Polaris

What is bullying/cyberbullying?

By Catherine Duong

Volume 2 Issue 2

November 19, 2021

What is bullying/cyberbullying?

Image provided by Observatory of Educational Institution

According to StopBullying.Gov Bullying/cyberbullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both the bully and victim may have serious, lasting problems.


Bullying can be physical, i.e., hitting or kicking. It can also be verbal, i.e., taunting or threatening. Lastly, bullying can be social, like spreading personal or confidential information. Bullying can cause anxiety, and depression which leads to some victims of bullying avoiding school.  Studies show that 1 in 5 kids are bullied, and 32% of students said they were victims of online harassment. Standing up to a bully can help you deal with their actions; however, you can also go to a trusted adult, and they can help you handle the situation. This short story is an example of one way to counteract bullying.


When I was candle running1 at Daylight Prairie2, I saw a small group of sky players standing together at one of the corners of the map. I was curious and I flew to the small group, then lifted them up to see what they looked like.


The small one has the appearance of a moth3, having a brown cape, default pants, and hair. The other two on the opposite side of the tiny moth seemed to be veteran players, wearing unique cosmetics4. I saw the veterans mocking the moth by copying the same emotes5 and then using a laugh emote to insult them. I could not hear what they said at once due to game mechanics which require a table for conversation. Once I realized what was happening, I created one so that we could speak,


Once I could hear them, my suspicions were proven correct. I heard countless insults like: “You poor moth! Must be so broke that you don’t have any friends!” and “There is no way for you to get up to our level.” The moth was silent after their insult, but I knew the player behind the screen was upset. I had to act. This game was built to make friends, not tear each other down!


“Hey, it’s not nice of you two to bully this player. They probably just started the game, and you are setting a bad example of how experienced players should act.”


Once I typed and sent the message, I did the scolding emote and got my character to cross her arms to express how I felt. The two were quiet for a few seconds, looking at one another before texting back at my response.


“Whatever. We were trying to help.”

“Trying to help? You are insulting them!”

After I finished my message, the two veterans abruptly left.  Silently, the moth left soon after. Sadly, I never had the chance to give them advice, but hopefully stopping those bullies made the new players experience just a little bit better!

Keywords:

  1. Candle Running – a process to collect wax from candles placed all around the realms

  2. Daylight Prairie – The second realm in Sky: CotL; known to be the most sociable realm between players

  3. Moth – A name given to inexperienced players on Sky: Children of the Light (CotL); wearing default cosmetics provided at the start of the game.

  4. Cosmetics – clothing and accessories that bought with candles and hearts from traveling spirits (TS) and spirits to customize your looks for your character

  5. Emotes – to express to another player with a click of a button a specific action/emotion