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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 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.

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