Category Archives: Cyberbullying

Bullies in video games: griefers

By Dmitri Barvinok
Staff writer

Andrew, 16 and in 10th grade, plays Minecraft at least an hour every day, usually after school. He spends his time building virtual castles and complex machinery in a game that combines the creative power of building blocks and the role-playing element of a video game. Most of the time, he and his friends play on servers where they are protected from griefers.

A griefer is a bully in the world of online games. Griefers don’t play by the rules and attempt to cause as much distress and discomfort for other players as possible.

In Minecraft, griefers go after the creations of other players.

“I’ve seen seven hours of work get completely destroyed,” Andrew said.

Though many servers have griefer protections in place, those protections sometimes get in the way of regular players, Andrew said. Sometimes, playing against a griefer can be fun, since it becomes a competition and the game suddenly has a villain. Other times, griefers trick their way into becoming administrators of a server and destroying everything the players have built, which could waste weeks of work.

Andrew admits to having griefed himself. It can be fun, he said.

Bullying attracts global audiences

By Tommy Franz
Staff writer

Americans have been paying more attention to bullying in the past 10 years. New laws, conferences, research and conversation has proliferated. But the issue is not just an American one. Much of the world is concerned about bullying. Take the example of a bullying incident that occurred in Australia in March, 2011:

“We had an incident here last March when a school bully got beaten up by his victim, and the video of the incident went viral,” Scott Parlett, a student at the University of New South Wales said. “All of the television networks worked to put their own spin on the event, including interviews with parents and the kid who recorded the fight.”

The 42-second YouTube clip of the fight had more than 6 million views by February, 2012. Although there are some who believe that Casey Heynes, the initial victim of the bully, was wrong to retaliate, the consensus is that he is viewed as a hero for standing up to the bully.

“Casey has now transferred schools and is classified by others as a true hero thanks to publicity and being able to fight against bullying,” Kate Giulano, a student at the University of Newcastle said. “Justin Beiber was touring Australia when this happened and he flew Casey and his family to his Melbourne show and got Casey up on stage during the performance to explain to the audience how much of a hero Casey was for standing up to bullying.”

Parlett said that technology has changed the way the two students, watched from around the

Teachers say that training must support laws

By Leslie Tilson
Staff writer

Although many schools already have anti-bullying policies in place, many teachers find themselves searching for more effective ways to combat bullying in their classrooms. Laws alone are not enough, they say, and training would help.

Most states have school bullying policies and are adding policies against cyberbullying and hazing, but many teachers wonder how effective laws can be.

“I think that Pennsylvania’s anti-bullying laws in schools are somewhat effective, although I wish it was more straightforward and gave the consequences of certain actions so each school is on the same page,” said Lauren Sady, a first, second and third grade teacher in the Philadelphia School District. She said complicated definitions of bullying can be a problem. “The law creates more obstacles for the administration because bullying is bullying and there should not have to be a long list of criteria to go through before a child faces consequences. This may allow for more time for the student to think that he /she did no wrong, or come up with more ways to bully other children.”

Although anti-bullying laws may create some hurdles for schools, they do give the school administration some legal ground to stand on.