Bullying-themed board game draws attention
Published: Aug 17, 2021 11:05 PM
Photo: VCG

File Photo: VCG

 A role-playing board game has been drawing a lot of attention on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo as it focuses on school bullying and is based on the developer’s personal experience of being bullied for 10 years. It aims to help and encourage teens to bravely fight school bullies.

The game got an award called More One Go at the 7th iStart Children’s Art Festival, one of the best-known Chinese art festivals specially for children, Red Star News reported.

The report said that the game’s developer was named Xizi and she designed the board game called “Decisions of Transfer Student” according to her experience at school.

The three main characters in the game correspond to the bully, the bullied student and the bystander. Xizi set a variety of scenes of school bullying including emotional abuse and bodily injuries as a background of the game and shows what bullied teens experience and how they are hurt.

Players can take different roles in the game, including joining in abusing the main character. Xizi wants to let players observe school bullying through putting themselves into the scenes.

“I was bullied at school for over 10 years. The pain and misery became the origin of the game. I used visual language to display bullying scenes and solutions in the game and eagerly hope everyone who plays the game can feel how miserable bullied people are and that bullying can be resisted,” the developer said.

Xizi’s miseries started from 2010 when she was at a middle school in South China’s Guangdong Province. She was teased by classmates because of her appearance and some laughed at her body shape.

When she was at high school, she had a conflict with one of her classmates who united others to isolate Xizi again, and she only had one friend in three years.

These experiences left Xizi with low self-esteem and she often blamed herself for not being good enough. At one point, she could not study properly and her grades plummeted. 

Her situation did not improve even when she went to college. As she had club activities and needed to go back to the dorm room late at night, her roommates asked her to move to another room.

Xizi’s teachers and parents did not realize she was bullied and often just told her to get along with classmates, which deepened her misery.

Xiong Bingqi, director of the 21st Century Education Research Institute in Beijing, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the game is one way to let people know the seriousness of school bullying.

“The punishment of school bullying should be stronger. The legislation authority, the school and teachers should do more about the issue and realize that hurting children’s dignity is sometimes more serious than hurting them physically,” Xiong said.

He added that legal education for teens should also be intensified to alert bullies.

China’s Education Ministry published guidelines for preventing bullying and violence among primary and secondary school students in 2016. 

The guidelines clarify the division of responsibilities for bullying prevention and what measures teachers should take according to different stages of bullying.