NIMF, Walsh, Educators Urge “Bully” Boycott

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.”
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  1. 0
    Kincyr ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “I would suggest that you stop primping for photo ops…”
    These are the words of a (sad excuse of a) man who told us to get haircuts because he thought our LJ userpics were pictures of ourselves.

  2. 0
    hayabusa75 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “You, Ms. Vance, now have a really, really, really serious problem… you’re pwned.”

    In Jack’s defense, he IS the foremost expert on getting pwned.

  3. 0
    Leonson says:

    Other games with a T rating-

    Rainbow Six (Violence, blood, language)
    Almost all Wrestling games (Blood, simulated violence, language)
    Desperate Housewives: The Game (Language, Violence, Sexual Themes, Gambling, Use of Drugs)

    There are over 3000 titles on the ‘T’ list, many of them much much much worse than Bully. This is nothing more than a JT crusade against Rockstar.

  4. 0
    Krazywalrus says:

    “You, Ms. Vance, now have a really, really, really serious problem… you’re pwned.”

    o.O Not too much to say to that one.
    I really need to play Bully now, just to see how bad it is…I mean, from what i’ve read, it’s not even selling that well.

  5. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Kids are kids teens are teens if they cant not handle the fiction and the story’s that most “teens” then its your fault MR.Walsh for making them scared little kids and not teens on how are almost adult….

    Protecting teens and kids from life will only make them bubble people that die when they breath non super purified air,it is ok to let kids play,it is ok to let teens think,it is ok to let adults 17+ to watch what they want to….

  6. 0
    Beev says:

    Gotta love how Walsh almost immediately jumps to “the inadequacy of the rating system” after talking about horrible things like SLINGSHOTS OMG NO PLZ. Shame on Walsh for taking advantage of all the misinformation about Bully. I mean, NIMF wants to replace the ESRB with their own standard, right? That’s the only reason I can think of for NIMF’s (undeserved) criticism of the ESRB, other than the fact that if NIMF’s people can’t find something that’s endangering “the children,” they’re out of a job.

  7. 0
    Zerodash ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It just occurred to me- why would a “hardcore” gamer be helping JT out? Also, JT HATES gamers, and it seems odd for him. Wasn’t the last time a gamer helped him involve the “pubic hair in teh Sims 2” incident?

  8. 0
    Mnementh ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oh, one other thing – I fully advocate fighting back against bullies. Bottom line is, in my experience, it WORKS. When the bully becomes the victim, he realizes how powerless he truely is. Perhaps he moves on to a different target, perhaps he tries again, but for the previously bullied it is a great feeling to kick the snot out of some punk who thinks the world owed him a favor. I know from much experience, having kicked the snot out of more than a few bullies in my time – when you beat enough of them into the dirt, they tend to leave you alone. A few of them even reformed after I broke some bones.

    Violence is, in my opinion, the answer. The bullies deserve no less.

  9. 0
    Mnementh ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This is getting rediculous – don’t these people realize they’re the modern equivalent of book burners? “We don’t like this content, so we’re going to waste a lot of tax-payer money to have multiple laws shot down on first amendment grounds”

    JEEZUS, the idiocy of these people is absolutly astounding. There’s a quote from Einstein bouncing around my brian right now, something along the lines of “the definition of insanity is performig the same experiement twice and expecting a different result” or something like that – well guess what people, the experiment has been run over and over throughout the course of US history, and it has ALWAYS BEEN THE SAME – First Amendment ALWAYS WINS (with a few exceptions for porn).

    There is no proof backing up their claims, only a bunch of general hemming and hawing and a few shaky studies that MIGHT point to a correlation. So called “bullying experts” take the stand and say this game will increase bullying without even playing it, looking at the real content, or addressing the root cause of bullying (which, coincidentally is where the censorship for this game should come from int he first place): PARENTS!

    Jack Thompson and his lot must be the laziest parents on the face of the planet, expecting the government to step in and moderate what media is fit for consumption when it is in reality their responsability as parents to RAISE THEIR OWN CHILDREN. If someone isn’t willing to take on that responsability they shouldn’t have children in the first place. END OF STORY.

  10. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    You know, all this talk has rather left me desensitised to the idea of making laws and defining ratings and so on and so forth. So I came up with the ultimate way of protecting teh childrens!!!oneone while still allowing for freedom of speech and letting adults entertain themselves in happy legal ways.

    Ready for this? It’s radical, but hear me out.

    If you don’t want your children playing certain (violent) video games, do not buy them those games or allow them to play them.

    I know it’s a crazy idea to let parents make the decisions rather than the government. I realise that a group of guys in suits two thousand miles away know your children better than you do and are in a better position to tell them what to do, but I think it could work. Maybe we should let parents raise their children. We could even come up with a term appropriate to describe the relationship. “Legal guardian” perhaps.

  11. 0
    Dustin1986 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    And here’s another thing I don’t understand. Why are so many people convinced that the ESRB decided to fraudulently give Bully a lighter rating? It defies logic. This game has been scrutinized and condemned for about a year. The ESRB has been under a huge amount of political pressure, and the accuracy of their ratings have been questioned. Why would the ESRB fraudulently claim that Bully isn’t violent? I think that the fact that they gave it a Teen rating proves how impartial and fair they are. They could easily have dodged these accusations by giving these groups what they want, a big fat M. But they decided to look at the game instead and judge it on it’s merits. These groups are just upset that they might lose their whipping boy. They can’t stand the thought that someone would take away the scapegoat they are using to push their agenda. These censors had preconceived notions of this game months before it ever saw the light of day and the truth is inconvenient for them. And Jack Thompson has actually seen the game himself, played by a Take-Two employee in the presence of a judge and yet still, STILL, he is convinced that there is an obscene amount of violence in it. He just hasn’t seen it yet, but he knows that it’s there.

    I hope people remember this Bully fiasco for a long time. People should look back on this with disgust. This is fearmongering and political bull.

  12. 0
    Dustin1986 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    That certaintly was an interesting letter from Jack. Reading that, I think that just about anyone would come to the conclusion that this guys a nutcase. It seems pretty obvious at this point that the judge’s ruling in his last case really got to him. He’s not even trying to put on a veil of proffessionalism anymore. That letter was nothing but venom and threats. It just sounds like pure hatred, and his arrogance is astounding!

    He’s demanding that Patricia Vance see to it that Bully is re-rated M for Mature or HE will have her fired! It seems that reality doesn’t seem to fit so well with his perceptions anymore and he’s trying to reshape the world how he sees it. Bully is not Bloody monstrous nightmare that you said it was. Just understand that and let it go. Please.

  13. 0
    Brer says:


    David used a sling, not a slingshot. 😉


    The idea of a crime that was “almost” committed is incoherant. File with “a little bit pregnant” or “slightly killed”.

  14. 0
    Rachel says:

    One last thing…

    Does anyone find it ironic that the character uses a slingshot? I mean, doesn’t Jack always compare himself to David (David and Goliath)?

    What did David use?

    A slingshot.

    And who used “bully-back tactics” against a really big enemy?

    David, a “man after God’s own heart.” : )

  15. 0
    jdmdsp911 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I just got Bully yesterday and played through about 2 hours before having to go to work and from what I have seen, everything the anti-gamers are saying is false. The slingshot mission that they are raising a stink over? Yeah, your character sits in a tree, with a slingshot. Yeah he shoots at the football team. However, the slingshot cannot be manually aimed in this mission. A button is pressed and a football is automatically targetted. It took me 3 “shots” to knock out 1 football player. When I finished the mission, moved my character out of the tree, and headed back toward the main campus, I was pretty much immediately swarmed by all of the jocks and had to fight my way out. Oh and the “beating up the homeless guy” thing? Another falsehood. As other people have stated your partners chicken out and you end up running an errand for the homeless guy. After the errand is done, he teaches your character a fighting move. If the anti-gamers try to show use a clip of the main character in a fight with a homeless guy, that is where it is from. The homeless guy isn’t getting beat up, he is teaching the main character some moves. Sorry to leave such a spoiler, but considering the half-truths being told by the anti-gamers, might as well bring out the whole truth. There is a sentence in the instruction manual that I feel describes idiots like the Walsh, NIMF, and thomspon in general. Unfortunately I don’t have the manual in front of me, but is in the description of the photgraphy classes.

  16. 0
    Jezebeau says:

    Jeez. That letter’s nuts. If you have to use underlining, bold typeface, and italics in every sentence for emphasis, you’re not making sufficient use of the *language*.

  17. 0
    Kajex ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I posted this in a yahoo discussion on the topic.

    “The fear of these video games stems from media fear- a fear that 1 out of a U.S. population of 300 million is going to kill 20 people, and that it’s going to be nobody else but you. Most teens are aware of the fact that there is fact, and there is fiction- adults going around trying to preotect them from these games may mean well, but they unnecessarily and unintentionally insult a teen’s intelligence by putting forth that they don’t know the difference when it’s obvious that they DO know the difference. They further insult everyone else’s intelligence by claiming to be in the right when they have a huge misconception of what the game is about in the first place, and ambulance-chasing lawyers like Jack Thompson, who simultaneously wants to “protect” children and slanderizes gamers, help nothing at all.
    The general fear in this is that some kid will go out and shoot up a school based on something he played in a video game, based on the pretense that if they die, they’ll respawn again like a video game- but most kids are too intelligent to fall for that kind of crap, and the ones that do need their parents to tell them “If you try to pull this off, you’re not going to live through it, and you’ll regret it.” But what do we do instead? Rather than not reading books that are harmless but we think are heathenous like Harry Potter, we instead choose to ban them or burn them so that others who don’t think the same way are forced to live under someone else’s ideals.
    The same is true from video games- I personally find that Bully isn’t harmful in any way, and if a kid DID try to emulate it, there was something wrong with him in the first place, or their parents weren’t educating them, like the kid who tried to jump off a roof and fly because he thought he was a Pidgey from the game series Pokemon. But if we have to ban an admittedly fun game on the grounds that others find it offensive or don’t want their children to play it, then we’re forcing others who don’t think the same way to be denied of the game and are therefore restricted with another person’s ideal- and that’s not right. I personally think that Smallville is the stupidest show in existance, but I’m not going to try to have it banned because of my ideal.
    At least 100 popular games are released EACH YEAR, and only a handful of them, 12% as surveyed by the ESA, are rated ‘M’ for mature, and are suited for the older gamer- yes, there are older gamers, and before you tell them to go get a life, tell your hunting husband, or fishing uncle, that there are better things to do- or let them decide how the hell they’d like to spend a weekend. Rather than focus on the fact that there is a movie called Kill Bill, why don’t you look away and find a sequel to Bambi for your kid instead of bringing attention to something you don’t like? “

    As for the Neural Pathway comment…

    Proof that she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

  18. 0
    illspirit ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Yea, you’re right, I was just over-generalizing, as usual. Lack of coffee + crazy quotes from our pal in Miami does that to me sometimes. 😉

    But then again, how many shootings nearly happen where the kid just isn’t crazy/angry enough to murder anyone? Or how many cases where a kid brings a gun to school for protection from a bully, but get caught before using it? While the media was going on about those recent adult shooters, I must’ve seen a half dozen articles pop up about kids getting caught with guns. Granted, some of them were just for showing off, but one or two said it was for protection. I suppose there’s still far too many variables to say for certain one way or another though…

    Either way, I still stand behind the theory that the anti-self-defense movement is emboldening bullies by creating a risk-free environment for them to work in.

    @Gordon Frohman

    I think it’s the teachers who need to be taught that self-defense is good. Kids already know this instinctively, as it’s like the first law of nature and stuff. Far too often, otherwise intelligent people spend so long learning from books and such that they believe they can simply explain away human nature…

  19. 0
    monkeysan says:

    “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.”

    I think the first part of this is totally correct. It’s a natural impulse and many psychologists believe that some ‘dark play’ is a good thing for kids.

    But then, as these people always do, they make a completely unfounded connection–in this case, that “the more they play, the more the neural pathways in the brain connect violence to pleasure.”


    I love how she uses the phrase ‘neural pathways in the brain’ to suggest that there is evidence, any evidence whatsoever, that her contention is acutally been validated by science.

    Watching the ESRB try to explain that the ignorance of parents justifies failing to make changes to their system and enduring the absolutely bonkers logic of the family friendly gaming vigilantes, it’s very easy to lose one’s faith in human intelligence.



  20. 0
    brokenscope ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    You know, i wonder what would happen if you filled up the mall in DC with gamers?

    That would be some interesting political fallout.

    i can see the headlines now.

    “Gamers are a national epidimic!”
    “Violent phsycopaths march on DC”
    “National Gaurd called to protect residents of DC”
    “Oh the Humanity”

  21. 0
    David Null says:

    You know, I wouldn’t put it past someone to be trolling Jack with false & misleading info.

    Either that or he is deliberately misinterpreting what ever info he gets online… And is convincing himself of things being there that are not there.

    I say it is the later based on his past actions, but who knows.

  22. 0
    Sigma 7 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    In one scene, the so-called hero sits in a tree like a sniper.

    And this is why Rockstar should hold a contest – the first person to obtain a video of such a scripted mission gets a sizable prize. The rules simply state that it has to be in a stock version of the game – cheats are allowed but mods are not.

    It’s similar to the “hack me” contest from various security companies, the only difference is that Rockstar knows that it is impossible.

  23. 0
    OldschoolVgamer says:

    I almost forgot to say that I hated to take this too off-topic but I was making a point of what I think this this braindead excuse for an ambulance chaser is attempting to do. I was going to add that in my closing arguement but forgot. Damn.

  24. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    All I can say is that I’m really glad I don’t live in the U.S.A.

    There honestly seems to be a trend there of assuming that teenagers are brainless idiots who are incapable of forming their own opinion or coming to their own conclusions, or at least, if they do, that it is not worth listening to.

    Have they stopped to consider, I wonder, it is because they assume that teenagers have no voice of their own and therefore ignore them? Were these desperate and terrible acts the only way that some kids thought they could make their feelings known? Had they been asking for help only to be ignored because a bunch of people who are sitting round a table are telling them what they think, how they feel etc, and didn’t consider the teenagers input worth listening to?

    That would be a terrible state of affairs if it was.

  25. 0
    OldschoolVgamer says:

    First of all, couldn’t Patricia Vance sue JT for harassment and threats?

    Second of all, if JT was so concerned about violence in games which he’s not since he’s more for his inflated ego, publicity, and of course financial gain. He goes after what is the latest controversy, in the late 80’s/early 90’s he was after gangster rap and now he’s after video games. Whenever video games fall out of the spotlight where he wants to shine out, then he’ll leave us all alone.

    What I find interesting about him however is that he seems to be switching gears a little bit. He still pretty much insults whoever he pleases, but his ways of gaining publicity seems to be less on lawsuits and more on other sources of income such as this damn college tour he’s supposed to go on.

    I think he realizes that half his lawsuits and attempts to restrict the artistic extension and distribution of games to EVERYONE, under the guise of protecting the children, is starting to fall flat.

    The college tour I think is just an attempt to gain money from colleges wanting him on the roster based off of what negative publicity he’s gotten over time, i.e. him actually wanting people to wear “I hate Jack Thompson” t-shirts. ACTUALLY WANTING them to do it. He realizes that he hasn’t gotten much good positive publicity except from idiotic TV new programs and that he knows that we won’t just ignore him because of the slanderous filth he says could help trash our image, so he knows that the best way for him at this point to become noticed is off of doing something nasty to get attention. I think that this move right here in this article is just another way to maintain that negative, money gaining publicity.

    But I must say, he seems really hellbent on nailing R*/T2 and it’s obviously because it is a more known company. If he was really concerned about alleged hidden sexual or violent content in games, then he would have nailed Eidos Interactive on Tomb Raider Legends for having a nude character skin it (which it did, look it up, but it was fixed before hitting NA shelves). But the fact is that Eidos isn’t as well known as Rockstar. People when they hear Eidos would be like “Who?” while with Rockstar they would say “Oh! They make that Grand Theft Auto thingy!”

    The only logical thing to do at this point on behalf of gaming consumers, publishers, developers, gaming media, and other organizations is to debate him and counter every move he makes in a calm, yet stern manner. He isn’t worth sending death threats to, sending sexual aid devices to his wife, cussing at, or any of the rest of the crap he has accused us of doing. Just civily debate his more active and threatening moves, ignore the vile bullshit he spews out on a regular basis.


  26. 0
    finaleve ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Okay, I’ve played through the game, and beaten the game with most missions out of the way (70% done).

    Easily, it’s a good game. Story was simple, a psychopath student who wants to rule over the school with his intelligence, while a bully whom was kicked out of several other schools wants to try and control the bullying.

    Right there, it’s a sign that no one knows what tehy are talking about. The story of the game. Sure, the way to get to the bullies is to fight them, but given the circumstances of no help from higher powers (at least not the extreme ones).

    Over the idea of the game, you can pull off most bully actions. Wedgies, Swirlies, stink bombs, and many others, as well as just plain fighting.

    And besides, there is no killing of others, no sort of near death experience what so ever (its like Pokemon, they faint after a super cool move or something like that).

    What I don’t understand is why they don’t use this game as evidence to show that there can be bullying in schools and what they can do. There can be some bad bullies out there that see this game as nothing compared to what they’ve done.

  27. 0
    ~the1jeffy says:


    I said miffed, not angry. You are right about making the indivdual choice, for sure. She was miffed, I think, because the woman seemed to know so little about it, other than, “She wants it.” My fiancee just informed her of the ratings, like she does every time.

    I was only using this of an example of where the power of any ratings board will end, govermental or no. Even those backed by law.

    You’ll notice the woman’s ignorance as to the name of game – obviously no research was done. That was what had me taking note of the whole situation. Perhaps I’m peddling semantics, but if you don’t know what something is called, chances are you don’t really know what it is.

    Now, that being said, I would personally let my 15 year old play the series. Why? Because my theoretical 15 year old would probably have the mental capacity to distinguish game from reality.

    I wasn’t “hating” on this lady. Like I said, just an example of a perfectly legitimate way that the system “failed.” Assuming, of course, that video games “harm” children, regardless of age. Which of course I don’t assume, but it seems the NIMF’s ilk does, so . . . .

    My brain hurts.

  28. 0
    Chris@Work says:

    Let’s just ask any of these Politicans to pick up the game and play it, and we’ll sit back and laugh as they fumble with the controller, mumble a thousand questions about how everything works, and pity them as they talk about situations that they have never been in when they were in School.

  29. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Your girlfriend would really be upset with me then.
    I can understand her wanting to make certain that the purchaser understood the ratings, but she then started to come off as trying to make a decision about appropriateness for someone else’s child. Even I would be ticked. Like the mother, I know what is or isn’t appropriate for my child. And I’m well informed about both the game and my child’s understanding of fiction vs reality. Whether the mother is well infomed abou the content or not, none of us would know.

    It does, however, lend an interesting point that girls like the GTA series too. :)

    And what would your girlfriend REALLY be upset at me about? My son is 10 now. He’s been exposed to many of the GTA series for years. By now, the first 2 are boring (being of the top down format). He does well with III and Vice City. Never a confusion of fiction vs reality there. SA, however, is a problem, for both of us. The problem doesn’t come from content, though, but rather the frustration factor. Most notably, the frustration comes from the micromanaging of CJ’s muscle and other factors, plus the difficulty with bicycling and motorcycle handling. So he doesn’t get to play SA for now.

    It may not be what she, or many others, would deem appropriate for him. But I know him far better than anyone else. There are a lot of things I wouldn’t consider to be good to be exposed to ANYONE. But, as I’ve said before, it’s their right to have access to it or to expose their children to it, whether I like it or not.

    Does your girlfirend read much of Gamerdad? Just curious.

    NW2K Software

  30. 0
    ~the1jeffy says:

    (Used sarcastically) But after all the hub-hub, hullaballoo, ruckus, and the shenanigans (any other 19020’s terms?), AND the stellar reviews this game is getting, I decide to go head and get it.

    When I went to purchse it, from Wal-Mart, I had an interesting time. First, the clerk (A friend of mine – built him a PC a few months back) asked me, Is the game good?” He laughed, “Wasn’t it banned in Europe or something?” I said, Not that I know of, but I heard it jumps off of the shelves and murders babies.” We chuckled, “Good thing we keep it in the case!” He said, “Let me know how it is, I love RockStar’s games, man.”

    Just then, a woman came by and asked my fiancee, who has walked over in the meantime, “Do you know when ‘Vice City Stories’ come out of PlayStation2?” she said, clutching a piece paper with a child’s handwriting on it. I followed her and my fiancee over to the game cases, discretely. My fiancee said, “Here is Vice City, for PS2, but we don’t have ‘Vice City Stories.'” The woman, in her 30 – 40’s, handed over the piece of paper and said, “Well this is what my daughter wants.” My fiancee looked at the paper, saw the handwriting, and asked, “How old is your daughter, may I ask?” The customer said simply, “15.”

    Being that I know my fiancee very well, especially her many modes of anger (LOL), I saw that she was miffed at this point. She said, “Ma’am, the Grand Theft Auto series is rated ‘M’ for Mature, and might not be appropriate for your . . . .”

    “She has all the other ones, give me that one!” said the customer, who pointed at Liberty City Stories for PS2.

    This happens DAILY. Now, I realize that 15 isn’t too young, but that is the worst part. Enforcement of the ratings system becomes harder at 15. Perhaps her 15 yr old daughter looks 20? Now, my fiancee is A) a gamer, and B) cards everyone who isnt obviously older than 27.

    But at another store perhaps, or even if the associate is older, with bad eyes and poor judgement of age. This is where the ratings and voluntary enforcement stops and parental responsibility starts.

    If these games cause some sort of “harm,” why do we let parents buy them for the kids? And if they don’t, how is the current ratings and voluntary enforcement system in any way a “failed” system, since anything, even laws, will still fail at the parents.

    As Dennis said in his Joystiq piece, “But we’ve got a little thing in this country called free speech. Works pretty well. Let’s not mess with it.”

    I agree. The system works. Parents have the ratings and great sites like Gamerdad to help them. JT and Walsh and cronies need to shut up and deal with real problems, instead of focusing on social age-gap misunderstandings.

  31. 0
    ~the1jeffy says:

    Well, I’ve gone out and purchased Bully. I wasn’t going to, since the 4th quarter is just around the bend, and my wallet is going to be thin enough if I decide to dip my hand into the “next gen.” (

  32. 0
    Samson Effect ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I think they also actually tried to stop airplay of “Falling for the First Time” by Barenaked Ladies after 9/11 as well, but they basically told them that they were being turds.

  33. 0
    Brer says:


    Well, I think you’re making a common mistake: equating school shootings with bullying. In reality it’s not bullying that causes the majority of school shootings. To use Columbine as one exemplar, Harris -was not a social outcast-. Klebold was -in part-, but even he wasn’t the target of very much harassment. One was a budding psychopath of the torture-small-animals variety and the other was a depressive who was drawn in by the psychopaths vision (and nevermind that Columbine wasn’t so much a successful school shooting as a -failed- school -Bombing-).

    Paducah: Now, Carneal -was- bullied. But again he was NOT a “normal, healthy kid”. He had a history of severe paranoia and emotional instability .

    Red Lake: Weise was clinically depressive and given to both prior suicide attempts and self-mutilation. Given that his father also committed suicide (while he was a child) and his mother was a severe alcoholic there’s some indication of mental problems from -both- sides of his family.

    I could go on, but I think you see the pattern.

  34. 0
    J-Guy says:

    Jack Thompson is a liar, and who can take him seriously when he writes: “You, Ms. Vance, now have a really, really, really serious problem… you’re pwned.”

    WTF is his problem anyway? I see the game as something cool because it shows a kid fighting back bullies who are a problem at a school. Contrary to GTA, that seems like a good guy to me.

  35. 0
    Kharne ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Rockstar must be laughing, why pay for an add campagin when these people will provede one free of charge?

    Also, I wonder, how much of this would be happening if the game wasn’t named Bully? I somehow doubt we’ll be seeing much controversy around “Canis Canem Edit”.

  36. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    Oh, and Jack Thompson’s the one broken, but unfortunately for him, like Ron White says, you can’t fix stupid. There’s no class he can go to, there’s no pill he can take. Stupid is forever. Errr.

    And Jack Thompson’s been committing Fraud ever since he filed his first video game suit.

    What a pathetic individual.

  37. 0
    BearDogg-X says:


    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.

    Also, “Bodies” by Drowning Pool, and anything by Rage Against The Machine.

    Anyway, Dr. Walsh is an idiot, and Jack Thompson became even more pathetic than he already is.

    In fact, this whole “summit” is pathetic.

  38. 0
    Peter B. says:

    The main character in this game is no worse then Bart Simpson. It seems like these politicians have too much time on their hands. They don’t give children enough credit. They can distinguish between what is right and wrong and if they are one of the few that can’t they need serious counseling.

    The problem is not the game makers, it’s that politicians like to sidestep the issues. Future “Columbine”s can be prevented if the mental health system wasn’t such a crock. Kids go through their entire childhood undiagnosed. How about we put more money toward funding a better healthcare system for our children instead of this crusade against game makers.

    This is the time they need to be taught to deal with their disorder not after they shoot up a school.

    And medication is not a longterm solution. Yes in certain cases it can really help but if we continue to overmedicate like we are in 10-15 years we’ll be living in a society full of zombies and addicts.

    So what am I saying?

    More funding for the mental health system, less funding for the pharmaceutical companies and no more sidestepping the issues please. Not just for our children’s sake but for our future as well.

  39. 0
    Salen says:

    Well, Jack just sounds a little bitter since he just got laughed out of court and the ESRB gave Bully a T Rating. Not that its suprising that he’d decide to amp out like, but hey, you think he’d stop getting so peeved off each time he loses a court case.

    Also, I think ‘pwned’ is the wrong word that Jack wants to use. If anything, its the other way around, but, eh, this is Jack.

  40. 0
    cppcrusader ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    They don’t exist. Looking back over the course of US history it seems like politicians who can see the big picture only come around once every 20 – 50 years. Which is really pathetic considering the country is only 230 years old.

  41. 0
    Brokenscope ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Zero Tolerance hurts only the victim and never the bully.

    I really have to wonder, do they not realize how many gamers there are? That was come from many walks of life, social classes, and “races”. Do they not realize that a tiny little win now, will one day lead to all hell breaking lose on the offices they hold. They must realize we are a growing group and that pissing us off will only result in them losing their offices to less closed minded people?


    Changes of heart don’t count for much in politics anymore, especialy when they come during an election year.

  42. 0
    illspirit ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    “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.”

    And, is it just me, or has this growing trend of self defense being wrong coincided perfectly with the school shooting phenomena? It’s like the more they teach kids to be submissive sheep, the more it emboldens bullies. As the bullies get worse and worse, it just pushes the victims further over the edge. By the time the victims reach the end of their rope, they’ve had it drilled into their head over and over that defending themselves is wrong no matter how it’s done. So with everything from verbally confronting the bully, to fighting back with fists, up to shooting them in the face are all considered equally bad, what reason is there for them not to choose the latter?

    I mean, if they can expect expulsion and/or arrest either way, the options all seem the same, morally speaking. No matter what they choose to do, the victim be labeled the bad guy. And if that’s how they’re being labeled, is it really any surprise they sometimes end up doing so in the baddest way possible by shooting up the place?

    But, yea, I think all this “zero tolerance,” anti-self-defense rubbish is exactly what’s causing the growing problem with bullies, and what’s leading kids to think fighting is just as bad as shooting someone. For Thompson, Walsh, et al to attack Bully because it might cause a kid to defend themselves is just insane. In fact, the more I think about it, the less I care about the First Amendment side of the debate, and the more I become furious that these zealots would rather see children mercilessly harassed, beaten, and worse than for them to fight back. Think of the children indeed…

  43. 0
    GPK says:

    If I’ve learned anything since visiting GP, it’s to never trust anyone. After that letter Yuki wrote to Walsh, I was beginning to think he had seen the light, but then he goes and does this. At least he isn’t calling for government censorship…or have I spoke too soon on that too?

  44. 0
    Xsorus says:

    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.

  45. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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 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.

    NW2K Software

  46. 0
    Anon. Fan says:

    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.

  47. 0
    Calvinball says:

    “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.

  48. 0
    Anon. Fan says:

    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.

  49. 0
    Brer says:


    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.

  50. 0
    thefremen says:

    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.

  51. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  52. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ 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?

  53. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  54. 0
    Samson Effect ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  55. 0
    somerandomguy says:

    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…

  56. 0
    Muetank ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  57. 0
    Bissel ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  58. 0
    ChrowX ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  59. 0
    Hank the Tank ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    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”

    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.


  60. 0

    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:


    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

  61. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    · 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.


    · 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.


    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.”


    · 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.


    · 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.


    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.

  62. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  63. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

    NW2K Software

  64. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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! :))

  65. 0
    Silver_Derstin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  66. 0
    AgnostoTheo ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ 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.

  67. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  68. 0
    Yuki says:

    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.

  69. 0
    Bigman-K ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “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?

  70. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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?

  71. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  72. 0
    Yuki says:

    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.

  73. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  74. 0
    Yuki says:


    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.

  75. 0
    Bigman-K ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “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.

  76. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.’

  77. 0
    Dustin1986 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  78. 0
    AgnostoTheo ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ 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?

  79. 0
    ~the1jeffy says:

    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.

  80. 0
    MaskedPixelante ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    *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.

  81. 0
    Kincyr ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  82. 0
    Gordon Frohman says:

    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.


    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.

  83. 0
    Rachel says:

    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?

  84. 0
    Jordan ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

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

  85. 0
    AgnostoTheo ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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?

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