verbally and emotionally, sometimes physically, treat each other? Maybe this is why bullies have a tendency to not think or care about the after-effect of their actions, if in a way it's all a game.

    Bully tend to pick on those that don't blend in; those that are vulnerable; those that are 'other' than the bullying group, like LatinLupe752. I believe that exercising and teaching/showing empathy and more truth telling about vulnerability and failure leading to individuality and strength could help rectify bullying in young adults and adults.

    This needs to happen through skills: about listening, being vulnerable, speaking for yourself, community/ensemble, action and reaction, metaphor, empathy, articulating fears and emotions, buoyancy and breathing (a highly underrated tool that many don't do well - breathing deep, controlled breathing for specific emotional, mental and physical responses).

    Children don't come to this world hating. They have to learn it. And I believe we all learn from what we experience and observe more than what we are told.
  • Jul 9 2012: the reason why you kept on killing that LatinLupe752 player was because of what you said the rewards in the game but also to show power over some one that you knew that you can kill it is something basic that has always been their sense we were animals its a way to be on top its a drive for people to be come popular for people to look up to you or to try to become a boss or try to control people and make them do what you want and its the idea that bullying is bad only comes from the cases where the person getting bullied kills them self but their are cases where the person thats getting bullied comes out a better person because it shows them how to deal with chalenges in their life but the real way to combat the problem is to give the people that are being bullied the chance to see what it feels like to be on top and not on the bottom all the time.
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    Jul 6 2012: This may have already been shared below, but I believe that aggressiveness is a dimension of personality on which we vary as a species. Aggression may also be overt or covert.

    Some of us, and i will include myself, may have a harder time understanding the bully than more aggressive people will.

    Some people are by nature not aggressive, are not tempted by incentives to bully or restrained by disincentives, and are not somehow controlling aggressive impulses. The issue simply doesn't arise for many of us.
    It is even upsetting to role play bullying.
    Others whose personality makes them more aggressive may be influenced by incentives or anonymity, behaving quite differently when the social contraints that restrict their real world behavior are lifted.

    Part of what schools do to address bullying is to try to create an environment without factions or in and out groups. Schools also engage students in role playing to practice viable strategies for victim and bystander.

    And in an environment with younger children, there is usually a component of making this a matter for report to an adult. Teachers are also asked to maintain a vigilant attitude so as to notice things going on at school.

    Ultimately a culture in which bullies are disrespected by their peers whose approval they most seek likely provides the most effective constraint.
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    Jul 5 2012: To be attacked last night by two thugs on the last stretch of my daily 40km bicycle ride was the best way to finally finish Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Upon ducking to evade the first assailant with the same maneuver I practice everyday to avoid the low branches on the trees, I surprised the second brute with a hellish scream and raised my elbows to make him release his grasp on my chest. As I sped away the heavy steps of the one desperately chasing me and the other's cry of "catch him, catch him" were muffled by Ragnar Danneskjöld's final words in the book:

    "One of these centuries, the brutes, private or public, who believe they can rule their betters by force, will learn the lesson of what happens when brute force encounters mind and force". :-)

    (not exactly about bullying, but I guess Danneskjöld's words somehow reflect the sentiment of many in the ongoing discussion here).
    • Jul 5 2012: Sorry to hear about the attack, but glad you came out okay. Way to ninja your way out of it. ;)
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        Jul 6 2012: Thanks. It all went so fast I still haven't time to process it. That's the main reason I wrote the story of it. One has to deal with such events, not just ignore them or put them aside or they will lurk in the back, affecting our mood and probably judgement. It was a violent attack, unprovoked, violating my private space, my precious 2 hour daily alone time, my right to freely exercise and ride my bike without bothering others.

        Worst part, I feel partially guilty of the attack, as it took place at 9:30pm in a dark street on an deserted park that is flooded with people and visible police and security presence from 5pm to 8pm. But that day I started late, and when the attack happened, I couldn't and still can't shake the feeling that it was my fault for riding alone out there so late.
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          Jul 6 2012: Sorry to hear about the attack Carlos.

          Where you say you read the quote from Atlas Shrugged, was the real or a metaphor?
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        Jul 13 2012: Real. I finished Atlas that day and it had been less than an hour since I had heard the lines I quoted. -- I listen to books using Audible while riding my bicycle - it gives me 2 hours of "reading" time every day :-p
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          Jul 13 2012: Carlos, I could not respond in the proper place but I am delighted you are out cycling! The reaction you describe is quite typical for people who have endured experiences like you have endured. Wait it out. Tough it out and it will go away. Take back your life as you are able and as it feels comfortable. People like me from half a world away are cheering you on!
          Go Carlos!
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          Jul 13 2012: My thumbs up is not working but I am cheering you for your reading time as well - if not the choice of book. My greatest objection is that we all need each other and no one is so strong that they can afford to believe that they are an island and that others are weak. Those 'weak' ones who might need a hand now are the ones who might keep you alive one day. We all need them and each other. "Strength in isolation" is the stupidest and most fleeting illusion common to mankind.
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      Jul 6 2012: So glad you are okay, Carlos.
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        Jul 6 2012: I am sure we all are pleased and happy that you are OK!
        Jetison any guilt as it is not productive. You have every right to be where you were at any time. People tend to accept such guilt as a way of protecting themself or so the theory goes ancd i like this one.. For example a rape victim will never again wear a red dress sort of supersticiously because -her subconscious mind which is working very hard to understand what she did to create such a terrible outcome- decides that this is a possible explanation and if she never wears a red dress again (a ficticious example) no harm can come to her because she has discovered the 'cause' of the incident. She then feels she has control of her life again.
        In your case, this is the fault and craziness of two thugs and you were in their path. Simple and awful as that. You do not deserve to suffer one more minute, Carlos! You still have all the control you ever had.
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          Jul 6 2012: The one exception I would take to what Debra says is that there are some places and times that are safe for transit and some not. This should not be true but it is, and as long as it is, we will not have control over our safety there.

          I would surely want my son and daughters to avoid such places if possible rather than to assert their freedom to pass.
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          Jul 13 2012: Thanks. I have been returning to the same path every day... But as soon as it gets dark, I move outside to a parallel street across the park with fast frequent traffic, where I am probably at a bigger risk, but at least not exposing myself to the same attack I already experienced. It does get to you though, just 2 days ago I was biking on the street with traffic and another biker approached me from behind and said "vamos, ciclista!" (go, biker) and I literally jumped scared from the friendly salute :-(
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        Jul 7 2012: Fritzie, your point is more than valid and all prudent people do so and i assume that Carlos is a prudent man. I just wish to releive any additioinal suffering.
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    Jul 3 2012: This is based on my own experience and observations:

    Bullies seem to have a blurred perception of what civilized behaviour is, and adopt a kind of remoteness from any moderating influences of that behaviour. They somehow feel protected from the consequences their own actions.

    In people who are not normally bullies, a similar kind of protected remoteness from civilized behaviour can be conjured up through video games, during 'road rage' incidents when we feel protected in a lockable car, watching reality shows on TV protected in our own homes etc - even in those people whose behaviour is normally very civilized in face-to-face contact. This 'protective cage' enables us to switch off our own internal moderator, because we know that the harsh consequences, which would otherwise be meted out in civilized reality, will feel less punitive.

    I suggest that there may be a bully in all of us. Our bully will out itself if it feels protected from the consequences of its own bad behaviour. If that bully then goes on to win accolades (rewards) from parents and peers for such behaviour, it will feel further empowered, strengthened, and the behaviour will persist and maybe even escalate to a feeling of omnipotence - until someone comes along to break down that protection (so revealing a vulnerable core).

    If we want to disarm a real bully, their vulnerable core needs to be identified and revealed (they all have one - without exception!). That vulnerability has to be seen as clearly as possible by their peers, for disarming to be as effective as possible.
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      Jul 3 2012: You talking 'bout "The Hulk"? :-)

      Sorry, I loved your point and insights, but the Marvel comics fan in me couldn't help but make the comment above. And your solution is one that can easily be grasped by youngsters as well: find their kryptonite!

      I find the disconnect aspect you mention for the bully behavior as a valuable insight and one that deserves further discussion.

      At this point, we feel the need to ask: the cause for bullying, is it nature or nurture? And as in almost every other similar social behavior discussion the answer is "both!".

      I believe we need to look carefully into the environmental enablers and social triggers as well as into the individual pre-conditions, experiences and catalyzers. It is the random and diverse combination of both that allows the bully phenomenon to exist. Without and enabling environment, the bullying behavior would not survive long, despite the individual experience and conditions that triggers it.
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        Jul 3 2012: Well, I burst out of my shirts, but more in the stomach area than the chest these days! :-)

        I meant experience of being bullied, rather than me doing the bullying!
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      Jul 12 2012: Excellent consideration and analysis of the question, so thank you, Allan.
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    Jul 24 2012: I've been bullied but I was raised to have a tough skin and to stand up for myself and defend myself. Self-defense can be with your words or your hands. I'm not completely opposed to kids fighting bullies, but I am opposed to kids taking out their aggression on random people.
    It seems like social media has a big part on the bullying because when I was young, the bullying stopped when I got home from school. Nowadays, kids are bullied 24/7 from their cell-phones, and tumblr/twitter accounts, etc.
    I know not every kid can be tough, and I hate to call a kid a punk for letting people get away with making fun of them, but you will continue to get whatever you tolerate.
    Stand up for yourself. Maybe if kids knew their worth and knew who they really were as individuals, they wouldn't be so negatively affected when other kids messed with them.
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      Jul 30 2012: The response to bullying may be to defend oneself but when they make you think you have to change to be acceptable they have won the battle at least to some extent in my mind. How far does one go?. When is it far enough - when you are the bully? Is this what actually creates them?

      How do we get children to know their worth when most adults are struggling to understand their own and often under estimate it? I think the solution is to say with a loud and united voice LAY OFF!
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    Jul 21 2012: IN MY VIEW:
    Answer if for non bullies only!
    Single persons effort won't do good so first do something to gain attention or acknowledgement so that a mass recognizes you. now use the combined effort to form a rule/protocol/policy to stop act of bullying right from root. now the system should take care of all your problems so that you can relax. Always remember A person gains an identity even of a bully because he is allowed by system that operates.
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    Sarah M

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    Jul 13 2012: I have to wonder whether there is such a strong link between Bullying and Violent Video games.
    There is no doubt that violent video games can bring on real violence in a very small number of people. In Australia on April 28, 1996 thirty-five men, women and children that Martin Bryant senselessly murdered and another 18 injured by Martin Bryant. A man of 28 years old with a low intellect, a known bully. He was known for horrible acts against Animals and classed as an unusual child. (Http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/mass/bryant/profile_2.html) Martin Bryant was also said to have a morbid fascination with Violent Video games.

    Does a Video Violent Video game make people go and shoot 53 people? It’s unlikely unless you are a severely troubled individual. Can you link all mass acts of violence to Video games? Unlikely. Have crimes increased at the onset of violent games being introduced? No. Crime rates have remained stable for many years. Do Violent Video games make Bullies? Unlikely.

    Research now shows that Bullies have usually been exposed to violence within the home or elsewhere.
    Do Video games help play out fantasies of hurting people without doing harm to a living soul? In some cases probably. If Violent Video games produce Violence we would have anarchy on the streets. An massive increase in Violent crimes but there hasn’t been.

    The US has it 311,591,917 July 201. When you add up the school shootings often linked to Violent Video games statistically very small amount of school type shootings per capita.

    So what point am I trying to make. Do violent video Games desensitize its players? Do they cause Violent Acts? Does it breed Bullies? My opinion is No. Can they seriously affect someone who is seriously affected in their mind? Maybe but so can so many other things.

    I am not Pro Violent gaming but I think we have to be real. Most people know the difference between Reality and Fantasy.

    Should we look at the parents of these Bullies? YES
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      Jul 13 2012: I don't think video games desensitize gamers. If you are really involved in the game - the only level at which it would actually affect you and get to you - you feel it and are aware of your actions. At least from my experience. Just as playing video baseball will not get you into major league, playing flight simulator will not make a pilot of you and jumping from planes will not make you a paratrooper.

      Video games allow you to experience alternate realities and experiences, like reading a good book, listening to a moving story or watching an engaging movie. You are in control, but you always now it's fantasy and make believe. You care for the story, for the characters, for the outcome, but it's just as you care for your tennis match at the club or basketball game at school. Once it's done, it's done.

      The fact that I find harder to explain to people and for non-gamers to grasp is how engaging the gaming experience can be for the player yet how clear is its distinction from real life in our minds and sensory experience. Sure, sometimes you wish you could fly or move those boxes with a gesture of your hand, but is just as when you wish for Asteryx potion or Super Goof's Super Goobers in real life... :p
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        Jul 15 2012: Hi Carlos
        You do know that I also said that Violent video games don't desensetise players. I get the gaming experience and have also been caught up in the game. My point is violent gaming doesn't cause violence or bullying except in very rare cases where someone is a very unwell individual and it may be a catalyst . This does not account for main stream society :-)
  • Jul 13 2012: You should read or watch some more stuff on Philip Zimbardo.
    Specifically the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment and while your at it you can also take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment (not by zimbardo).
    These 2 experiments have been (by far) the most influencial in the field of psychology in combination with bullying / corrupting power etc.
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    Jul 12 2012: There's lots we could do about bulling but there are somethings that I won't say except with close friends. I. Strongly agree with mr. Crocket the it is a parents job to teach your young the proper way to act in public and to treat others with respect. I also. Will lay blame at the youngins feet at a certin age he has been around and seen others acting approperitly he should have got a clue somewhere along the way.
    As for your feeling like a bullie in a game really its a game has nothing to do with youas a person unless you can't seperate fiction and reality. The object of the game WIN. Maybe you should look over your shoulder in your game because he will come back when he is better at the game. That's what I would do and stand up and face my bully. This is also what I believe parents should tell there kids stand up and face them. You will be supprised how much that would win them support from there peers. Its easier to gain allies when you stand up for yourself.
  • Jul 9 2012: As a teenager, I say we can stop bullying by taking action instead of watching someone get bullied and listen. Many teenagers are afraid to stand up to their friends because they are afraid that they will seem not cool and lose friends. Friends come and go. People need to take action and by doing so we can possibly stop a person from committing suicide and losing their lives forever like Phoebe Prince and Megan Meier.
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      Jul 9 2012: Hurrah for Christina!
      Thank goodness we have a new and empowered generation who do not accept bullying as the status quo. I am so hopeful!
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    Jul 7 2012: For your edification

    There are 3 ways people will chronically handle other people.

    At the bottom is by making less of the other person this person is basically in fear of just about everything. The comments of this person will be along the lines of: Nice dress I remember when those were in style, or the left handed complements or the snide comments. These people will give you more trouble by an order of magnitude than the others.

    The next level up is the person who uses force. This is the guy who yells a lot or threatens a lot or starts fights he is most likely your bully.

    The next level up is the person who handles things by communication you will not have any trouble with these people and are the ones who keep the world going.

    The most effective way to handle the ones who are afraid is by being cheerful, This is not real easy because the are looking for ways to make less of you but if you are undaunted and remain cheerful they will let down their defenses.

    Of course if you are in imminent danger RUN. The most effective way to handle the ones who want to use force is by being bored. What the bully wants is for you to be afraid. This may seem like a hard thing to do but actually it is not undo able.
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      Jul 24 2012: some people choose to communicate with their fists. Are they not as important as those who choose not to?
      If a child is bullied and retaliates with violence, is he worse than the instigator? or are they equally "bad"?
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        Jul 26 2012: Importance is irrelevant.

        Nope the child who defends himself is not doing anything wrong and they are not equally bad. Retaliation is another matter and tough not to do.
  • Jul 4 2012: Hi all

    Why we bully? why we react? why we fight? because we are human and all this is our nature.
    if the wars are in our nature the peace is too.

    I recommend you to watch this

    http://www.ted.com/talks/william_ury.html

    and then read William Ury 's THE THIRD SIDE book, One of the BEST book I have ever read about us, Anthropology and history of human beings.


    I think Ury will give you some answer, and I think instead of talking about bully or wars or conflicts, we better talk about PEACE.

    remember what Mather Theresa said: "IF YOU HAVE ANTI - WAR RALLY, DO NOT INVITE ME, IF YOU HAVE PEACE RALLY, INVITE ME" - She knew the power of negativity.

    I don't know how many of you know, that in Spain the domestic violence is very hight compared to other countries.
    want to know why? and why can't stop it? because they have created a slogan that reads:

    NO CONTRA LA VIOLENCIA DE GENERO - No against the violence of gender

    Now I may not be the new Einstein . but I want you to read the sentence again and say how many negative words do you see in that one sentence which is the slogan ?

    Now tell me what was the first thing that came in your mind?

    Violence - right?

    And do you think it will help them to stop the violence?

    I am not Antonio Damasino to know how our human brain works,
    but at least I may know how we decode the messages

    Same goes in our school, it s the part of this system.
  • Jul 3 2012: Learn to run faster. Seriously, in the real world it is not so easy to identify the good guy and the bad
    guy. One either has to avoid bullies or has to make tough eithical decisions. Am I being bullied? With a
    problem involving third parties - What is really happening? The real world is hard to figure out.
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      Jul 7 2012: You, George are probably an excellent legal advisor.
  • Jul 2 2012: Sounds like you are a sociopath in the virtual world. You can't compare the virtual world to the real world because some people know the difference between the two places. In the game, it was part of the game of multiplayer to do whatever you want and have no consequences. If you died once and had to start all over on all your stats every time you died, I bet you would of played more cautiously. The game is about a lawless land. There is a difference between a lawless land and the real world were the law does exist. In the real world, if a person is a good shooter and knows what they are doing, sure they will get away with crimes and never even get caught. There are laws against bullying, but, people like "Clint Anderson" the commenter below tend to believe its the families responsibility. Your family doesn't go to school with you and it shouldn't be every man for himself in a country that understands the difference between right and wrong. What needs to be done is the penalty for a bully should be that of the penalty for a pedophile. They are branded a bully and it shows up on their resume were ever they go. When they go to jail or prison, they are put with others bullies. Other people shouldn't have to give up free will for the actions of others, the actions of others that take away free will clearly show that the person taking that action doesn't know how free will should work and thus deserves to be deprived of it. More information should be collected about places that people think no one is watching. People branded a bully should have to go to a different school after so many warnings. Parents should be held responsible for the actions of the children they had the job of raising. People don't magically learn things on their own without a medium. People are born and learn things from their parents. Sure parents don't choose for their children to be bullies, but, they didn't teach them any better also.
    • Jul 3 2012: Lance, i dont condone bullying in any way, shape, or form but to say that they should be treated as pederasts is a bit much. These bullies are kids, who obviously have serious problems that stem from their upbringing. That doesn't excuse their behavior, but it should be used as an indicator for a professional to start working with them.
      • Jul 3 2012: Do you honestly think bullying stops after grade school? In my experience, bullies simply never mature beyond grade school. The rest of their life is 5th grade repeated endlessly. Lack of self control, lack of critical thought, lack of empathy and worst of all, lack of consequences.

        To assert a game is different because there are no consequences shows a profound lack of understanding as to how bullying is accepted, even promoted, in the real world and how those who try and take action against bullying are shouted down for "calling out" a person, as if pointing out a person's bad behavior is somehow worse than the bullying itself.

        The logical disconnect is astonishing.
        • Jul 3 2012: Edward, although I have no idea as to how you came to the conclusion that I thought bullying ended after grade school, ill do my best to respond here with dignity.

          So let me get it straight, I know bullying doesn't end after grade school, you will find not even a hint of this in what I'm saying. In fact, bullying is a major pre cursor to felonious behavior.

          Where in my statement did I assert that the consequences were different from the real world? What logical disconnect are you talking about?

          The point Im making is that many bullies are under the age of twelve and just as apathy and punishment seems to do absolutely nothing to curb, or treat fully matured felons, the same approach will surely do no better with kids.
      • Jul 3 2012: "how you came to the conclusion that I thought bullying ended after grade school"

        I based my response on "These bullies are kids".
        Later, your assertion: "many bullies are under the age of twelve"

        Is there a study which concludes with your assertion? What, exactly, is "many" and how does this affect the discussion of bullying in general?

        "ill do my best to respond here with dignity. "

        Thank you for the kindness, I appreciate a rational discussion without bullying.

        "Where in my statement did I assert that the consequences were different from the real world?"

        You didn't, it was a statement based on the post you replied to. I didn't say you made that assertion.

        "What logical disconnect are you talking about?"

        The one where people attack those who point out the abuses of bullies. Sorry for the confusion, as that sentence should have been in the previous paragraph. The assertion was not aimed at you, but an assertion for the general discussion.
  • Jul 2 2012: Our Dads taught us how to deal with bullies and made sure we didn't become bullies. The solution is finding a way to keep families intact.
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      Jul 2 2012: And what were those teachings?
    • Jul 2 2012: Your father did, but, clearly most peoples parents don't do this anymore. The best way to deal with a bully is to beat the fuck out of them I was taught. There were so many bullies in the school I went to that I always ended up getting into fights a lot and most of the time it wasn't me who started it. I only started about one out of ten fights. At high school there really wasn't bullies except for a group of kids that if one got in a fight they all jumped in instead of having a fair fight. My father never let me get into boxing even though I wanted to. I never got to get into self defense. He kept me out of sports and both my parents didn't even let me be exposed to the outside world. I literally had no way to communicate with other people. You can't rely on parents or family to do this. This statement is an assumption that family members or parents know how to handle them. The law needs to take over this more. People don't truly make their own choices if others still bully and nothing is done to enforce it. The only thing to do is be a bully as it is either not make your own choices and do nothing about the bully or what your family members said that might be invalid, or you can become a bully yourself and make your own choices and influence the choices of others as well. This about sums up reality for you. So what your family members taught you. Not all family members teach things to their children or even let them fit in with anyone while they force feed them preconceived ideas about things that don't even have enough information behind them to state it as a fact. What needs to be done is data needs to be collected on those who get bullied and those who are the bully without their consent. A method of handling this situation without violating peoples free will needs to be implemented. Anyone who violates free will of others deserves to have their free will violated by others as well.This is my view and this is why I believe strongly that you are wrong about it.
  • J M

    • +1
    Jul 2 2012: CONTINUED FROM 1 post below...

    We bully (or apathetically impose our victory on) those we are able to/allowed to in situations where we don't process implications of what we did. The lower the processing aptitude and greater the revenge impulse --add base violence issues, often nurture syndrome/health luck generated-- the more base the 'bully' situation is.
  • J M

    • +1
    Jul 2 2012: Fritzie Reisner SAID

    Let me put forward some hypotheses about bullying:

    - Boys who have seen Dad bully Mom may be more likely than others to bully girls
    - Those who have been bullied by someone or abused by someone more powerful than they and who are themselves aggressive may turn around and bully someone weaker than they are
    - Peer pressure can induce some people to participate in group bullying
    - Fear of being bullied may cause some people to bully the bully's target or not to stand up for the target
    - Bullies when confronted or interviewed after the fact often admit resenting something about the person they bullied- like that the person is more accomplished, better liked by teachers, or seems to have an easier life than they do
    - Bullying of girls by girls often chooses as the target an accomplished and gentle girl
    - Bullying of boys by boys often happens around matters of sexual identity just as boys are trying to become well defined about their own sexual identities

    >>

    My response...

    That is correct. (Last line is politically conditioned stretch though.)

    One will note a trend in Fritz's list above, if one looks: As civi got rid of top dogs (who are not necessarily bullies in the psychological diagnosis sense above, rather just hubris filled lucky/winners), bottom dog bullies filled the vacuum.

    I have seen that one becomes hard if bullied. They might transfer their oxytocin expressions to other species while cultivating misanthropy.

    -
    Carlos, the way you framed your example (the way it might have really been) made it seem like you had profit motivation rather than the situation delineated by Fritz. Bullies might be profiting too in that they get a high from the success, but it is a little more base.

    CONTINUED 1 post ABOVE
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      Jul 2 2012: The experience I described placed me in an unfamiliar territory as I found myself viciously bullying someone. Even in non-violent strategy games like Rise of Nations and Civilization, I try to win not by destroying or conquering neighboring civilizations but by reaching the "age of enlightment" building schools and institutions, fortifying my borders, strengthening my military power and avoiding confrontation through alliances. While it is frustratingly difficult to win this way (others keep attacking and destroying your advances as you try to build a peaceful society), it is highly gratifying to achieve progress knowing that you are following what you believe is the right path.

      On the other hand, my own experience being bullied would confirm the dangerous statement made in this thread by two different individuals that being bullied makes you hard or better. It may, if you survive it and are not permanently scarred. But systematic bullying can destroy individuals too. I can only speak of my own experience, which does not involve systematic bullying but isolated cases:

      When I am being bullied and killed over and over in Red Dead Redemption, I simply leave town, run missions alone or with others until I unlock a powerful gun and then return to face those who were bullying me now under more even conditions.

      I remember a kid at school who challenged me to fight at the end of the day. Although he had a nasty reputation, I showed up, but had no intention to fight. He kept provoking me, I did not respond. Losing his temper, he pushed me, I tripped and fell, I got up, faced him again and continued to refused to fight. This went on until some mom passing by intervened. It was not fear that kept me from fighting: I was there, I showed up out of my own will, despite all the nasty threats he made during recess, and I kept facing him and coming close to him. I did not fight because I refused to go against my will. Nonetheless, that summer I enrolled in JuJutsu class :-)
      • J M

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        Jul 3 2012: "it is highly gratifying to achieve progress knowing that you are following what you believe is the right path."

        Do you know what a prisoner dilemma model is? Basically it demonstrates that compromise impulses (created by chemistry) will be selected as efficient (as the "fittest") more often --so long as other preconditions are met. Other conditions means it doesn't work in the desert or other low energy enviros, since there isn't enough food there to fuel the symbiosis of partners(who compromise to hold together their group) against the bullies (who have non compromise impulses/ modules).

        Note even the dumb brained crocs tolerate each other in river...

        ---
        This is what causes crocodiles to be cooperators: the best way for each individual selfish --reflex actor-- croc to selfishly get food into its gullet is attacking prey then tearing it in a group; that fact selects against the occasional mass murderer croc module variant that forms. That big murdering croc "won the battle but lost the war" against another croc group [game set], from a different river, with "cooperate/tolerate" modules.

        Ie reciprocal altruism gets selected more than simply steal, cheat and rape impulses, because of priority selection pressures. In computer model speak: "Prisoner dilemma games" "optimize" to compromises ("reciprocal altruism" modules) that beat out cousin 'game sets' who in their "prisoner dilemma games" didn't have compromise modules.
        ---

        It is all part of the universe's "emergent property" which builds globules and then organisms and more complex multicellular systems.

        -----
        I didn't say being made hard is necessarily "better." Better and worse are relative and symptom of perception(flawed or not) of whether something gets selected by /works in an environment.

        Fleeing is not necessarily better or worse. It is a contingency. It can lead to success or not depedning on other contingencies outside fleer's knowledge/control.

        Jujutsu enrolling may be reflex from contingency.
    • Jul 3 2012: i like you.
  • Jul 2 2012: Carlos, I feel as though the point you illustrated about your experience on Red Dead Redemption is related to primitive human nature. It seems as though you couldn't stop yourself from seeking the pleasure derived from destroying your inexperienced and weaker foe. Im not sure if the experience you speak of is analogous to the bullying that is now being highlighted across America. What I can say is that I do believe bullying at its core is very natural. Its a product of power and is usually perpetrated by those who have already bore witness to bullying on the home front. I don't think bullying is rewarded as it is in your virtual example, but it is a very easy way to gain pleasure by asserting superiority and dominance over a person who has trouble defending themselves. Im not sure how you tackle this issue it seems as though at the core its human nature who is the culprit. Using the logical aspects of the brain to curb certain drives seems to be necessary for a society that wishes to flourish. Personally I wish introspective techniques and self awareness were taught in school. Maybe by increasing understanding of ourselves we can increase understanding of others.

    -Brian
    • Jul 3 2012: "you couldn't stop yourself from seeking the pleasure"

      Interesting how you read "seeking pleasure" from the game example, even though it was clearly pointed out it was not personal, but was instead the easiest means to an end.

      "bullying at its core is very natural" .. "perpetrated by those who have already bore witness to bullying"

      Also, I fail to see how nature has any relation to outside influence. Outside influence would mean nurture, not nature.

      "it is a very easy way to gain pleasure by asserting superiority and dominance over a person who has trouble defending themselves"

      A person need not have trouble defending themselves to be bullied. Even a perfect defense does not stop further attacks. Defense, by definition, is the deflection of advances. A perpetrator need only continue unwanted advances in order to become a bully. In fact, attacks need not be involved to bully someone, simple unwanted interaction can be bullying, as is the case with sarcasm.

      I would like to see a study in which the intentional causing of emotional distress to another is a natural instinct. Though, I would argue, physically attacking someone else who has something you want is a basic instinct, though it is still a crime in the civilized world.

      There, however, is data which shows peace and cooperation is a natural state when violent nurture is removed from the equation: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/peace_among_primates/
      • Jul 3 2012: Edward are you really so ignorant of the power, control, and pleasure that is received through crushing someone in a competition. Do you think bullying is not inherent?

        Sarcasm is bullying? Im sorry Ed but thats laughable.

        As much as I don't think its possible to remove human on human violence I wish it were so, but Utopias don't exist in the real world, they exist in the mind.
        • Jul 3 2012: "Edward are you really so ignorant of the power, control, and pleasure that is received through crushing someone in a competition. Do you think bullying is not inherent?"

          In victory within a competition? No. Bullying is using that power imbalance to control or harm others. Have you even looked up what bullying is?

          http://www.stopbullying.gov/what-is-bullying/definition/index.html

          "Sarcasm is bullying? Im sorry Ed but thats laughable."

          Your dismissing something hardly disproves it. If you have a rational basis as to why it cannot be bullying, I'd like to hear it. You may wish to look up both bullying and sarcasm prior to continuing this line of debate.

          "As much as I don't think its possible to remove human on human violence I wish it were so, but Utopias don't exist in the real world, they exist in the mind."

          I fail to see the point in this statement. Do you have a point?

          So far you have made plenty of assertions and added no citations, studies or even definitions to back them up. What, exactly, are you hoping to accomplish with such statements?
      • Jul 3 2012: Edward, do you really think its plausible, or purposeful to try to take a stance against sarcasm? Based on your statement that sarcasm is bullying, leads me to believe you think bullying is essentially people being rude to one another. Please clarify

        The point I made in regards to a utopia is in reference to this idea that bullying can be eradicated, as if its not a byproduct of nature. Im not saying that means we don't make it an issue and attempt to fight the harmful effects bullying has, but lets be intellectually honest and just admit there are always going to be differences that will lead to aspects of bullying. The strong prey on the weak, its a fact of life, I don't think it's a very pleasant fact, but nonetheless I think its hard to refute. I wish I had been told this as a child, instead of the ridiculous fairy tails spun by people who wish things were a certain way.

        Might I ask what you hoped to accomplish by replying to my statements in the first place?
        • Jul 3 2012: "Edward, do you really think its plausible, or purposeful to try and take a stance against sarcasm?"

          As opposed to promoting it? Did you even look up the definition of sarcasm?

          "you think bullying is essentially people being rude to one another. "

          Bullying, by definition, is repeated aggressive behavior, which includes insults. A fist need not be thrown for a bully to be created. You would know this if you bothered clicking any of the links I posted.

          "The strong prey on the weak, its a fact of life"

          Did you even skim the study I linked to? You are wrong, it is not a fact of life. If you have some research in which it was concluded humans naturally bully each other, link to it. Otherwise, what do you think you are accomplishing by making baseless assertions? Are you seriously arguing to tolerate bullying with the dysfunction enabler excuse of "boys will be boys"?

          http://www.recmin.org/Updated%20Articles%20and%20Testimonies/Dysfunctional%20Family%20Roles.htm

          "Might I ask what you hoped to accomplish by replying to my statements in the first place?"

          Of course. I set out to prevent incorrect information from being passed off as fact. Criticism, if you didn't know, is the most effective means of generating workable ideas. Here's a nice examination of how no-criticism brainstorming being productive is a myth and has been debunked scientifically for decades:

          http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/01/30/120130fa_fact_lehrer?currentPage=all

          Note how I cite sources as to what I say, in order to help people understand what I mean and how to find out the facts. None of your assertions have citations, and some were downright false. Progress isn't achieved by stating guesses as fact. "I don't know" is far more productive than "I know" and being wrong.
      • Jul 3 2012: Edward where in my response could you draw the conclusion that I didn't comprehend that bullying is psychological as well? You are interpreting my responses the way you want to see them. Also how did you gather that I was promoting sarcasm?

        Yes I did look at that link and it was interesting.

        Edward what is sexual competition? what happens there? Would you say that is natural?I would.

        Humans compete, its an integral part of natural selection, bullying is an offshoot of this trait, almost every culture has celebrated athletes and competition. That isn't to say bullying isn't learned or reinforced in the home, of course it is, but to say that genetics don't play a factor in bullying is to happily dismiss genetic inheritance. Go look up causes of narcissistic personality disorder, or antisocial personality disorder and you will find that the cause is unknown and thought to be a mix of genetics and environment.

        Also when did I ever make the claim that boys will be boys? I said bullying is a natural phenomena that will always occur and its better to take a realistic approach vs pretending it can be completely eradicated. Ill say it again, that doesn't mean we should not do what is in our power to curb the harmful results produced by bullying.

        I couldn't agree more that criticism is what leads to the forming of workable and intelligible ideas but,
        For you to claim that you "know" bullying isn't a natural part of human behavior by citing one link, is ludicrous.

        I can't even believe you would attempt to claim that the strong don't prey on the weak. What evidence do you possibly have to back this claim up? I think we can both agree with a simple glimpse into the past that this just isn't the case.
  • Jul 2 2012: Teach your kids karate, that,s how you stop a bully
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    Jul 1 2012: First off, thanks for sharing this example, it's interesting to consider the issue of bullying from a perspective other than that of the recipient.

    I think I see this anecdote illustrating more the effect anonymity has on human behavior than anything else. You say that it wasn't personal, that it had nothing to do with them being weird or different, but would that be the case if this had been a real-life example? Don't schoolyard bullies always choose the kids that are perceived as weak, poor, different, etc?

    With anonymous online encounters, it's easy to dehumanize other individuals and see all interactions as opportunities to take what you want or need without having to give anything in return. It's easier, really, to discount the thoughts and feelings of others than to continually remind oneself that the collection of words on a screen (or pixels in an avatar), actually represent a living, breathing person. So you end up with situations like the one you describe, where the stronger, more experienced player repeatedly destroys another player's character... not because they want to hurt the other player's feelings, but because the other player's feelings are abstract and easily ignored. Would you behave in the same anti-social way in face-to-face encounters? Almost certainly not, because the obviously negative effect you were having on someone else would be repugnant to you.

    But of course, plenty of people manage to overcome this feeling of moral repugnance and perpetrate horrific acts of abuse on others in the real world... why?
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      Jul 1 2012: I believe you have introduced one major difference in the experience I described and what bullying may be in real life. I my anecdote, I, the bully, was SolracAdnarim and the bullied was LatinLupe752, while not exactly anonymous, our real identities were not revealed and the reach and extent of our virtual identities is fairly limited (to the realm of the video game we both played and the xbox live community) with my actions and their implications not extending even beyond that one game session where I was a bully.

      Thanks for pointing it out.
      • Jul 5 2012: I would like to reinforce Aja Bogdanoff's comment. I do believe that this video games sets up a realistic comparison to actual life. This is based mainly off of the nature of the game itself. The game's goal is to shoot things and level up. This is very different than actual life. The truth is that you were playing the game (the morality of games violent games is a totally different subject).

        That being said, the fact that you had the guise of a gamer tag is not very representative of the real world. This could be a large part of bullying today. If someone is able to mask their true identify through social networking, I could see that person being more likely to bully others simply because they do not feel responsible.