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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PHX Corp@Adam802 We'll break out the popcorn in June12/19/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante: I'm itching to start it too but I will wait till the patch goes live. >>12/19/2014 - 7:52pm
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MaskedPixelanteNevermind. Turns out when they said "the patch is now live", they meant "it's still in beta".12/19/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelanteSo I bought Dark Souls PC, and it's forcing me to log into GFWL. Did I miss something?12/19/2014 - 5:00pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/republicans-may-have-plan-to-save-internet-providers-from-utility-rules/ this is intreasting. congress may put net nutrality in to law to avoid title 2 classification12/19/2014 - 2:45pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/19/7421953/bullshit-cards-against-humanity-donated-250k-sunlight-foundation I have to admit I like the choice o organization. congrats to CAH.12/19/2014 - 1:51pm
E. Zachary KnightIf you are downloading a copy in order to bypass the DRM, then you are legally in the wrong. Ethically, if you bought the game, it doesn't matter where you download it in the future.12/19/2014 - 12:06pm
InfophileEZK: Certainly better that way, though not foolproof. Makes me think though: does it count as piracy if you download a game you already paid for, just not from the place you paid for it at? Ethically, I'd say no, but legally, probably yes.12/19/2014 - 11:20am
ZippyDSMleeAnd I still spent 200$ in the last month on steam/GOG stuff sales get me nearly every time ><12/19/2014 - 10:55am
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante:And this is why I'm a one legged bandit.12/19/2014 - 10:51am
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MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/19/marvel-vs-capcom-origins-leaving-online-storefronts-soon/ Speaking of "last chance to buy", Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is getting delisted from all major storefronts. Behold the wonders of the all digital future.12/19/2014 - 9:59am
MaskedPixelanteSeriously, the so-called "Last Chance" sale was up to 80% off, while this one time only return sale goes for a flat 85% off with a 90% off upgrade if you buy the whole catalogue.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
E. Zachary KnightInfophile, Tha is why I buy only DRM-free games.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
MaskedPixelanteNordic is back on GOG for one weekend only. And at 85% off no less, which is kind of a slap in the face to people who paid more during the "NORDIC IS LEAVING FOREVER BUY NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE" sale, but whatever...12/19/2014 - 9:28am
InfophileRe PHX's link: This is one of the reasons the digital revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also the flip side where Sony can block access to games you've bought if they ban your account for unrelated reasons. All power is theirs.12/19/2014 - 8:52am
MaskedPixelantehttp://uplay.ubi.com/#!/en-US/events/uplay-15-days You can win FREE GAMES FOR A YEAR! Unfortunately, they're Ubisoft games.12/18/2014 - 6:29pm
Papa MidnightAh, so it was downtime. I've been seeing post appear in my RSS feed, but I was unable to access GamePolitics today across several ISPs.12/18/2014 - 6:06pm
james_fudgeSorry for the downtime today, folks.12/18/2014 - 5:54pm
 

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