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UK Politicians Threatened By Bully 76

Though its release date is still a ways off Next Generation is reporting that UK politicians are already calling for careful consideration, and possible banning, of the Rockstar title Bully. From the article: "Do you share my concern at the decision of Rockstar to publish a new game called Bully in which players use their on-screen persona to kick and punch other schoolchildren? Will you ask the prime minister to refer this video to the British Board of Film Classification? If they don't make any changes will the government use its powers to ban this video[game]?"
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UK Politicians Threatened By Bully

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  • Wtf? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KDan ( 90353 ) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:35PM (#13889755) Homepage
    Why the hell would anyone want to play a "bully" game?

    If you were a bully at school, you've already done it. If you were bullied at school, that's hardly going to be an enjoyable activity.

    What a bizarre idea for a game...

  • by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:35PM (#13889759) Homepage Journal
    Man that would be a great game. For adults.

  • Re:Wtf? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Prospero's Grue ( 876407 ) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:45PM (#13889856)

    If you were a bully at school, you've already done it. If you were bullied at school, that's hardly going to be an enjoyable activity.

    I listened to a radio documentary about bullying a few months ago - and there a few "bullying" games out there (one of which focused on girls and relied on social stigma as opposed to violence). The woman they had try it out enjoyed it.

    Frankly, I don't buy either of your arguments. If you're the type who likes to dominate - then gaming offers you a means to do so (and is consequence free). If you're someone who has been dominated - then to dominate others (even fictional others) in a game can be cathartic.

    That doesn't mean I support a ban - but I don't think you can assume there's no market for it.

  • Re:Wtf? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sbryant ( 93075 ) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:53PM (#13889942)

    Why the hell would anyone want to play a "bully" game?

    Why would anyone want to play a game where you steal cars and shoot the police?

    I guess neither you nor the politicians ever played Skool Daze, where you could go around hitting other kids. (There was actually more to the game than that, though!)

    Real life bullying is a serious problem, but I don't (yet) see that such games make kids more prone to violence or bullying. In fact, too much game-playing tends to lead to apathy, AFAICT.

    All that said, I too think it's a bizarre idea for a game. I shan't be getting it!

    -- Steve

  • Re:Wtf? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 27, 2005 @01:46PM (#13890438)
    Rockstar isn't about making good games ...
    They aren't about making games that empower people ...

    Simply put Rockstar is about making any game and then putting a marketing spin on it in such a way that it offends everyone except for their core demographic; they add elements to their games that are not important, and don't really add anything, simply to offend people.

    Why do they do it? Because getting a politician to claim that their game should be banned (or actually getting the game banned) does wonders to build 'street cred' ammong insecure teen boys, who then buy the game in droves.

    Do I think Rockstar doesn't make good games? No, Do I think there games could not empower people? No. I do think that they're playing a dangerous game that will only result in massive political opposition to 'Mature' rated videogames that will have governments regulating the videogame market; the reason the ESRBs were created is because the videogame industry did not want the government to have control, Rockstar is single handedly undoing the work that was done beforehand.
  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @02:36PM (#13890887)
    It's interesting how parents are more concerned with a game that involves bullies than they are with actual bullies. While things are changing, bullying is still considered a "right of passage" for victims (even though it compounds to the extent that many of these victims just drop out of school because they can't focus on education and surviving every day and nobody will take them seriously or extend a hand) and "boys will be boys" for the bullies.

    I excelled in three sports simultaneously (wrestling starting at five, judo starting at eight and jujitsu starting at ten), and was always too much of a softy to ever bully anyone, but you did see it going on often. And while people like myself could step in whenever we saw someone being mistreated, you couldn't be there all the time and if someone steps in to prevent an act of bullying today, that bully is just going to come down twice as hard on the victim when nobody is around, tomorrow.

    So, frankly, I'm glad to see that bullying is slowly being treated more like the crime it is than just "children being children". School is for educaiton - not abuse. Period. But I'm disapointed that more people are more upset over an innocent game than the actual bullying itself. And what - are they going to start claiming that Rockstar is responsible for encouraging and teaching children to e bullies? After all, it's not like bullying has been going on for oh.... at least a few millenia.
  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @05:36PM (#13892607)
    In my experience, the person who does the most damage gets the punishment. If a bully picked on a kid, the bully would usually not get in trouble, because nobody would tell. If someone stepped in and kicked the bully's ass (which I did a lot, because even kids much older than myself weren't aware of my outside-of-school sports), the person who beat up the bully would get suspended or otherwise punish.

    I also knew kids who would be picked on bullies and, finally, fight back. But the teachers always came into the mix after the bully had already started the fight, the other kid had kicked his ass, and the kid who was the victim of the bully got the suspension and punishment.

    So, really, you can't win. And there are always ignorant adults who feel that one person under 18 assaulting another person under the age of 18 is just "kids being kids".

    There are certainly times when a kid is clearly just whining. But there are more often than not times when a kid is clearly being harassed and violated and assaulted. I have no problem with treating these kids as criminals. Their age and location (school) should not excuse them from punishment.

    And ironically, it seems these days that it's the quiet kids who are picked on that are singled out by adminsitrators as potential Columbine follow-ups --- rather than the punks who are acting out by harassing and terrorizing those kids in the first place.

    Still, I hope adults continue to take these things more seirously. There's nothing I hate more than someone my age justifying what happens to kids in school today because "I was picked on and beat up and I turned out fine" or "I beat up and picked on other kids and they turned out fine". I mean . . . come on . . . If adults did this sort of thing to each other, they'd be imprisoned.
  • by Xarius ( 691264 ) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @08:33PM (#13893736) Homepage
    1. It's 'rite', not 'right'. Important difference. </pedant>

    2. Bullying is increasingly getting worse as a direct result of powers of discipline being removed from schoolteachers and the like. We're in a society where kids cannot get shouted at school, cannot get a good thrashing from their parents, and can basically do what they want.

    I don't know how it works elsewhere, but in my school bullies were sneered at by all of us popular kids (gasp, a slashdotter was popular) and generally looked down upon. The only people who got bullied were the poor or stupid kids, of which the bullies were a part.

    If we had nice corporal punishment, a good thrashing for bullies, it wouldn't happen. No one likes to be beaten, so to misquote the old phrase: Take the rod, beat the child. Liberal pansies can moan all they like, kids don't understand being talked at, but they do understand a smacked arse.
  • Goes out of its way to feel sensitive towards those who want to blow up the kids in the schools. Banning Piglet and piggy banks.

    What a screwed up sense of priorities. Worry about what the kids are exposed to only AFTER you worry about the kids getting blown up by a member of the religion of peace.

Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong. - Oscar Wilde