Middle school bullying often comes from a developmentally limited place. Youngsters going through early puberty are so self-focused that they don't really understand why the feelings and opinions of other people matter; they also don't really believe that there is a difference between the way one can feel and the way one can act. Thus, if they are all making fun of someone, if that person plays along out of a desire for emotional survival, they will assume that the person is okay with being called names.
My idea is to get students to recognize that people are complex and that just because someone is laughing and playing while you call them something cruel... doesn't mean they like it or are okay with it.
I'd like to get some students of various ages to create videos of situations in which they felt hurt or bullied. Viewers would then play an immersive game of the situation, seen from the first person perspective of the person who gave the testimony of their experience. They would be prompted to respond, but the only options they would get would be the options the person in the video mentioned. If they didn't mention any options, none would be provided.
The game payer would be able to look around at people involved in the situation and then describe how they feel about each person, how they feel about themselves, what they think will happen next, and what they wish the person had said or done.
Combining video with video game experience will allow kids to recognize the difference between actions and feelings and help them see that the two don't always match. Not allowing the players to do or say anything other than what the person in the video testimonial did or said helps the students recognize what powerlessness feels like without actually putting them into powerless, traumatizing situations themselves.
Over time, students would have the option of uploading their own videos and creating their own 3D versions of their stories of powerlessness and frustration and anger.