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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 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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