How Anti-Game Propaganda Spreads: Legislators Discuss Bully as "the Columbine Game"

January 28, 2007 -
When anti-game activist Jack Thompson accused Rockstar's Bully of being a "Columbine simulator," the game community tended to dismiss the criticism based on its source.

But in political circles, the Columbine simulator label has apparently gained some traction. Consider an exchange from Friday's hearing before a Utah House committee considering video game legislation drafted by Thompson.

First, let's set the scene. Jim Olsen, president of the Utah Retail Merchants Association, wraps up several minutes of testimony on the Utah bill. Then, the following exchange takes place:

Legislator: I have one question.

Olsen: Okay.

Legislator: The game, Bully. What would that be rated? Are you familiar with that game?

Olsen: I am not familiar with that game.

(off-mic voice believed to be that of bill sponsor Rep. Wyatt):  "T"

Legislator: That's the Columbine game?

Olsen: It's rated "T" for teen.

Legislator: Okay.

(off-mic voice believed to be that of Rep. Wyatt): The Columbine game's rated Teen...

Legislator: The Columbine game's rated T?

(off-mic voice believed to be that of Wyatt): It's not? What's it rated?

(off-mic voice believed to be that of Steve Sabey, attorney for the ESA): It's a web game. It's not rated...

Legislator: Okay, that's great...

Later in the hearing, Sabey, testifying on behalf of the ESA, returns to the topic in an attempt to clear up any lingering confusion between Bully and the controversial amateur game Super Columbine Massacre RPG, which has been much in the news lately.
...After Columbine the FBI did a study... of Columbine and related shootings... they determined a list of 40 factors that related to why these kids did it. Video games was not listed on that list. Anywhere.

When we met last time there was a suggestion that the ESRB was a sham and the example that was put forward was the Columbine game.  And I mentioned a minute ago, though not on the record, the Columbine game is a game that someone has recently created and put on the web. No legislation - this bill certainly would not address it - no legislation would address it.

There's no control over it because it's a game somebody creates. Very poor game, poor graphics that anyone can load from the web, and it's not a rated game. Rated games - ESRB games - are games that are mass-produced for sale in the stores and they are rated, much like movies are...

If you'd like to listen for yourself, download the audio of this portion of Friday's testimony in mp3 format (less than 3 megs).

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Matthew WilsonI cant say anything though I am stupid lucky. I have a 75/75 line01/29/2015 - 11:27pm
Matthew Wilsonthat isnt awful 1.2MBs, but yeah 100bucks a month is over priced to all hell. ps 8mbs=1MBs01/29/2015 - 11:24pm
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.speedtest.net/my-result/410086446201/29/2015 - 9:12pm
ZippyDSMleeMatthew Wilson Dunlap, TN, its the only game in town and they only started in 08 or so.01/29/2015 - 9:12pm
MechaCrashThe explanation for the misanthropy of the character in Hatred comes from "we want to be super edgy and get those controversy dollars."01/29/2015 - 8:34pm
Andrew EisenI'm interested in giving it a try. I think it has some cool ideas but I haven't been "feeling it" when watching continuous gameplay.01/29/2015 - 8:04pm
Matthew Wilsonif you dont know, the code name STEAM demo is out, and it it downloading very slowly. It might be more popular that I thought, or it could just be the eshop.01/29/2015 - 8:02pm
Goth_SkunkPlayer/Playable Character, yes. As opposed to the NPC.01/29/2015 - 7:36pm
Andrew EisenOh, Player Character! Heh, that one took me a few moments!01/29/2015 - 7:29pm
Goth_SkunkIt really bothers me that there is no explanation for the PC's misanthropy. Even the Saw movie series, despite the level of violence in them, had a premise that fascinated me. The only thing about Hatred that fascinates me is the controversy.01/29/2015 - 7:27pm
Goth_SkunkI can't think of a time a game has made me simultaneously want to both buy it and not buy it. On the one hand, I find the premise disturbing and repulsive. On the other hand, I find the controversy fascinating and want to play it just to say I did.01/29/2015 - 7:25pm
Andrew EisenTrailer for new Van Damme movie, Pound of Flesh. "They just stole the wrong man's kidney!" http://vimeo.com/11808880501/29/2015 - 7:24pm
Andrew EisenNew Hatred trailer. Destructible environments, vehicles, light buildings and people on fire! http://www.gametrailers.com/videos/7bzwzs/hatred-devastation-gameplay-trailer01/29/2015 - 7:12pm
Goth_Skunk@WonderKarp: And that's why I don't read or watch mainstream news.01/29/2015 - 5:06pm
Matthew Wilsonzip is it KB or kb? if its KB its MB, if its kb is mb. ether way where do you live that you are getting ripped off that badly?01/29/2015 - 4:41pm
ZippyDSMleeI has a whole 1MB(mb mabye, 1000KBPS) for a whole...100$ a month ;_;01/29/2015 - 4:24pm
WonderkarpFCC appears to be kicking ass today01/29/2015 - 4:11pm
WonderkarpI found this neat. Shows the different ways different websites tell the same story. Not VG Related, but its neat https://i.imgur.com/3m6xOfE.jpg01/29/2015 - 2:12pm
Matthew Wilsonnp I am still suprised that the fcc did it, but I still do not trust the chairman yet.01/29/2015 - 2:11pm
Andrew EisenYeah, what I mean is I'm fortunate enough to live in an area where I have the option of up to 50Mbps if I want to pay for it. Meant that as an anecdote; didn't mean it to come across as a "you're wrong!" Sorry 'bout that!01/29/2015 - 2:06pm
 

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