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  1. #1
    Let There Be Rock vashivihan's Avatar
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    Teachers demand ban on bullying video game

    A coalition of groups representing four million teachers in several countries, including Canada, is urging retailers to refuse to sell a controversial video game about school bullying.

    Bully: Scholarship Edition features a shaven-headed teenager who adjusts to life at a new boarding school by harassing others, which the organizations say glorifies bullying. The abuse includes dunking pupils' heads in toilets, photographing them naked and physically assaulting them. Teachers are also targeted.

    “We're asking retailers to be responsible,” Emily Noble, president of the Canadian Teachers' Federation, said Monday. “Yes, they can sell it and make a buck out of this, but is this the kind of marketing that they want to be [doing], selling games that glorify violence?”

    The video game, which goes on sale Tuesday, is an updated version of the original game, Bully. Both titles were developed by Vancouver-based Rockstar Games, which is also responsible for the controversial Grand Theft Auto and Manhunt series.
    A video game website describes Bully: Scholarship Edition as ‘a light-hearted simulation of the horrors of high school.’
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    A video game website describes Bully: Scholarship Edition as ‘a light-hearted simulation of the horrors of high school.’
    The Globe and Mail

    Monday, a spokesman noted that Bully won several awards and said critics are overreacting.

    “As a matter of principle, we hope everyone starts off by saying, ‘Okay, we know this is an entertainment experience,'” Rodney Walker said. “Video games are not just for children. This game happens to be about high school and it's a tough kid in a tough environment, but it's also one of the funniest games you will play. And if you don't have our sense of humour, we respect that, but we think that fans'… voice has to be at least as important as the detractors.”

    The game puts players in control of Jimmy Hopkins, a rebellious 15-year-old who is abandoned at a corrupt boarding school by his mother and new stepfather. Players learn to navigate the campus's cliques, girls and other bullies, employing methods using violence. The CTF, which is spearheading the call for a ban on sales, says there is a link between violent video games and aggressive behaviour in children. (Some studies support this conclusion, while others do not.)

    “What it does is it encourages kids to target other kids, to be a bully with other kids. This doesn't help us as teachers in the work that we're doing at school. It also targets teachers at the school as well,” Ms. Noble said.

    The coalition is made up of eight teachers' unions in Canada, the United States, Britain, South Korea, Australia and the Caribbean.

    But calling for a ban on the game is like “flailing at windmills” when it comes to actually confronting bullying, said Michael Hoechsmann, an assistant professor at McGill University and an expert on the role of violence in video games.

    “As tempting as it may seem, I'm not so certain that banning this will somehow result in a more peaceful and more loving school population,” he said, adding that he hasn't found any compelling evidence to suggest that playing a violent video game results in violent actions.

    Furthermore, Prof. Hoechsmann said, the menacing and authoritarian school environment in Bully is so exaggerated that the protagonist is forced to act as a sort of vigilante.

    “This young person being confronted with all that seeks the one remedy that he appears to have access to. If there was a peaceful schools committee at the Bullworth Academy, maybe Jimmy would have joined the committee.”

    The teachers' group is focusing on Bully: Scholarship Edition, which has the same storyline as Bully with some new content, although it also objects to the first version, which was launched in 2006. In response to that release, two British retail chains said they would not stock the game. A Florida lawyer unsuccessfully tried to have it banned, and a school superintendent in the same state warned parents against buying it. The latest effort is part of a larger awareness campaign by teachers' organizations about bullying and cyber-bullying, which can destroy lives. In 2006, Megan Meier, a 13-year-old Missouri girl, hanged herself after being bullied online by, it was later revealed, an adult female neighbour who created a fake MySpace profile to torment the teen.

    A recent review of Bully: Scholarship Edition on the video game website IGN.com calls it “a light-hearted simulation of the horrors of high school.” Most of the combat is hand-to-hand fighting, the review says, though there are also other weapons: “Firecrackers explode in an opponent's face, itching powder distracts an enemy, stink bombs damage their pride and marbles make pursuers tumble to the ground.”

    The game, which is rated Teen for players 13 and over, is being released for XBox 360 and Wii, which is a console that allows players to physically act out their characters' movements.
    oh boy here we go again, cue the biased lawyer, Jack Thompson.
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  2. #2
    A li'l bit different Squall7's Avatar
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    Hopefully they won't be successful.

    You would have thought that with the amount of 18 (and 'M') rated games out there, people would get it into their thick skulls that gaming isn't just for children. Anyone who refuses to believe this should be ignored before they have their opinions taken seriously.

    I haven't played the game personally, but even I'm open to the possibility that this game would act as a release for people that are being bullied, rather than inspiration for bullying.

    Of course, these accusations wouldn't have a leg to stand on if there was more academic studies and higher profiling of games. As a media text, they should be put under the same scrutinies and be under the same protection as films and TV. Often, people recognise that films explore issues, rather than promote specific ideologies (or at least some films). And what better way to explore than through actual narrative interaction?
    Last edited by Squall7; 03-22-2008 at 11:34 AM.


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  3. #3
    Junior Member zuke867530's Avatar
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    You would probably think a little different if you were a teacher and dealt with bullying issues on a daily basis. It's a serious issue in schools.

    I'm not saying we should ban certain types of games because they cause specific types of behavior. I'm simply saying I can see the teacher's side of things.

    And if someone thinks games like Bully or Grand Theft Auto have no impact on kids and their behavior/values/respect for authority, then they are living in a fantasy world. I'm not saying video games like this cause Columbine incidents - not at all. However, just like any other media they do influence attitudes and values that kids have.

  4. #4
    The Man on Ice 261311's Avatar
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    I say they don't ban any violent games. The more there are, the more engaged people will be to vent frustrations on their TV and not a warm body with flowing blood.
    I doubt games like Bully influence a child-terrorists thoughts and ideals if they're already beating the crap out of fellow pupils for a measly $5.
    With much love, 261311.

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  5. #5
    WiiChat Member dakuda's Avatar
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    Last edited by dakuda; 01-08-2012 at 08:23 AM.

  6. #6
    vidya gaems VidyaVince's Avatar
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    You know, this is the second time this has happened. This also happened with the original Bully.

  7. #7
    WiiChat Member mrobrien's Avatar
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    im not saying bullying is good or anything (it isn't) but i think if people want to put laws and bans on things they need to actually understand the topic there acting on, if i play san andrais (i know its spelled wrong) or vice city, im not going to jump in a car and go kill people. i bet if you asked any of these people trying to put bans on these kinds of games if they have ever played the game themselves, 95% of the time they will say no

  8. #8
    Dæmon Pantalaimn's Avatar
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    Gamefly just shipped Bully Wii to me today. Will have to check this title out for myself.
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  9. #9
    WiiChat Member EffeKt's Avatar
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    It won't be successful...you know...that whole idea about freedom of speech and all that jazz.

  10. #10
    This is sweet WiiNoob08's Avatar
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    i bet that is not going to happen, it might but it probably won't.

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