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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 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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