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Bullies Move Out of the Schooyard into MMO's

Mike D'Anna

As much as I spend most of my life trying to recapture my childhood, I always forget that there are some things about being a kid that really sucked. And now, it looks as if dealing with the local bully shaking you down for your milk money might not be the only thing kids have to worry about; according to this article in the Sydney Morning Herald, the bullies have now gotten computers & gotten wise, as kids are now apparently having to face harrassment from peers in virtual worlds such as WoW. So much for video games being a way to escape your problems...

The article doesn't go into much depth, but it does bring up an interesting problem that game companies face nowadays; how to make their virtual communities 'safe' for kids to play in. WoW & other games, of course, carry a warning sticker for parents, but that wont' change the fact that as we speak, there is probably some poor 11-year-old, level 22 Rogue being shaken down right now for all his gold by a player named 'L33tballz1990'. I don't know how prevalent this problem really is, but I'm pretty sure that if it were around in my day, my parents would have made me pick up my sword & shield and go face down my bully...only back then I wouldn't have had the sword & shield, so maybe I shouldn't really be talking....

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