While you may have heard a thing or two about an upcoming game called Bully, you probably don't know as much about what's being called "the anti-Bully game."
As reported by GamaSutra, Edinburgh's Heriot-Watt University, in cooperation with eight other colleges, has announced development of a game designed to teach 10 to 12-year olds anti-bullying skills for the real world.
The game project is being carried out with input from teachers and students. It examines a variety of bullying scenarios and is designed to help kids learn how to best respond.
Heriot-Watt professor Ruth Aylett is leading the project, with support from academic colleagues in the U.K., Portugal, Italy and Germany. The team hopes to begin testing the software early next year.
A press release offers insight from Aylett:
"If you're a young person facing some sort of bullying... the problem can seem too big, too overwhelming, to tackle. What we will be developing is a virtual world where the user can interface directly with a synthetic character who is also a bullying victim. That bullying scenario is played out on the screen then the user can interface with the synthetic character, discuss what has happened and make choices about how the character might like to react in future."
An academic paper offering greater detail on the project is available here.