Videogame Spider-Man lends hand to anti-bullying charity

The videogames industry is taking another step to shed its violent reputation with a new tie-up that marks a first in the UK. US-based videogames publisher Activision together with Spider-Man Merchandising have teamed up with charity Bullying UK to support next month’s Anti Bullying Week.

The tie-up sees the games publisher support the recent release of its Spider-Man: Friend or Foe game, in which Spider-Man joins forces with his enemies to fight evil. The campaign will run until the end of November.

The campaign is the first time that Bullying UK – previously known as Bullying Online – has worked with a videogames publisher and it also marks the first time that a videogames company has worked with such a charity in the UK.

The partnership marks a shift in how the video games industry wants to be perceived because it sees the charity work with a sector that has often come under fire for aiding bullying. Last year, Bullying UK director and co-founder Liz Carnell slammed an online viral campaign for Mortal Kombat for encouraging bullying (MW November 16, 2006).

Carnell’s son and co-founder John Carnell says of the joint initiative: “Partnerships like this allow us to reach out to more young people and draw them into a world where bullying is unacceptable and with an iconic character like Spider-Man the message couldn’t be clearer.”

The joint initiative will see Activision give away copies of its game as part of a national competition targeting children over seven.

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