Look, bullying is obviously a serious issue, but the idea of a video game that targets bullying sounds pretty absurd. It’ll just give more fuel to bullies! “What did you play last night, GTA4?” “No, an anti-bullying game.”
Over at the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, students are working on a Victec program which is creating video games that show victims alternative choices to just putting up with it. The program uses (and here’s the fun part) FearNot! technology, which stands for Fun with Empathic Agents to Reach Novel Outcomes in Teaching. Oh dear. Each game has three different types of characters – bullies, bystanders and, of course, the victim.
To be fair to the developers, anything that can help kids get out of the cycle of bullying is well worth it, and while I can see the university’s thinking here (“oooh, kids like video games, right?”) I just can’t see children actually wanting to play this. Unless schools encourage it and force it upon the students? Bully them into it? [FearNot! via Ars Technica