I have a Verbatim 500GB external hard drive, and I'm thinking about putting games on it and bringing it to school. Will having this in a backpack which is moved somewhat a lot, hurt the drive?
If it's a Solid State drive, no it shouldn't be an issue as long as it doesn't take too much abuse. They do make Hard Disk drives which are pretty durable (and designed for transport), but they have moving parts and are far more incined to fail.
Also, keep in mind your school/work may have IT security policies in place against bringing in outside storage (like thumdrives, CD's, and hard drives).
I used to take my external HD to school, because I had to copy a lot of files (development tools) and downloading them was painful with my slow internet. The drive only broke when I dropped it on the floor at home, and had no failures nor badblocks or anything in almost 1 year of this routine.
I guess it's pretty safe. Of course, I used a very soft backpack and put the drive on a slot solely for it, and took really care of it.
Oh, and take care with viruses, they are a pain.