Finnish Program Uses Video Games To Stop Bullying

It’s being tested in the U.S., too.

Norwegian psychologist Dan Olewus, the “founding father” on bullying research, discovered that bullying wasn’t just a one-on-one interaction, but a cycle involving multiple parties. Bullying perpetuates itself due to the actions of those who support the bully, disengaged onlookers, and passive supporters. A new program out of Finland has been very effective at reducing bullying in schools by teaching bystanders how to stand up for victims.

The researched-based program is called KiVa, short for kiusaamista vastaan, which means “against bullying.” It asks children to respond to an important question: “If you saw bullying what would you do?” KiVa shows children how to appropriately react to bullying through video games and simulations. “Our findings are the first to show that the most tormented children — those facing bullying several times a week — can be helped by teaching bystanders to be more supportive,” UCLA professor Jaana Juvonen, said in a press release.

The games help children to develop the instincts to defend people they see being bullied. “For instance, they might witness a bullying incident and they have to decide what to do; whether to defend the victim or do something else,” Johanna Alanen, KiVa’s International Project Manager, told Upworthy. “There are different options on how to defend the victim,” Alanen said. “Their choices have consequences and lead to new situations.”

KiVa’s effectiveness was shown in a large, randomized controlled trials. Researchers say the program dropped the odds of a student being bullied by up to 50 percent. Other findings show that Kiva not only helps children who are currently being bullied but it may restore self-esteem in children that had been bullied previously. After Kiva’s success in Finland, it’s currently being tested in Italy, the U.K. and the U.S.


Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

Keep Reading Show less
Good News

An anonymous White House official claims President Trump cruelly limited Hispanic immigrants in their new book, "A Warning."

The book, to be released on November 19, gives an alleged insider account of the Trump White House and paints a picture of the president as a chaotic man who lacks the mental and moral acumen required for the job.

The anonymous staffer says that Trump once feigned a Hispanic accent and made fun of women attempting to immigrate to the U.S.

Keep Reading Show less
via KTVU / YouTube

The 63-year-old Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, currently branded the RingCentral Coliseum, is one of the most decrepit sports venues in America.

The home to the the NFL's Oakland Raiders (until they move to Las Vegas next season) and MLB's A's, is notoriously known as the Black Hole and has made headlines for its frequent flooding and sewage issues.

One of the stadium's few positive aspects is its connection to public transportation.

Keep Reading Show less
Hero Video
Yad Vashem

Since 1992, the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous has been holding reunion ceremonies between Holocaust survivors and rescuers once a year. But the tradition is coming to an end, as many have died or are too frail to travel. What might be the last reunion of its kind took place when a 92-year-old woman met up with the two surviving family members that she helped hide during the Holocaust, and their descendants.

Sarah Yanai and Yossi Mor introduced Melpomeni Dina (nee Gianopoulou) to their almost 40 family members, all decedents of the Mordechai family, the family of seven that Dina and her two sisters hid during WWII. "There are no words to describe this feeling," Dina told the Jeruselum Post. "It is very emotional for us to be together again."

Keep Reading Show less
via Facebook / Autumn Dayss

Facebook user and cosplayer Autumn Dayss has stirred up a bit of Halloween controversy with her last-minute costume, an anti-Vaxx mother.

An image she posted to the social network shows a smiling Dayss wearing a baby carrier featuring a small skeleton. "Going to a costume party tonight as Karen and her non-vaccinated child," the caption over the image reads.

Keep Reading Show less