I’m breaking away from the games for a moment to discuss something really important to me.  I’ve written a few times in this blog that I hate bullies, but I haven’t talked much about why.  In light of the recently Bully documentary, however, I thought not would be a good time to dig into it.

Before I start, though, I want you to see the trailer for the film.

Like many people who came from an era where gaming, comics, and science fiction were NOT part of the mainstream, I was bullied. This stuff is really hard for me to watch; every time I see that trailer, I am moved to tears.  Everything that those kids described was something that I experienced personally in school.

We had a small gang of “popular” kids at my school.  Unfortunately, like many schools, ours were not popular because people liked them; they were popular because people were afraid of them.  Nobody wanted to get their asses kicked, so they just keep quiet and tried to go unnoticed.  Sometimes the bullied found solice in the friendships with others who were bullied; other times they were convinced that they were be even bigger losers if they made friends with the other losers.  It’s a sick, downward spiral that often causes them to take their own lives.

I once heard the expression never trust anyone who hasn’t been punched in the face.  I absolutely agree with this sentiment.  There’s a certain understanding that comes with being beaten down, and it is one that I think many adult bullies have never learned.

My hatred for bullying doesn’t just come from my own experience, though.  I like to think that it’s simply a byproduct of my guarded humanity.  Like most people, I have an inherent sympathy for the helpless.  It’s not the violence itself; it’s the violence against the helpless.  I can watch a UFC fight, but I’m horrified by someone striking a child.  Most people were more horrified by Michael Vick’s dog fighting than by the murders that are described in the news each day.  When the victim has no way of fighting back or no knowledge that they even should be fighting back, it hits us much harder.

When it comes to bullying, the biggest problem seems to be adults not seeing where the helplessness is in these kids.  Bullied children live in a world where bullying is largely accepted.

If you don’t believe me, consider this: the N-word that has gotten a lot of kids heads kicked in every year at school is “Nerd”  When is the last time you heard “nerd” bleeped out by censors? How many more Steve Urkels are we going to put into sitcoms before we realize that this only perpetuates the problem?

To me, one is too many.