South Korean Professor Links Violent Games to Cyber-bullying

A South Korean academic’s campaign to encourage friendly online communications has spread to China.

Writing for China Daily, Professor Min Byoung-chul of Korea’s Chung Ang University describes some of the issues which led him to create the Sunfull Movement in May of 2007. Sunfull translates to "good replies."

Min ranks violent video games among the causes of negative online behavior and asserts that adolescents who have been exposed to violence are the "main culprits of negative comments":

With one of the world’s lowest birth rates, there are more one child families in S.Korea than before, and children are becoming incapable of communicating with others.


The development of the gaming industry has created an addiction for these lonely children. Most games focus on stimulating plots like violence and murder rather than on educational methods for their humanity. Therefore, teenage gamers became familiar with instant killing in these games. Some of them confuse the real world with violent games and this confusion leads to replicating violent actions and criminal behavior in the real world.


In this regard, adolescents who have accessed obscenity and violence on the web easily become offensive and thoughtless rather than considerate to the people they encounter in the Internet. They are the main culprits of negative comments.

This phenomenon is in line with the rise of virtual violence, which includes mobile phone bullying and strange murders without motives.

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  1. shady8x says:

    So unlike good wholesome family games like football, soccer and basketball, violent video games make bullies?

    Wow… crazy world we live in…

    Hey crazy thought… maybe there are bullies in every group imaginable including chess clubs and not having them in a group which includes most of the children in your country would be insane? nah couldn’t be… after all, you are an Asian person and therefore a super genius so you obviously understand things better than me… all Asians are geniuses with tiny penises right? I heard that from a person that did as much research as you… I guess I will trust both of you…

  2. TBoneTony says:

    Here here


    *Raises a glass up for your comment*


    I too would like to live in a world with no violence, but that is not possible as human nature has always had its moments of violence. So to me, virtual violence is better than real life violence any day.


  3. TBoneTony says:

    Some adults are not used to videogames so they just blame it on the videogames even though there were worse bullies back in their time.


    I seem to remember my father telling me how on his first day of school and work, all the newbies were having their heads flushed in the toilets.


    And THAT was WAY BEFORE Videogames.

    But sadly some people are still too ignorant to understand that bad things did happen to kids way before videogames and will still continue to happen unless society wakes up to itself and stops blaming violent videogames for the problems.

    But that will never happen because of people like these ones here never bother to listen to us. All they care about is media attention and not the REAL TRUTH!!!!



  4. Bennett Beeny says:

    "This phenomenon is in line with the rise of virtual violence, which includes mobile phone bullying and strange murders without motives."

    Of course virtual violence has risen – there wasn’t a virtual world 20 years ago, so any virtual violence represents an increase, and as more people get online, the more violent people will get online and the more virtual violence will rise.  It doesn’t take a huge research grant to figure that one out – it just takes a bit of common sense (which is, I guess, as rare in China as it is here).  Mobile phones weren’t common ten years ago, so the rise in mobile phone bullying is also a bogus statistic.  As for motiveless murders, it’s not as if they didn’t happen before the advent of the internet.

    Look, you can’t just see violent videogames and assume that violence arises out of that.  The world is nowhere near that simple.  But there are always people willing to believe it is – that’s why bibles printed in English, the motor car, the radio, TV and just about every other new invention in human history has been blamed, at one time or another, for the world’s ills.

    Besides, even if virtual violence and online bullying IS rising at an rate that outpaces the rise in new users of the internet and mobile phones (which I don’t believe for a minute), the rates of REAL violent crime have been steadily dropping since the advent of these things – so we’re doing something right, and I for one would much rather see virtual violence than the real thing.

  5. Erik says:

    I love how these people think that violence is some kind of a new taste in entertainment.  Even writers such as Homer and Shakespeare knew what people like: sex and murder and plenty of it.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  6. Meohfumado says:

    Yup, that hits the nail right on the head there.  Its the anonymity which makes people into D-bags.  If your name and address, and your reputation had to rest on the things you did on the internet, there’d be 70% fewer jerks out there (because 30% of the population is just @$$holes no matter how you slice it….its science).



    "You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

  7. KayleL says:

    I been bullied pretty bad. But the people who started it were a bunch of materialistic girls. I don’t think they fall under the violent gamer type. Especially 8 year olds in the late 90s.

  8. zippy says:

    "Most games focus on stimulating plots like violence and murder rather than on educational methods for their humanity."

    Wow. What a generalized statement! More like a few games that do…

  9. King of Fiji says:

    If anything atleast he didn’t used the sensationalized media term of cyber bullying.  Thats a good thing.  Cause as we all know its the same damn bullying excpet now you have pussy ass bullies using the internet for total privacy.

  10. MrKlorox says:

    The final part is a MASSIVE leap from "negative comments". Having a negative outlook and commenting from that perspective is very different from practicing malice with the intent to hurt others. If anything, people turn to violent games as a result of bullying, instead of causing it.

    I’m the first person to admit I’m an asshole. But I take offense to people blaming videogames for my personality. Blame the genetics fairy for giving me a bald scalp at age 17. Blame the bullies at school during my social development years. Blame the dinner I ate last night. Don’t blame videogames.

  11. Mr. Peacock says:

    Hey, I’m not crazy. I can tell the difference between fantasy and reality, I just choose not to.

  12. gamegod25 says:

    Exactly. Hey Professor, you know who can’t tell the difference between fantasy and reality? CRAZY PEOPLE! I’ve been a gamer for practically my whole life and have not once have I done something in real life because I saw it in a game. And do you know why? BECAUSE I"M NOT ****ING CRAZY!

    *exhales* Sorry for the rant but if anything drives me crazy its that kind of idiocy.

  13. Mr. Peacock says:

    This phenomenon is in line with the rise of virtual violence, which includes mobile phone bullying and strange murders without motives.

    Strange murders without motives?  Quick we better get the Freelance Police on the case.  Of course this will lead to a rise in strange murders without motives but at least we’ll know the violently psychocic lagomorph that committed them.

  14. hayabusa75 says:

    Did anyone read the part of the article about how the Sunfull Movement actually works?  It’s basically a bunch of people sitting around being artificially nice to random users online.  They have exercises where they practice how to be nice.  Is this what we’ve come to?  We now have to have organizations where we can drill on being polite??

    Not to be a jerk, but grow a thicker skin, I say.  This Pollyanna crap makes me feel ill.

    "There is no sin except stupidity." – Oscar Wilde

  15. NovaBlack says:

    ”and this confusion leads to replicating violent actions and criminal behavior in the real world. ”


    yeah, yeah.. totally agree, i mean happens all the time. Walking down the street, see an old lady, mistake her for a covenant foot soldier, so i smack her with the butt of my rifle.

    Or the other day, i was driving to work and got a text, and i thought it was my cousin Roman, in trouble from albanian gang member, so i mounted the kerb and drove through a crowd of people, outran a few cop cars, picked up a floating orange uzi and some body armour, and went and helped Roman out. Afterwards i went and ate a hotdog to restore the health i lost from the bullets the albanians fired at me.

    Then worst of all, i got hassled by the police for walking down the street in nothing but a loincloth with ‘ I R CONANZ’ tatooed on my chest. Totally dont get it, i mean i was rescuing prisoners from the slaver camp, and they came out with some bullcrap that apparently id just been in the local grocery store hassling a member of staff for 20 minutes, and sitting in a trolley shouting ‘Onward valiant steed OOONNWWARRD!’


    / Sarcasm

    … *sigh*….

  16. DavCube says:

    "Most games focus on stimulating plots like violence and murder rather than on educational methods for their humanity."

    …Newsflash, for those of you living under rocks since the first third of the 20th Century:

    That’s what happens with EVERY form of media. EVER.

    -TV (6:00 PM News, even)
    -Comic Books
    -Video Games

    They’re not the source of everything that goes wrong.

  17. sortableturnip says:

    I like peanut butter…I like cheese….I would really like peanut butter and cheese….

    See, I just linked my love of peanut butter and my love of cheese!

  18. -Jes- says:

    You two win dozens of internets for that great ref. 🙂


    Though Max’s choice of word was "gratuitous", not senseless.

  19. nightwng2000 says:

    "Most games focus on stimulating plots like violence and murder rather than on educational methods for their humanity. "


    "In literary and dramatic works, the plot is the primary sequence of events experienced by the protagonist(s). Aristotle wrote in Poetics that mythos (plot) is the most important element of storytelling. Thus, a story must have a plausible chain of events for it to evoke the desired emotional or artistic response from an audience.["

    Plots are not "violence and murder".

    Plot devices:

    "Calling an element of a work a ‘plot device’ is generally derogatory, implying a lack of complexity in the work. Judging something as a plot device is always subjective, and depends on the degree to which the ‘item’ serves other purposes or is well-integrated into the tale. For example, the ‘magic item’ which the protagonists of a fantasy novel have to find or destroy is often a plot device that serves no other purpose."

    General acts of violence or general acts of murder are NOT plot devices.    Specific, detailed (to a varying degree) acts may be part of plot devices or overall plots.  But in the context used by this individual, he just looks like a boob.

    In addition, the nonsense where he tries to confuse story plots with education, shows just how incompetant he truly is. 

    There is a triad of purposes and end results to exposure to ANYTHING:




    Any one product can produce more or less effect from any one or more of these three.  Even games with a fictional story plot, while largely entertaining, may also produce aspects which the player may preceive as expressive (the moral of the story or the moral of various parts of the story, for example).

    But implying that ALL products must be solely educational, otherwise they are without value, is absolutely silly.  Many legendary tales from one’s culture contain all three aspects, and even those tales may contain violent content.  Yet the defense of those tales is that they provide more education than entertainment and so are more valuable.  But, in fact, depending on the purpose, a product with higher regard for entertainment over education is equally as valuable.  As is one with higher expressive aspects.


    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as

  20. Baruch_S says:

    I have not, but, based on what I’ve seen/read, the game does involve conflict with pinatas poisoning and eating each other. Even if the player doesn’t specifically engage in the violence, it’s still there to add conflict and tension to the game.

    Almost any book, movie, or game (with a plot, of course) has some sort of violence or socially unacceptable behavior. Things just aren’t that interesting if everyone is being 100% nice to each other all the time.

  21. Bennett Beeny says:

    You obviously haven’t played Viva Pinata.  All you do is be nice all the time and it’s a great game.

  22. Geoff says:

    You obviously havn’t played "Soup Kitchen Volunteer 2: Revenge of the Hobo".  Best volunteer game ever!


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  23. Baruch_S says:

    Most games focus on stimulating plots like violence and murder rather than on educational methods for their humanity

    This is the stupidest observation I’ve seen this week. Of course games focus on violence, so do books and movies. Violence is one of the easiest and most basic ways to create the tension the draws people to media and keeps them interested. Nobody is going to play the Soup Kitchen Volunteer game no matter how great a job it does of educating them about their humanity because the Soup Kitchen Volunteer game wouldn’t have a stimulating plot. Woohoo, let’s serve soup to homeless people because it’s the nice thing to do! Don’t get me wrong, soup kitchens are a great things, but nobody wants to play a game where the entire purpose is to serve soup and be nice.

  24. Geoff says:

    Man, havn’t had one of those since college. 🙂


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  25. Cerabret100 says:

    mobile phone bullying?  first i’ve heard of that.

    What…do people just send hurtful texts to random numbers?

  26. Geoff says:

    Ugh.  Allow me to break this down.

    1 – Stop treating adolescents like little kids.  They aren’t small children, which is why we use the term adolescents to begin with, to reference a transitional period a human goes through from children to adult.  If someone who’s 13 can’t tell the difference between reality and fantasy at that point they’re fucked mentally and need help.  As I understand it a person’s brain is past the stage in development where they understand basic right from wrong and fantasy vs reality. 

    2 – Violent games don’t make kids bullies.  Bullies like to play games just like the rest of us non-aggressive types.

    3 – Do adults forget how teenagers act?  Teenagers are immature fools.  WE were all immature fools at some point in our life.  While they aren’t children anymore they havn’t fully matured into an adult either.  Hell some people never grow out of that phase.  I know adults whose behavior is worse than that of the most loud-mouth 14-yr old punk.  Remember that lady that harassed that poor girl over MySpace?  She wasn’t a teenager nor do I believe she played video games but it didn’t stop her from acting like a bully.

    4 – For fuck’s sake, seriously, why do some adults seem to forget how teenagers act?  I know I’m repeating myself here, but I don’t get how they think they can get away with such a selective memory.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  27. magic_taco says:

    What?, Oh, you mean like the megan meiyer Myspace suicide?


    Which caused outrage to the family of the innocent girl, and cyberbullying groups?

  28. Afirejar says:

    This phenomenon is in line with the rise of virtual violence, which includes mobile phone bullying and strange murders without motives.

    Virtual violence like murder?

  29. magic_taco says:

    Yeah, But i’ve never been cyberbullied, But i know some cyberbullies love to hurt people of different status,race,Sexual orientation,Culture/Sub-Culture,Etc,And this is almost just the same as real-life bullying.

  30. Soldat_Louis says:

    Note that, on the other hand, he encourages the development of so-called "educational games" :

     "A growing number of adolescents are becoming addicted to games in internet cafes. It is likely that they will rapidly become more offensive and emotional as they expose themselves to a gaming environment where murder and violence are commonly plotted to give more intense stimulation to users. If there is a game competitive enough to attract their attention but teach them humanity, it will emerge as an essential tool for efficiently educating about positive skills in a fun way.

    Also, user created content, or UCC, can be a good tool to teach them humanity. The Sunfull UCC Competition will be a good opportunity for children to have fun in creating their own content and learn the importance of positive comments."

  31. magic_taco says:

    And what kind of research did they get this from?, Cause i remember ALL cyberbullies did it for fun and hurting people,Video games made them do this BS.

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