Most of us have heard of bullying. Most of us know someone that has been bullied. But only the ones that have been bullied themselves know what the real feeling and experience of being bullied is.
During my second year of my Interaction Design studies, I came up with this interactive installation that visualizes and conveys the impact of bullying. Starting with my own story, I created the story of Bob. And just like me, there are plenty of other people that have been bullied and that have horrible stories to share. Through research I’ve gathered data of people being bullied. I looked into comments that are being made by bullies, both online and offline and the (long-term) effects of those comments.
I have poured all this information and data into an interactive installation, mainly zooming in on the internal effects of bullying. Because even though someone might seem to be doing fine on the outside, we all know that it might not match with our true feelings on the inside.
How does it work?
The user will enter a room, where they will find a metal frame in the contour shape of a body and a table with a monitor and keyboard. Around the neck of the metal frame they will find headphones. When the user puts on the headphones and faces the monitor, he can see the internal state of Bob’s body. A link between the metal frame and the monitor will tell the user that the monitor is linked to the fragile frame of Bob.
The user engages with the storyline by pressing the buttons on the keyboard. By doing so, the user will hear echoing voices making awful comments, almost as if they are negative voices echoing in your own head. After every comment, the user can see the internal stage of bob changing. The comments will negatively impact values like self-image, feeling of depression and performance until it is too much…
Impact has made people leave in silence and some with tears running down their cheeks. Even though the subject of this project was so heavy, the people experiencing it were very enthusiastic. They said they could actually feel what a bullied person must feel and they said it had a lot of impact on them.