NIMF, Walsh, Educators Urge "Bully" Boycott

October 21, 2006 -
The furor over Bully won't be going away any time soon as several well-respected educational and child advocacy organizations appear to be joining the fight.

As reported by the Boston Globe, Dr. David Walsh, president of the National Institute on Media & Family, has weighed in on the Bully controversy. Walsh told the newspaper:
"We don't think this game is appropriate for kids of any age. It glamorizes and rewards the kind of anti social behaviors that teachers struggle with every day... In one scene, the so-called hero sits in a tree like a sniper. Instead of a firearm, he has a slingshot. His target is the football team... This is an example of the inadequacy of the rating system..."

NIMF is warning parents off of Bully and urging retailers not to sell the game to teens.

Marlene Snyder, a national training coordinator for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program at Clemson University in South Carolina, expressed concerns that Bully takes place in school and that it deals with interpersonal relationships rather than with inanimate objects:
"Because it's torn from a teen's real life, it becomes a how-to manual. In a world of escalating violence, this is not the message we need to be giving kids."

Barbara Coloroso, author of The Bully, the Bullied & the Bystander, told the Globe:
"For a young kid who's been relentlessly tormented, afraid to go to school, socially isolated, the game provides a kind of comfort: `Yes! This guy gets back at them!' ...the more they play, the more the neural pathways in the brain connect violence to pleasure."

The Globe piece also dings Rockstar spokesman Rodney Walker for an interview posture described as "not forthcoming."

The article also cites a Jack Thompson letter to the ESRB which urges the ratings board to change Bully from a T (13 and older) to an M (17 and older). Thompson's letter is described by the newspaper as "forceful."  Forceful, indeed. Addressed to ESRB head Patricia Vance, Thompson's letter includes the following "forceful" excerpts:

  • "Take-Two has just had sex with the Lady holding the scales of Justice."

  • "You, Ms. Vance, now have a really, really, really  serious problem... you’re pwned."

  • "You’re broken, Ms. Vance, and we’re going to fix you."

  • "Fraud has been committed, and the price therefore is going to be exacted, not upon me but upon you and Take-Two, your constant ratings scandal companion."  

  • "I would suggest that you stop primping for photo ops and do your job, while you still have it.  You have until Wednesday, Ms. Vance, then all Hell is going to break loose."


Comments

You know. Jack's empty threats were funny at first, but now he's just making me nauseous. That man needs a serious lesson in humility. And it needs to be handed to him by someone IN washington. -.- The man needs to learn that no matter what he tries, he's going to lose when it comes to games. These threats need to be dealt with too. Can we sue him for slander on any of this?

I read the boston glode article and jack thompson said "There is no consequence for your actions other than victory", except for getting detention.

Wow...that letter is crazy. Seriously, these are the rantings of a self-obsessed lunatic. Is the fire hydrant part true? Can anyone on here confirm that? How can you hit someone with a fire hydrant, much less pick it up?

There is one thing I have to say. They should be focusing on the REAL issues,like the war in Iraq! But this is politics. And we all know that its just a big popularity contest.

@illspirit.

I agree with you about defending yourself. Kids need to learn how to stand up for themselves. But no the teachers have to tell them that fighting is wrong and the best way to deal with a bully is to ignore him or her. That is a load of bullcrap. The way you deal with a bully is to stand up for yourself and if nessasary neat the living crap out of them.

Taken from the last paragraph of page 22 of the US Bully Manual (the inside back cover):
"The makers and publishers of this videogame do not in any way endorse, condone or encourage in any conduct depicted in this videogame."

...and Jack always said WE couldn't read. Oh, the irony.

Kincyr,

it also says that in the GTA: Liberty City Stories manual and in the game itself.

*sigh* and while parents, teachers, and the government are trying to get Bully of the shelves, idiotic parents are buying their kids Mortal Kombat Armageddon and Scarface because they wanted it for their birthdays. I think this proves that the government doesn't actually care about the kids, they just want to get on the bandwagon of violent video games to win the elections.
---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

The NIMF is such crap. Here is a real parental watchdog group's review of Bully. No lies, no outragoues claims, just real parental review of games for their kids.

The NIMF is still under the mistaken impression that kids are litle zombies that mimic tv/games/movies without any thought. Look, asshats, kids aren't that dumb! They are likely smarter than the parents! And if the kid is that dumb and impressionable by media sources, who is to blame? Duuh, the ones who raise the kids to be that way.

The NIMF is slowly but surely leaving the realm of semi-respectable (but I disgree with them), and entering the asshat realm. Do you wanna be an asshat Walsh? You did so well in excommunicating Jack Thompson. Why can't you be more like Gamerdad, who actually plays the games with their kids, to teach them right and wrong.

Gamerdad rocks.

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

@ Masked

Agreed. e.e maybe the ESRB could avoid all this nonsense if they went out of their way to inform parents? It's been a LONG time since I heard anyone yell this much about the NRA, because they provide all SORTS of material on how to make keeping a gun at home safe. Ideas, anyone?

I just read JT crap letter. The ESRB should not give in.

Why won't people understand that this game is essentialy a DENNIS THE MENACE SIMULATOR?

Bully has ben used as a scapegoat for about a year before even being released. It doesn't matter what is actually in the game, these people will never stop denouncing it.

You know, I think we should all thank Jack Thompson and several politicians, and NIMF and uncountable other ignorant knee-jerk reactionists who have made Bully quite possibly the most famous computer game ever written.

Even my 68 year-old Mother has heard of Bully, though, admittedly, she thinks of all these people who complain about it as having 'Gotten too old to remember the people who tried to stand in the way of them expressing themselves, and now they've turned into the same people.'

"Joe said some content is questionable. ``You run into a gym teacher at a porn shop," he said. ``You take over cliques by whomping them. You beat up a homeless man."

Is this true or is this just Bullshit? It sounds like the latter to me. People making something up so they can be heard.

Jack THOMPSON CAUGHT IN LIE.

Yep, thats right, jack thompsons been caught lying again.

Having picked up and played the game, I can tell you right now, he's bsing. Theres no blood, charecters do not die, there are No LEATHAL projectiles in the game, and using bats and other weapons only has the effect of increaing attack power, as theres no blood, and no visable damage.

So, Now we have, prove posistive, why I"m right.

Jack Thompson should not only be sued by the ESRB, the ESA, and the ECA, but, all three should demand his disbarrment at once from the Flordia bar.

Don't belive me? Get a copy and check it out. He's lying, lets face it, any hard core gamer wouldn't dare help jack.

It is a blatant lie. You do have a mission where you set out to attack a homeless man. The rest of your group chicken out and you end up befriending them as part of the plot.

Dennis, I know you feel you need to stay netural, but now we have no choice. You should have any one here whose played bully to completion sign or confirm in one way or another that jack is lying, so that we can Put and end to his slander and lies once and for all.

And I notice he's off talking about Sex again...

The man's obsessed, he's even calling up scenes of a company having sex with a statue....

To be honest, he needs serious physcological help.

Sorry for the double post, but I have to say, I find it ironic that 'Lady Justice' has been bought up in the first place.

Does anyone know why lady Justice is blindfolded. And can anyone remember the last time that reason was actually applied to Video Games, not just by grasping lawyers, but even by politicians?

"You do have a mission where you set out to attack a homeless man. The rest of your group chicken out and you end up befriending them as part of the plot."

So do you end up befriending the homeless man and not beating him up or just the group that chickens out?

The group run away before attacking the man, you talk to him and befriend him, no attack takes place.

Come on folks, we have to have more people who played bully. I've played only a short amount and I already know he's a liar, lets get some others who've put some serious time in on this board.

Lets go down that list of lies and disprove them folks, then send a letter to good ol jacky and let him know that no only do we know he's lying, but we will in form the ESA, rockstar, and the ESRB!

Lets make jack put his money with his big, stupid mouth is.

Well, at least Walsh has made an informed opinion of the game, unlike some people. Like Harlan Ellison once said, "You are not entitled to an opinion. Rather, you are entitled to an informed opinion. A boob expressing a boob opinion is still a boob."

That having been said, I may still dislike Walsh, but I at least have more respect for him than I do JT.

JT's letter to the ESRB is outrageous! I'd really like to know who this "expert gamer" is that he calims he's been in contact with and have him come forward here. Doesn't he hate us gamers? Why would he even willingly work with one? His interview with Niero doesn't really count, as I think he only did it to be polite. If he knew no one else was watching, he probably would have called him a "pixelante thug" and walked away.

And his use of the word "pwned?" Yet another lame attempt by an old man to seem relevant. Well, at least I give him some credit for trying to use internet slang, even if it was inappropriate.

I agree with the others. I've been thinking of contacting other gamers - both here and elsewhere - who have been threatened, harassed and slandered by this man and filing a class-action lawsuit. I have a friend whose father is an attorney and have been thinking of approaching him with it and see if it has legs. It's time we did what the ESRB has so far refused to do and put JT down like the mad dog that he is. And he was clearly foaming at the mouth in that letter.

@ Black Manta

AMEN! Sign me up. even if I can't testify to it, I'd love to watch ol' JT try to fight back. I'd LOVE to see the gamer community hand him his own ass on a platter.

I wonder... A game which trains you to use a SLINGSHOT of all things... If this teaches anyone anything, it's that using slingshots is only funny and annoying.

And there is no way I'd try to snipe with anything more primitive then a crossbow.

Forgot a couple other things:

Unless they find another Hot Coffee in Bully, which I seriously doubt, the rating won't be changed, nor should it. I've played the game myself, and I find nothing in it that would warrant an M rating. The T rating was fair, and it was justfied.

I'm also going to take a radical tack and argue that teens should play this game, as it teaches you the value of standing up for yourself and others. It's been proven for ages that bullies often pick on those with low self-esteem, and this game illustrates how important that is.

I've been wondering if perhaps the real reason politicians and others have been quick to condemn Rockstar's games has been not because of violence, but of how they portray authority figures. One of the recurring themes I've noticed throughout most of their games is that all of the people in authority are usually depicted either as corrupt, sleazy or buffoons, or a combination thereof. People like politicians and JT may actually fear these games because it shows them up for the fools they really are, and they see such entertainment as a threat to their positions because of that. It may sound farfetched, but such fears were expressed by Rufus Sewell's character in The Illusionist, and because of that he tried everything in his power to shut Edward Norton's magic show down (See that movie, BTW. It's great! :))

Jeffy,
The usinverse rocking line that blasts anything NIMF, Thompson, or any video game legislation supporting politician:
"I can't make that call for your household. It's up to you. "

Let me hear a "HOOAH!" :)

Parental Rights for the win! :)

Ok, I'll behave.

Another interesting comment from GP article:
"“Because it’s torn from a teen’s real life, it becomes a how-to manual. In a world of escalating violence, this is not the message we need to be giving kids.”"

Really? And what "teen's real life" would that be from? This isn't a biography, but she makes it sound like it is.

And I've made plenty of long posts about abuse in schools and where I feel any form of entertainment fits in there. No need to repeat myself, I'm sure.

No time now, but I'm gonna check out GamerDad more later.

nightwng2000
NW2K Software
Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Alas, from my point of view, all I see here is a bunch of people who, in their youth, most likely stood up against old fogies who thought that Rock and Roll and Teen culture was an 'inherent danger to society' (and let's face it, you don't get much more interactive than Dancing), standing up for the rights of movie stars like James Dean etc.

I find it really sad when people turn into the very things they fought against. I'm 34 years old, probably in the older demographic here, but I still get sad when I see people who not only get old in body, but get old in mind and spirit as well. Who become the very people they stood against when they were our age and, in the case of Thompson, has completely forgotten either what it was like to actually be young, and, indeed, is probably more insulting to young people than the censors of 40-60 years ago.

1950s

· Billie Holiday’s song “Love for Sale,” is not permitted to be played on radio stations because of its strong sexual content and its depiction of prostitution

· “Transfusion” was banned because it was felt that a blood transfusion was not a laughing matter.

· When Elvis Presley was scheduled to perform on the Ed Sullivan show, cameramen were instructed not to film any of Elvis’s lower body because his dancing was considered inappropriate for the viewing audience.

1960s

· In 1964, the state of Indiana banned the song “Louie Louie” beacuase they felt that it had some sexual content in it.

· The Rolling Stones were forced to change the lyrics of a song in order to perform in on national television because, of course, it had sexual content. The song was called “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and they were forced to say “Let’s Spend Some Time Together.”

· John Lennon and Yoko Ono's album "Two Virgins" featured a naked picture of the two artists. These albums were confiscated before they even had a chance to hit the record stores. One Chicago retailer was shut down by the vice squad for carrying this album.

1970

Officials in Illinois released a list of popular music that contained drug references. The list included the popular children's song "Puff The Magic Dragon" and the Beatles "Yellow Submarine."

1980

· Olivia Newton John's song "Physical" was banned because it was believed to have strong sexual content, and this considered to be more than inappropriate for the Mormon religion.

· The Parents Music Resource Group/Parents Music Resource Center headed by Tipper Gore focused on getting record companies to monitor and rate their artists’ releases with a system similar to the MPAA system for movies.

· In 1987, a singer by the name of Jello Biafra was arrested for the distribution of pornography. He had a picture of a naked lady on the cover of his album and it was found to be inappropriate for the public. These albums were later seized, and his band eventually broke up.

1990's

· An album released by Nirvana featured a naked baby on the cover. There was very little controversy over the cover and there was no ban of the record sale.

· 2 Live Crew released a very risqué album. The record sale and distribution of this album were deemed illegal in Florida and Alabama. 2 Live Crew were also arrested in Florida at a concert. The police claimed that the performance was too obscene for the general public. 2 Live Crew's next album was titled "Banned In The USA."

· Ice T's album "Freedom of Speech" was banned. Its lyrics were considered to be too obscene. (Music Censorship: Elvis to Ice-T 5)

· Public Enemy’s, album, "By the Time I Get to Arizona," featured depicting the governor of Arizona as a David Duke-type of character was banned from T.V.

· In the mid 1990s Wal Mart and K Mart decided not to sell any records that they determined to be obscene.

2001

Some radio stations voluntarily stopped playing certain songs after the attacks on the World Trade Towers. This list included: “Enter Sandman”, Metallica; “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” The Beatles; “Crash into Me” Dave Matthews Band; “Walk Like and Egyptian” The Bangles; “Only the Good Die Young” Billy Joel; “Benny and the Jets” Elton John; “Wipe Out” Surfaris.

A timeline for the Hypocrisy we see today.

I just got Bully yesterday and I stayed up for three hours playing it. It would've been longer, but my mom made me get off and give my brother a turn on the PS2. Having seen it myself, I can only conclude:

THESE GROUPS AND LEGISLATORS ARE FULL OF BULLSHIT!!!!!!!

You attack a homeless man? You do fight him, but only because he teaches you some new moves after you befriend him.

Hitting people with fire hydrants? What. The. Fuck. Unless you're Rambo on steroids, you can't even pick up a fire hydrant, in the game OR in real life.

You take over cliques? No. You don't. You help or hurt their members but you don't take them over. You don't even JOIN them.

You run into a gym teacher at a porn shop? Yes. Does the player actually see any? No. There's a porn shop less than a block away from an ELEMENTARY school where I live, and you can't see anything other than a few mannequins dressed in bikinis. Like that's worse than the Victoria's Secret posters, right?

In conclusion, the NIMF and JT are full of it

OH FUCK YOU DAVID WALSH! FUCK YOU AND YOUR NIMF!

I mean what the hell is up with this?

“We don’t think this game is appropriate for kids of any age."
Well duh, that's why it's rated TEEN for TEENAGERS, not kids.

"In one scene, the so-called hero sits in a tree like a sniper. Instead of a firearm, he has a slingshot. His target is the football team… This is an example of the inadequacy of the rating system…”
OH NOES! He shoots people with a slingshot! We should totally ban this game since it is the epitome of violence and hatred toward all things decent and good!

“Because it’s torn from a teen’s real life"
Oh yeah right... Because everyone in real life falls under a stereotype in every school.

“For a young kid who’s been relentlessly tormented, afraid to go to school, socially isolated, the game provides a kind of comfort: `Yes! This guy gets back at them!’ …the more they play, the more the neural pathways in the brain connect violence to pleasure.”
Prove it or GTFO.

"Jack Thompson's regular bullshit"
*ignores*

What about other movies, TV shows, books, etc. that have bullying for a theme? Why not speak out against them?
It's because they aren't video games of course.
I don't see any one of these bastards speaking out against a certain scene in Christmas Story, a movie that's easily played more than 20 times every December.

BAH!

Wow, JT really has somehow, SOMEHOW managed to sink lower with that letter.

Anyone else get the impression that politicians, the NIMF, and JT all want kids to keep getting bullied? I dunno if I'm just crazy, but that's the message I get. They don't want kids fighting back or standing up for themselves or even pretend to have a spine.

If they're worried about bullying why not put some money and effort towards developing policies that punish the bullies and not the kids who snap and fight back. If these people think this is a columbine simulator they've got the wrong idea. The kids who decide to shoot up their schools often have nothing left to lose because they've dealt with ridiculous amounts of dehumanizing abuse.

If anything I get the feeling that the kids who have to deal with crap at school will love this game more just because at the end of the day they can get a laugh and lose that stress.

And once more, bash the ratings all you want, but it's rated teen, as in, old enough to make a few decisions, such as right or wrong, or, "Hmm.. I don't think I will get a baseball bat and rampage on my fellow students"

Chances are if your kids acts out on any violent fantasy it's not Rockstar's fault, your kid was messed up to begin with. Furthermore, if a young child is scared for life because someone let him play games intended for older audiences that's also the parents' fault.

So now apparently the video game rating isn't based on what is actually in the video game, but what someone MIGHT DO with what's in the video game?

Well, crap, we should make House and Scrubs not play on TV -- it might incite all sorts of people to perform medical procedures. Or any cartoon, because it might incite people to do whatever the cartoon's doing.

"Oh, it's so close to their life, so they're more likely to do it!" Pfeh. How many kids do you know that were sent to a private boarding school? I don't know anyone that did. 'Course, I think the people raising these complaints have a little money, so maybe they're just worried about their kids.

This is just getting more sad by the day. when will he ever learn? When it comes to facts, he just dont got them. That whole part about nudity in oblivion really got to me. Most people who say that video games are evil have no clue about user created content. Any one now a days can make a nude model of some charecter and place it in a game. Then distribute it around the net for others to use. They have to learn the diffrence between the two.

Ok people have been asking for more feedback from people who have played the game? Well I'm in my late 20's and have played it up to chapter three so far. Be warned there will be game *SPOILERS* so if you would like to play this game yourself skip this post.

Ok first lets explain the main characters position. He is the new kid at bullworth and says himself that he is not out for trouble, but when people deserve it he will step up. Basicly this is how the whole game goes. He starts out hanging with someone who is friendly on his first day and they do a couple pranks together. This includes the tree slingshot scene, kick me signs, marble slipping, dogpoop on fire at teachers door, and various other classics. Though his friend is trying to use him to take over the school...

At this point the "bully" clique at the school doesn't like him(he has done a few things to protect the nerd clique) and his new friend detects that jimmy(thats the main char) isn't liking where he is going with his plans. So in order to get in good graces with the bullies AND teach jimmy a lesson he tricks him to an isolated area. It is here that the first "boss" fight takes place. You are forced into it...after you win you have the respect of the bullies.

This friend is the problem causer throughout the game from here on. Each chapter it seems a group comes to jimmy to befriend him(I'm not entirely sure as I haven't finished the game) because of his past actions and then the ex-friend stirs shit. The next chapter is the preps...and how do you get past it? You go to them and say look enough lets settle this with a simple boxing match against your toughest guy and if I win its over.

Ok enough spoiler...more on game play? Can you use fire extinguishers as weapons? Most certainly, BUT you can only spray it at them. Do you get in trouble for violence against people? Yes depending on the offense(bullying is less then shooting someone with a slingshot). I should also not that any action against the younger students or girls automatically puts you in the highest alert and spawns several security personnel around you. Can you use bats and paddles? Sure, but the most common place to get it is from the hooligans that come at you with them.

There is a lot of misplaced hype about this game simply because its setting is a school and who the maker is...If anyone has specific questions about the game I'll answer them if I can, but seriously I completely agree with the rating. Its nothing you wouldn't see on TV, but at the same time its topics are something only a teen and older would grasp properly.

If anything this while thing is just a scare tactic by Jack. He has nothing and can do nothing else. So he is trying to scare them into changing the rating at which time he can go "SEE! The judge was wrong!" and have some ground to stand on. I doubt anything will come of this...

Alright, seriously, what's so bad about standing up to an oppressor? Really? Because if that's what this game is actually about, then I'd greatly recommend it, if you show a bully you have a spine, he'll likely bother you a lot less.

Anyway, I'm about to get off on a rant here, and feel free to correct me on anything that's inaccurate, as I haven't played the game yet.

1st paragraph: I don't remember hearing ANYTHING about a 'good student training device.' And as far as the Judge's ruling goes, he'd felt he had seen enough of the game to make an informed decision about the game, and I feel he made the right one.

2nd paragraph: Well, see, those Take-Two employees are probably gamers, and the Judge may not be. Why not put someone adept at gaming instead of letting someone who doesn't game just sit around and flounder in the game? That, I feel, would accomplish absolutely nothing.

3rd paragraph: Since when did Jack associate with gamers, other than to spew vitriol at them? Regardless, I'd like to hear about exactly WHAT this gamer found, and whether he was following the plot or just sandboxing and dicking around doing that (though whether that really matters, I'm not sure.)

Paragraph 4: The ESRB is being grilled on Capitol Hill by politicians who don't care to research this stuff and go on what they hear in the media, and come off as little more than (quoting Jon Stewart) 'out-of-touch jackasses.'

PG 5: In the USA, ESRB ratings can't (CANNOT) be given the force of law. The British Board of Film Classification either is a government entity, or Britain doesn't have an analog to the 14th amendment (or whichever amendment states that a private org. can't be given force of law.) Apples to oranges, and all, Jack. I don't see how the ESRB is lying to american parents. American parents just aren't paying attention to their kids and their habits. The ESRB, in my humble opinion, is fine.

PG 6: A charade, eh? If not going to class prevents you from finishing the game, then technically, Jack, you do have to go to class. As far as the male-on-female and male-on-prefect assaults, there appear to be two conflicting accounts, at least, now. Now I may have to see for myself.

PG 7: The worst explosive device in that game is probably a cherry bomb. Yeah, they can probably burn you and injure you, but unless you swallow them or stick it in your ear or something, I doubt it'd kill you. (Note: My experience with cherry bombs is nil.) As far as sniping with 'lethal projectiles' goes, a slingshot like that depicted in the game probably isn't lethal unless you're slinging knives. Jonesboro? That wasn't a slingshot, Jack. That was with a GUN. Big difference.

PG 8: 'Bully-Back tactics?' That's what you call killing over a dozen people? I'd think a bully-back tactic would be to whack him on the nose so he'd leave you alone. Klebold and Harris didn't engage in Bully-back tactics, they were bullied, and nobody helped them. It seems like they felt that was the only way. I'd rather have a bully victim beat his bully down than shoot 20 people, but you sound like you want bullies to have diplomatic immunity.

PG 9: Watch your words, Jack. They found a correlation between violent game play and aggressive behaviour. And again with the bully-back scenarios. I'd like to see bully victims get a spine and stand up to the bully. Or pull the school staff's collective head out of the sand.

#10: Hang on, Jack, there's reportedly no death, no permanent damage to the NPC's. And the coat of arms? Some coats of arms feature weapons like swords, spears, guns, who knows what else, but you don't get bent out of shape over that.

On Hot Coffee: That wasn't playable without third-party modification of the PC version of the game. The player had to actually alter the code to unlock it. Sure it was there, but it wasn't playable in the release version, ergo, not pertinent to the rating. Even when it was found, I think the ESRB handled themselves accordingly, though I can't really say the same for Take Two.

On Oblivion: No, Jack, the players PUT nudity in the game, they didn't FIND it. Actually, they just stretched the male topless skin over the female character, they didn't really add anything, but this one goes on the players, either way, and not on Take Two.

I'm gonna skip a bit, since most of this stuff is pretty old-hat and we all know that song and dance...

#17-18: Jack's usual bluff-and-bluster, You have until such a time to change this or I'll change it for you and sue you!!!!!11!11

#19: Why not blame the people who made the game, Jack? Wait, you tried that, and you choked. What about the people selling it? Tried that too. I don't think blaming the people who RATED the game is going to work either. I don't think american ERs are going to have much to worry about. And worst case scenario and it does happen? Better the ER than the morgue.

#20-22: Okay, Jack, seriously, these games are NOTHING compared to Thalidomide. These games aren't going to cause babies to be born with three arms and no legs, or no limbs at all, or one arm and one leg. This vendetta has got to stop, and this is the most irresponsible thing he's said about games. You know what, I thought the Hitler Youth comment was bad, but comparing Bully to THALIDOMIDE!?" That is wrong wrong wrong on so many levels.

Next Week : The man who got arrested for making the word 'Cocaine' on a Scrabble board.

After all, it he can create it in a game then he must be intimately involved in the act of taking Cocaine according to NIMF's logic.

@ somerandomguy

You pretty much summed-up what I saw in the game. Now if we can all get together and get the word out, we'll have something. :)

You know, if JT is really serious about following through with this latest threat (which I doubt, and it's why I call him Jack "Empty Threat" Thompson"), by subpeonaing Vance, he will preemptively force the ESRB to do what they've been seemingly reluctant to do for years: challenge him in open court.

This, then is a golden opportunity for them. He's practically thrown down the glove and going "Here I am! Take your best shot!" This is just too good to pass up. The ESRB should go to court in this case just to show him up.

Which, now that I think of it, makes even less sense. Unless JT is intent on committing career suicide and determined to go out in the legal equivalent of a blaze of glory (which I don't doubt), he should know full well that the ESRB and it's lawyers, as well as those of Blank Rome, will chew him up and spit him out. He failed in getting the sale of Bully blocked in the first place, and when he was given the opportunity to appeal the ruling, he declined. So what is he really trying to accomplish here?

I think what it boils down to is this.

A lot of people made a lot of noise about Bully and what it would contain in complete ignorance of the facts. We ourselves all stated on numerous occasions that people should 'wait and see' rather than jump to conclusions, this was even said to Thompson.

There are now a lot of people standing around looking stupid because we were right and they were wrong. But, they can never admit that, they simply do not have the courage for that kind of act, so lying or trying to blow things out of proportion are the only options they really have left.

Oh, and to clarify, by 'we' I mean Gamers who are concerned about the rising level of censorship in games.

anyone here lost faith in david walsh?

Wow, I guess I'm the only one who read JT's letter and interpreted it as terroristic threatening. Honestly, the wording is directly lifted from an Usama Bin Laden video, and not the blooper one or UBL's 5 minute abs.

NIMF is outright lying about the content of Bully. I thought that's why they severed ties with JT? Was it just because of his atrocious grammar and use of slang like "pwned"? Perhaps I'm a jive turkey but I hardly feel such language is appropriate for an email, even one which is written as if one is in hiding in the mountains of Pakistan.

@Dustin

Of course, in today's environment I wouldn't be at all surprised to see characters like Calvin and Dennis the Menace castigated as a juvenile delinquents and horrible role models, and shame on those awful cartoonists for making them.

@Samson Effect

The worst thing that you can do to yourself with a cherry bomb would be to light it in your hand (the fuses aren't made precisely so their burn rate varies and they're generally too short to light and throw) and have it go off there. You'd need an emergency room trip and might lose a few fingers.

As to the furor over the idea of kids standing up to their bullies with violence, there are several factors. First, it shows they've learned that the system of "law and order" in their world (in this case school) isn't working and that they have to take matters into their own hands. This is sometimes true even in the real world, but it makes the authorities very nervous, especially those more in favor of "nanny-state" solutions featuring a docile, defenseless, and completely passive citizenry. It's easier to tell people "never take matters into your own hands" than to try and educate them in a manner that would produce self-reliant and strong citizens ready to defend themeselves and their loved ones -without- giving way to vigilante impulses.

Second, there's this horrific idea that we should lie to our children until they're eighteen. I'm not going to talk about stuff like the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy: that's all minor (although you'll note that the traditional defenses establish a very disturbing philosophical position, that it's ethical and even desireable to feed someone lies if they're pleasant and cause joy rather than to disillusion them with ugly truths.) I'm talking about the messages like "violence never solves anything" when cracking open their history books puts lie to that in about ten seconds. I'm talking about "if you ignore them they'll leave you alone" , which works about as well with bullies and muggers as it did when Chamberlain tried it with Hitler and when we decided that war in europe and mainland china wasn't our problem.

For some reason, one I can't claim to understand, educators have been feeding piles of moral, ethical, and philosophical bullshit to students in America for decade after decade after decade. When was the last time you saw a course on logic and ethical theory taught at the high-school level? When was the last time you saw it as a -required- course as part of a liberal education in college, even? Instead we have simple-minded absolutism on the one hand (as evinced by religious men and women with a very simple-minded and shallow understanding of their own theology) and simple-minded relativism on the other (The non-confrontational "well everyone has a right to their own opinion and no one's opinion is more or less valid than anyone else's" attitude so popular in educational circles these days).

In other words, I think that works like Bully or Revenge of the Nerds or any of these "social underdogs break the rules to stand up against the people the system won't stop" pieces are disturbing because they -do- challenge the popular messages many parents and most teachers are feeding children, and they do so on several levels. I'm not saying that this makes Bully profound and meaningful, much less "High Art", but I think it's safe to call games like Bully and even Grand Theft Auto (especially GTA:SA) "social criticism" in the form of satire. And the PTBs of education, just like the ones everywhere else, don't care for criticism.

From Thompson's letter:

'...Then, having apparently learned nothing from that, the ESRB put a “Teen” rating on Take-Two’s Oblivion: Elder Scrolls earlier this year, which rating had to be recalled when game players found nudity and thus sexual content in the game...'

Wait, 'nudity and thus sexual content?' First of all, they were *user-modded* breasts. Second of all, since when is nudity sexual by itself? I guess we'd better start recalling those medical textbooks as 'pornography' and inform every mammogram technician that he's engaging in sexual deviance.

The comparison of a sling-shot to a sniper rifle was a nice touch to boot. Also good to see he's grossly misrepresenting the findings of the American Psychological Association. They essentially claimed that there was a correlation between aggression and video game players, but no direct cause. Young men and teenage boys are the majority of players and, surprise surprise, they tend to be more aggressive and assertive on average.

I have to hand it to Thompson for being a great salesman of this BS though. He makes it sound *almost* plausible by twisting everything he can. If this were 1956, he'd be the one crusading against comic books and the dangerous slippery slope of allowing negroes on school buses.

“You’re broken, Ms. Vance, and we’re going to fix you.”

Perhaps I'm overly sensitive and paranoid but I'd interpet that as a threat to my person and respond appropriately with legal action.

By the way, anyone else find it somewhat amusing that Walsh's biggest concern (and Thompson's as a side note) was that Jimmy targetted [gasp] the football team?

Please, not those loveable jocks. They've never caused trouble for anyone in a school.

I've not only lost faith in the NIMF, but in the ESA and the VGVN. They haven't done anything to combat these horrible lies.

I have rented Bully today.
If you want I can post a review later.

- Warren Lewis

Consumer responsibility is just as important as Corporate responsibility. So, be responsible consumers.

Freeman,
Almost everything John Bruce writes contains some form of threat.

The most threatening I've heard, though, is when he refers to individuals as "mental molestors" just so he can justify using violent religious sctipture which advocates murder. Remember? It used to be on his old website stopkill.com. And then there is the ever popular "playa suicide game" that he tells to people he equates to "children". And he justifies all these acts with his religion. "Warrior for God" and all that. There are a great many folks who make terrorist threats based on their religious beliefs. And how many of them get arrested for just linking their threats to their religious beliefs? Many folks who are Islamic have made violent terroristic comments throught their religion, for example. And how many times do you hear about police and Federal Government "keeping an eye" on them, at the least? Frankly, I'd consider it religious discrimination if the government were'nt watching John Bruce for since of terrorist actions against those he's threatened.

nightwng2000
NW2K Software
Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Jack is the kinda guy who would of burned witches for not being apart of his religion.

He's the kinda guy who would probably of been racist prick infront of schools talking about how Blacks shouldn't be allowed to go to school.

He's the kinda guy who probably would of wanted Elvis Banned

He's the kinda guy who probably would oppose gays being even allowed to live.

Jack is just a Jackass.

He's a worthless intolerant human being... His entire life has been nothing but a waste on humanity, Not one thing he has done has benefited any anyone on this planet.
 
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Sleaker@CraigR been using Win8.1 for a while, I don't really see any usability difference between it and 7 (Work uses 7)10/01/2014 - 2:16am
Craig R.Ok, my internal debate was short-lived. If Win10 is still a year out, I'm not waiting that long for an SSD, so on Win7 I will remain.09/30/2014 - 7:52pm
Matthew Wilsonits called windows 10, and I am happy to get the start menu back.09/30/2014 - 7:18pm
Jessy HartIs this stuff about Windows 10 legit? Is it actually called Windows 10 or is it just some stupid joke?09/30/2014 - 6:57pm
ZippyDSMleeSo I been trying to play Bioshock Infinite I got all the DLC,ect but do not want the extras to make your charatcer over powered from the start.....they force you to take them which is quite annoying......09/30/2014 - 6:45pm
Craig R.I need to upgrade to an SSD, still seriously debating moving to Win8.1 from 7 at the same time09/30/2014 - 6:07pm
Craig R.Win10 is probably Win8.1 with more cleanup and the Start button back.09/30/2014 - 6:06pm
Sora-ChanAhh, it's just weird seeing someone's post all of a sudden have replies from days prior before it was posted due to that.09/30/2014 - 5:49pm
MechaTama31sora: I broke the ordering intentionally, as AE's and my conversation had squeezed the text boxes down to be quite slim. I replied to an earlier post of his instead of the one I was actually replying to.09/30/2014 - 5:46pm
MechaTama31So, 9 would have been the good one, but they are skipping it to do two crap ones in a row?09/30/2014 - 5:41pm
Sora-ChanSo, judging from the poll post for #gamergate, it looks like too many thread replies breaks the ordering of posts, as seen with the recent post from Infophile.09/30/2014 - 5:31pm
Andrew EisenOr no! It wasn't Y3K compliant. Microsoft thought it best to super future proof its OS and skipped straight to 10 which is Y3K compliant!09/30/2014 - 5:01pm
Andrew EisenJust tell them it wasn't Y2K compliant.09/30/2014 - 5:00pm
Craig R.Looking forward to having to explain to coworkers down the road what ever happened to 9 *sigh*09/30/2014 - 4:57pm
Craig R.2k was crap. XP was solid, 7 is good, 8.1 is actually really good once you make it look like 7 :)09/30/2014 - 4:52pm
Sora-Chan@MP As someone who has used each version of windows since 3.1... I prefer Vista over 7 for various reasons. The only thing I give 7 over Vista is preformance. They really screwed up a bunch of things when making 7. Also, XP was a pain. 2k was better.09/30/2014 - 4:13pm
Jessy Hart@E. Zachary Knight Is that show called Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures?09/30/2014 - 3:34pm
IanCWin 8 isn't bad, it just can't decide whether to be a desktop OS or a tablet OS.09/30/2014 - 2:40pm
IanCI think its a way of getting round giving it free to Win 8 users...09/30/2014 - 2:39pm
MaskedPixelanteWindows alternates between bad and good versions. XP was good, Vista sucked, 7 was good, 8 sucked, therefore 10 will suck, QED.09/30/2014 - 2:18pm
 

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