Bully Controversy Resurrected with Release of Scholarship Edition

An international coalition of teachers is targeting today’s launch of Bully: Scholarship Edition for the Xbox 360 and Wii.

The game is essentially an updated version of the original Bully, which launched amidst a Jack Thompson-fueled storm of controversy in October, 2006. A story appearing in today’s Globe and Mail describes the game as follows:

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

Emily Noble, president of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, told the newspaper:

We’re asking retailers to be responsible. Yes, they can sell it and make a buck out of this, but is this the kind of marketing that they want to be [doing], selling games that glorify violence?

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

Rodney Walker, a spokesman for Bully publisher Rockstar, offered counterpoint:

As a matter of principle, we hope everyone starts off by saying, ‘Okay, we know this is an entertainment experience. Video games are not just for children. This game happens to be about high school and it’s a tough kid in a tough environment, but it’s also one of the funniest games you will play…

McGill University professor Michael Hoechsmann, who riled gamers just last week with comments about shoot ’em up Army of Two, said that any move to ban Bully: Scholarship Edition was misguided:

As tempting as it may seem, I’m not so certain that banning this will somehow result in a more peaceful and more loving school population… This young person being confronted with all that [abuse] seeks the one remedy that he appears to have access to. If there was a peaceful schools committee at the Bullworth Academy, maybe Jimmy would have joined the committee.

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  1. 0
    ctrb2006 says:

    I have played this game and I do not believe it to be that bad. You can actually make it through with very little violence. This is a game, it was intended for entertainment purposes. If kids cannot tell the difference between what is right and what is wrong, maybe we should stop blaming the entertainers, and start looking at the parents. You don’t want your kids to play this game fine, but theres no reason to ruin it for the people who do.

  2. 0
    David Lopez says:


    I just got the game last week. And must say that I can´t see really that this game would encourage young people to do bullying. It has a good story, you come as a problem kid to a school where you have to survive. there are other kids who are doing the bully, but YOU can help the weak ones, and stand up against the bullies. You must go to class, go to sleep,….
    It is a funny game. There isn´t any blood in it.
    I can´t understand that they are accusing the game of setting up children doing the bullying. Maybe we should anaylize other things. SOme examples:

    Shin-Chan (cartoon from japan, very famous in Spain): The kid is insulting him Mother/father, showing his butt

    The Simpsons: How many time they don´t shoot people, kill them hack them (Itchy & Scratshy) in two, or other creul stuff

    Daily News: Seeing stuff from Irak, the fighting,…..

    Hocky Games: Where the players fight every game


    So maybe they should start frist in doing something on that.

    Ps: I have two kids, so I know what I am talking about!

  3. 0
    Condemned 2 Maniac ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ E. Zachary Knight

    What I have to say is if the games are really good then go ahead and play them even though you despise the companies that made them.

    You never know what game company to despise next for certain situations just like how I liked EA before they decided not to release Thrill Kill only 2 weeks before the release date to give their company a nicer image.

    While all these situations are happening with these companies I will just play whatever great game I come across even if a company I disliked took part in the game.

  4. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 2 ) says:

    I am actually torn. I have really gotten into games with strong politcal messages and social commentary. Yet, I despise Rockstar games.

    So now I am stuck. My preferences want to play the game and my biases don’t want to support Rockstar.

    Any suggestions?

  5. 0
    LKane says:

    Pretty much all controversial art, movie, or literature get all these kind of hype, even if some of them win Pulitzer prizes and what not and are considered to be the best ever created. I won’t argue whether it’s right or wrong to ban the game, as the topic has been done to death since GTA and Bully came out, but for the record, I think banning it is pretty stupid.

    Banning it or not, Bully is still a great work of art.

  6. 0
    GRIZZAM 512 says:

    This game does not encourage violence or bullying. It’s a game. That’s it.
    (Also, for the record, psychology defines violence as the intentional harm of another human being, therefore a game cannot be “violent”, it can only depict violence).

  7. 0
    KotatsuNeko says:

    I still consider Bully to be one of the most finely-crafted traps of our time, and this is evidence of just how well-crafted it was. When it first came out, it might as well have been tailor-made to catch Jack Thompson in his own stupidity, and it did so with almost supernatural grace. But how many traps can still catch prey long after they’ve already been sprung?

  8. 0
    Jarod says:

    Its so funny these politicians think gaming causes anything. If it ain’t Elvis, Or Marylin Manson, its vid games. It is ok and we HAVE freedom of speech. I love to play violent games and I love gore and everything wrong in them. I loved the manhunts for what they were and I will buy this Bully game just for the sheer fact these people basically marketed the game to my awareness. I am no stranger to gaming or entertainment. Maybe they shoudl realize where most of this crime comes from: it comes from having all of our naturally violent culture suppress all anger with the flight response instead of teaching how to deal with it by playing such games. I am a very dangerous type of person trained in this and that. And I love violence in entertainment. But I’m not a monkey and I easily don’t do any of this stuff. It doesn’t even come to mind and even in certain situations where someone threatens me, well, our legal system allows some defense.

    Bottom line, there are free porn videos online to dl and srteam. there is REAL LIVE violence we can watch for free as well. PLaying a game, even a realistic game, is no more than watching a movie and having some more engagement in it. If they spend their energy on voilence in vid games, maybe they should realize our civilization is built around lifestyle obsession where palstic surgery is considered ok, and overeating wide and people care about what they wear more than who they are. Maybe they should focus on that and not some stupid freaking entertainment WE CHOOSE TO BUY.

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

    We’re not asking them to play the games, we’re asking them to withhold their negative comments until they actually know what the games is about.

    Most sane people would suport the concept, if they gave it a chance. Just ignore the title and read what occurs in the game: bullied student attempts to prevent bullying of self and other students by stopping the bullies.

    Just keep the reality in mind and laugh at all the idiots whose knee-jerk protests of this game, given the actual content, are really cries to to prevent children from exposure to a game condeming bullying and glorifying standing up for the downtrodden.

    Go complain about how teachers want to support bullying and think students shouldn’t get any ideas about preventing bullying. Its more honest than what they’re complaining about, and is effectively what they’re doing.
    Go, teachers! No wonder education is sucking so much.

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

    one thing is clear, no matter what we might try to say,

    people who bash Bully or any other type of violence in Videogames have NEVER played the game themselves

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

    @ Stinking Kevin
    Subtle differences. I supported my claims with facts, for one. I did it to make a point, not for the sake of causing you suffering, for another. Sort of central points to the whole issue, if you’d been paying attention.

    And you undermine your own points and then just conclude your post by saying “but I don’t think any of that really matters, oh well”.

    rely on the intentions of the so-called “bully”

    Glad we agree on something, as I already stated this.

    Not because we are a family of “bullies,” I certainly don’t think, but because playful teasing and sibling rivalry have been normal, healthy aspects of our relationships with one another.

    What is this, some kind of epidemic going around? I refuse to believe that you’re so stupid that you don’t realize the difference between these two situations. And it’s based entirely on the INTENT of the “bully” and the INTERPRETATION of the “target”, as you already pointed out for us. You left out one other key element, so I’ll fill it in for you: the AWARENESS of the bully.

    The same explicit action can be considered bullying in one context without being such in another. Shoving, for example. I’m sure you’ve shoved a sibling before, and then you both laugh about it. Why? Because what you did didn’t physically hurt him/her, and because the social dynamic between the two of you allows for that sort of activity without any kind of demeaning or hurtful connotation. Or hey, maybe it doesn’t. Maybe you shove your siblings around for jollies and it really upsets them. I don’t know.

    But a kid in school who shoves another kid, calls him names, whatever, and KNOWS that these actions bother the other child, and continues to do so and derive some kind of pleasure from it? Yes, that’s a fucking bully, and no amount of verbal gymnastics is going to change that.

  12. 0
    Stinking Kevin says:

    From my perspective, your claim that I have poor reading comprehension seemed intentionally hurtful. Also, I interpreted your suggestion that I would need help cutting and pasting an article from Wikipedia to be purposefully insulting. So, why are you bullying me? Just so you know, if I start shooting people, it will be your fault.

    Unless I am misunderstanding something, you’ve just spent 250 words saying that whenever one kid does something that hurts another kid, it may or may not be bullying. I know your response was in earnest and I honestly appreciate the thought and detail you put into it, but I feel like you are just making my point for me.

    To be clear, my point is that it no matter how many words we use to describe it, all these theoretical definitions of “bullying” ultimately rely on the intentions of the so-called “bully” and the interpretations of the so-called “target.” No one has been able to define the act of bullying on its own; it’s only been defined according to the participants’ state of mind and relationship with one another.

    For example, as far as I can tell, every one of the specific actions listed in this forum as possible forms of “bullying” is an action that I also have taken against my brother, my wife, my parents, or my child at some point in my life. And they’ve done them back to me as well. Not because we are a family of “bullies,” I certainly don’t think, but because playful teasing and sibling rivalry have been normal, healthy aspects of our relationships with one another.

    The way I see it, saying “I’m against bullying” is about as useful as saying “I’m against people being mean to other people.” It may make us feel a little better about ourselves, and it may look good in some teachers’ union’s press release, but I don’t think it actually means much of anything at all in the real world.

  13. 0
    Saladin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    How can a group of TEACHERS miss the point so damn easily!? TEACHERS! How long were they hiding under that rock when they suddenly found out about Bully?


  14. 0
    CyberSkull ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If there was a peaceful school committee in Bully, they would be quite corrupt and Jimmy would have to wedgie his way to the top.

  15. 0

    Bullying is nothing new – it has been around since these folks making the complaints were kids, and it will be around when our grandkids have died of old age.

    It also is not limited to the young, as I witness bullying of varrying degrees at work everyday, in a corporate environment. Bullying can take on many different forms, and this game WILL NOT be a cause of more bullying.

    Perhaps it will help some of the poor kids who’s school years are filled with ridicule and misery due to their intelligence, lack of style, family financial situation, sexuality, appearance, etc etc etc. I know games were always a way for me to escape reality as a kid, until I got old enough and capable of standing up for myself better.

    Bring on the gaming – I call ‘Bully-shit’ on this whole issue!

  16. 0
    Meleedragon27 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Why are people complaining about this game again? Didn’t we resolve this whole issue already? You know, last year when it came out for the PS2…?

    I don’t see what the point of complaining about this game is, let alone trying to ban it – it’s already been proven that it isn’t what the media made it out to be and that it is nothing more than good, simple fun with valuable overtones.

    This whole Bully controversy is just plain silly. I figured that since these people are teachers, they’d at least do the proper research first… tsk, tsk…

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


    Heh. nope, banning any class of video game would likly have zero effect on such problems. I did not wish to communicate that I was in favor of restricting games or even relating them to such behavior (which I think is bunk), just that bullying can be a real problem that is worth addressing…. which unfortunatly teachers, administrators, parents, and support networks generally do not address in a constructive manner.

    Calling for banning bully falls well into the ‘not in a constructive manner’ catagory.

  18. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 2 ) says:

    @ Stinking Kevin

    There are varying degrees and varieties of bullying. Bullying is the term we give to actions that as adults would equate to harrassment and abuse.

    Basically, bullying can be defined as any action meant to cause some type of harm to another person.

    There is physical bullying, punching, hitting, pushing, tripping etc.

    There is emotional bullying, insults etc.

    Surprisingly, there is sexual bullying, I’ll let you imagine that.

    There is also social bullying, bullying people because they are not part of your group. This takes forms of inviting someone to a “party” and either no one being there or there is a prank in store for the invitee etc.

    This list is not all inclusive and each category listed can be broken up as well.

    Bullying also extends accross both genders. Usually females will only bully other females. Occasionally if a male is easy to bully females will bully him, but that is not the norm.

    Males will bully more accross genders than females, but the majority of time it is against other males.

    There is a large variety of bullying and each one needs to be dealt with in their own ways. The easiest one to deal with is physical bullying as that is the easiest to spot in action. The others are much more difficult for faculty to get involved in.

    I am not trying to make excuses for teachers, but only sharing my thoughts on the subject.

    @ Neeneko

    You are right. Different people handle bullying in different ways and some people can’t handle it at all. Each person needs a personal solution to overcome bullying.

  19. 0
    lumi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Here, to help you out, I grabbed some quotes from Wikipedia.

    “Bullying is the act of intentionally causing harm to others through verbal harassment, physical assault, or other more subtle methods of coercion such as manipulation.”

    “In colloquial speech, bullying often describes a form of harassment perpetrated by an abuser who possesses more physical and/or social power and dominance than the victim. The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a target. The harassment can be verbal, physical and/or emotional.Sometimes Bullies will pick on people bigger or smaller than their size.Sometimes bullies will hurt people verbally and physically because they are hurt at home or they might hurt people just for kicks.”

    “Norwegian researcher Dan Olweus defines bullying as when a person is “exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons.” He defines negative action as “when a person intentionally inflicts injury or discomfort upon another person, through physical contact, through words or in other ways.”

    Sounds pretty accurate to me. If I had to define it in my own words, it’d probably go something like this:

    “Bullying is the intentional infliction of pain, be it physical, emotional, or psychological, by one person (the bully) on another (the target).” I could go into the reasons, but it doesn’t really matter why. You hurt someone for the sole purpose of hurting him/her, you’re a bully. End of story.

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

    I found your implication that any human being could be reduced to a series of outside stimuli to be somewhat offensive to ideals of individual accountability in a free society, which I value. I found your rush to blame the bullies instead of the shooters for school shootings to be just plain disgusting.

    Good for you. I find your implication that bullying is a non-existent problem that should be ignored because you can’t figure out how to better define it to be highly offensive AND disgusting. Cry me a river.

    And since you clearly had some trouble with your reading comprehension, I did not say that people can be reduced to nothing but a series of outside stimuli. Not even close. As a matter of fact, I specifically said that it required a certain kind of individual to begin with. And my “rush to blame the bullies” is because they’re the biggest contributing factor in MAKING the shooters into shooters.

    People are ultimately the ones responsible for their own actions. But if you think, for example, that Eric and Dylan would have gone on that rampage if they had never been picked on by those other kids at school, the ones they specifically targeted during the shooting, then you’re delusional.

  21. 0
    kurisu7885 says:

    “Dunking heads in toilets? I didn’t know you could do that! o_o”

    It’s possible, albeit difficult. Hell, did it to a Prefect.

    And as I remember it didn’t Jimmy get one of the terrible teachers fired? As I remember it one of the teachers was trying to get one of the good ones fired, after driving that same teacher to drinking

  22. 0
    kurisu7885 says:


    Nor will bullying be fixed by banning violent video games.

    Inmost cases from what I see they’re looking for a magic easy button to fix all the problems without having to actually do any work.

  23. 0
    David Ikari says:

    I wish some of these people would actually play Bully. The photographing naked part is not really nudity, and Jimmy discovers the horrible effect it had on the victim, and so, does his best to repair the situation: because he felt bad.

    Dunking heads in toilets? I didn’t know you could do that! o_o

    And the assaults on other students begin because of the majority of the faculty having a terrible attitude toward the prevelant bullying in the school! Not only that, but Jimmy befriends and helps out some of the good teachers!

    In a system where students don’t have a voice and are furiously beaten down, Jimmy does something to help. He never bullies for the fun of it, only to prevent people being treated unfairly. If the game really does influence kids, isn’t this the kind of thing you want them to learn? To help, assist, and fight against a corrupt system? o0

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

    It should be noted, to all those who say ‘bullying is no big deal’,.. one of the things that has changed is that the people who _are_ destroyed by bullying are getting harder to hide. They are no longer shuffled off into permeant care, or sheltered marriages, or kept at home their adult life.

    So you were bullied and survived and ‘learned the pecking order’. Good for expletive you. The WORST people to ask about how to deal with something are people who have survived through it and now feel that because they did ok EVERYONE should do just as well (and is having the same level of abuse).

    I am close to someone who got bullied and didn’t come out unscared. She will NEVER be functional in society again. Teachers didn’t stop it, it was just ‘harmless teasing’, administrators didn’t stop it… one messed up girl is less important then the leaders of the future, and her parents didn’t stop be because ‘it’s only teasing, we lived through it’. Any time she tried to get help, even into adulthood, all she got was ‘ok, it was only teasing, you should buck and and let it go! I did!’ which caused her to slide even further.

    As others have pointed out, we can’t fix all bullying.. but something that can be done is have some expletive structures in place to catch the people who are really being effected by it rather then hoping that family or some ‘good man’ will come in and fix everything after the school system is done spitting them out.

  25. 0
    Stinking Kevin says:

    Wow, seems we have a lot of experts here, so let me ask: How exactly is “bullying” defined, anyway? Is it only bullying if a stronger kid picks on a weaker kid? (What if the interaction is not physical — then is it only bullying if the smarter kid picks on the stupider kid?) Is it bullying to exclude someone from a group, or is it only bullying only if they are included but then teased? What exactly is the difference between bullying and teasing, anyway?

    Because, as far as I can tell, the label “bullying” is worse than useless. Instead of identifying any real issue, it lumps together all the bad experiences that every single one of us has had, feeling picked on as a child, and then assigns that vague concept an empty (but convenient) label, so we can condemn the behavior at large without ever having to consider any actual interactions between any actual children.

    “Bullying” is just an idea. It isn’t something we can fix, or even directly address. It’s just an empty label. Saying we should fight bullying in our schools is as useless as declaring “war on drugs” (or a “war on terrorism,” for that matter). You can’t wage war on an abstract concept, and you can’t fight bullying by boycotting a video game.

    I found your implication that any human being could be reduced to a series of outside stimuli to be somewhat offensive to ideals of individual accountability in a free society, which I value. I found your rush to blame the bullies instead of the shooters for school shootings to be just plain disgusting.

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

    Thanks for the save! I almost forgot this was coming out soon. I need to pick it up for the Wii. I didn’t get in last time.
    As for bullying. I’ve had my nose broken and my finger broken bad (took steel pins through the joint to piece it back together). I’ve been thrown into a patch of poison ivy and various other unfun things. I was the butt of my class.

    Guess what. Going to the faculty doesn’t help. I’ve been punched as soon as a techers back was turned. If you go to the faculty, it just means you will get beaten up more. Being caught by a teacher didn’t teach the kids to not hurt, it only taught them to not be caught.

    The solution turned up right after getting my nose broken. Fighting back. Someone hurts you, and you go to a techer, you will get hurt again. If you say nothing, you will get hurt again. Fighting back, effectively, means that person won’t tangle with you again. It helped that, in my case, the guy was older, bigger, and stronger. The fact that this didn’t stop me pretty much told others that if I would fight back against him, I might do anything.

    Is it the right message to be giving children? I don’t know. I do know I wish I had gotten it earlier. Teachers (like my mother) and faculty like to think that school is all safe and friendly. It isn’t. Even when I was growing up in a relativly rural, no weapon environment, school was war. You had diplomatic alternatives, but they didn’t always work. I was a good talker, people would say that I laid the blarney stone. But you can’t talk your way out of things all the time.

    The key is propper retaliation. Public shaming is bad, so is anything that will warrent their own retaliation. A few punches in the gut with an explanation that you are doing them a favor for not marking them up or humilating them. Afterwards, I’ve actually made friends once or twice (not good friends, but no more violence between us).

    The idea that you can make it through the world by talking or bending over is unrealistic. However, you shouldn’t teach that violence is the best solution.

    Parents keep thinking that children are being made violent by videogames. Guess what, children are violent from the get go. Raising a child to be non-violent merely means they will be the target of others’ violence. They will still be exposed to violence, but with the additional leason that being bigger means it is right to hurt others. This, in turn, leads them to abuse anyone smaller. Anyone who thinks that you can fight violence with kindness hasn’t really seen violence. They have probably seen pettiness and thought it was violence.

    Violence has it’s place in our society, as it has had it’s place in every other society since the dawn of time. The key is to fight violence with inteligence. In movies this usually has the smart kid pulling embarrasing pranks on the bigger kids. In real life, you are lucky if that only leads to some broken ribs. To really fight violence with inteligence means the propper mix of violence, talking, and face saving.You let them know you don’t want to be messed with. You have to demonstrate that you are capable of doing worse in retaliation (you actually HAVE to be able to do worse). You have to also not humiliate the other person, or they will have to retaliate. Let them know that you aren’t trying to change their social standing, you just want to be left out of it. Explain you have your own problems, and that you would rather not have any more if you can help it.

    After a talk like that (and a small butt kicking) I’ve actually had one bully telling another bully to lay off me, I was cool.

  27. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 2 ) says:

    I need to place my voice out here. I was bullied in school and know full well the apathy of the faculty. Growing up the only way that the faculty would get involved in bullying was when the bullied would fight the bully back. The problem was that both the bully and the bullied were treated just the same and both punished the same. There was no extra punishment for the bully for all the time they spent bullying without being opposed.

    The biggest problem is that teachers and other faculty members let the school kids develop their own pecking order. That is not how it should be. The teachers should be at the top of the food chain. They should be the most respected people in the school not the bullies.

    Unfortunately, their hands are tied in most cases. They cannot trully punish bullies without fear of lawsuits and other crap from the parents of the bully. After all the bully is just being sociable. Not. They also fear that by suspending or expelling the bully, they will lose sports games as the bully is most likely a member of the team, at least in my experience.

    I usually tried to avoid the bullies. Sometimes it was easy and other times not so much. It is really bad when they want a fight. They will block your path. They will egg you into a fight. They want a reason to hit you, kick you etc. They will do anything to make you throw that first punch. If you don’t throw the first punch after the verbal abuse, they will resort to physical means. They will grab you. They will push you. They will take you stuff. Anything to get you to throw that first punch. Boy is it hard not to throw it. If by some means you retain your composure and avoid throwing the first punch after all this, then they start wiling on you anyway.

    There should be more order in school. There should be rules placed and enforced by the faculty. Unfortunately no one cares.

    Unfortunately, even if the schools did more about bullying, they only have athority on campas. Once you and the bully are off school grounds, the faculty can’t do anything about it.

  28. 0
    lumi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Thomas:

    I don’t claim bullying is the only reason; you’re quite right in that we’d have school shootings every single day if that were the case. And it’s also correct that it takes a seriously disturbed individual to perpetrate those causes in the first place.

    But it also takes outside stimuli to push them to the point of breaking, and I am absolutely saying that bullying is at the top of that list of outside stimuli.

    There’s a HUGE grey area between “omg this child has been sheltered all his life and now he doesn’t know how to socialize or interact with the real world” and “eh, bullying is a part of life, we don’t need to do anything about it”.

  29. 0
    kurisu7885 says:

    @Mark of Cain

    More like won’t do anything.

    @Condemned 2 Maniac

    For all we know, JT was a school bully.

    And when did photographing students naked become possible? I played the game form beginning to end. I don’t remember this.

    Must be like how some imagined that there would be hidden AK47s in game.

  30. 0
    Thomas ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I was bullied ALOT at school, many other people were, I did not shoot up my school and yet most of the reports of what I have heard happening to those who shot up schools applied to me as well.

    Infact, as a gamer, a roleplayer, the son of a manic depressive mother and a working class father who simply did not understand why I would want anything more in life than doing the same menial labour he always had, who was bullied at school constantly for my entire time there, I was something the poster child for people who were expected to be dangerous in that way.

    Difference is, I grew up in England.. where I couldn’t walk into a Walmart and buy a gun. My parents were also caring and supportive, in their fashion, and the society around me did not raise me under the misguided impression that life is always going to be fair to me while simultaneously showing me through actions that it blatantly was not true.

    School shootings are not just caused by one thing, be it bullying, media input, or what have you.. they are the product of disturbed individuals’ reaction to society as it is today, when given the tools to take action that many people may consider, briefly, in the privacy of their own thoughts.. and being disturbed enough to actually take it.

    I’m not going to deny that it may have been part of the trigger, what I WILL say is that, like video games, it was not the cause purely in and off itself.. and most importantly, that for a vast majority of people, and in a vast majority of situations, while unpleasant, it is nowhere near as bad or life scaring as people like to make out. In many cases it would actually be LESS damaging if adults did not get so worked up about it, if they did not view childhood as some magical time where everything is meant to be good and pure and sweet and happy.

    Part of growing up, and becoming a productive human being (which is the only purpose of childhood and teenage years), is learning about social pecking orders and, at the end of the day, the fact that life isn’t always fair. It is about learning to deal with hat person who treats you bad because they don’t like your face.

    I can tell you now, I certainly deal better with it than someone who is constantly being told to run to mommy and how unfair it is and how they are bad people, that I should cry and that acting in a socially unusual way will be accepted by everyone, that anyone who doesn’t accept it is strange and wrong.. people are just people, if you behave strangely you will have to deal with people who dont like it, and sometimes you need to deal with people who jut don’t like you without reacting so emotional to it.

  31. 0
    Howell2751 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I guess you could say that bullying is our way of the heirarchy, but it seems that it is based on whats mainstream and what isn’t. Kinda funny that usually it takes fighting back (and winning) to get respect out of the bullies. Like the predator vs prey relation, predators hunt for the weak, humans are no exception to this rule. Cept we don’t kill and hit the prey (i hope not anyway)

  32. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Where were those experts?


    “Other students said Coon was a “Goth” who usually wore black clothes and a trench coat and strapped an empty gun belt to his leg. He was an atheist and a devoted follower of Goth rocker Marilyn Manson.

    A schoolmate said Coon had been beaten up Monday after saying “F— God” during an argument.”

    “Eventually he was released to home detention and enrolled in SuccessTech, a small magnet school for gifted and troubled students where Coon frequently clashed with teachers and other students.

    “I ain’t justifying nothing,” a friend told CNN affiliate WOIO. “I ain’t saying he did the right thing, but I am saying he got pushed for a long time and asked them people to help, help, help, help, but nobody helped.””

    Where were those experts?


    “It was reported that King was shot because he was openly gay and sometimes dressed in a “feminine” manner. “

    Where were those experts?


    “During the public meeting, William Scherfel, a former township supervisor who was elected to the school board on a promise not to build any new schools, made repeated references to the gay/straight alliance as a “sex club,” employing a bit of common right-wing spin. After a couple of school board members pointed out that his characterization of the club was inaccurate, Scherfel replied, “Ok, the faggots.””

    And many more.

    But, no, according to those experts, it’s the fault of a video game with a fictional storyline.

    NW2K Software

  33. 0
    lumi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Thomas

    If you’re going to deny that bullying isn’t the #1 source of school shootings, which alone is justification for doing everything we can to properly mitigate it in our schools, then I don’t think you have a place having an intelligent discussion on the matter.

  34. 0
    JustChris says:

    “I have a feeling what _really_ pisses people off about this game is it encourages omegas fighting back, which is something american socicaty (and esp the educational system) tends to be very against.”

    Umm, what? This sounds very un-Capitalistic if you take it in certain contexts. So how is it American where the “little guys” can’t chase their dream of one day being like the “big guys”?

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

    QUICK HERD OVER IN THIS DIRECTION!!! now the rockstar has the mindless herd following it around, would they be so kind as to lead them off a cliff?

  36. 0
    Thomas ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I don’t really know what irritates me more about this whole situation, the fact that people have no clue what Bully is about (lets face it, its called “Bully”, they are infact making assumptions that are fair considering that), or the constant attitude that being bullied somehow scars people for life and needs to be stamped out aggressively by adults.

    Like many gamers of my generation, I was bullied as a child, rather badly actually… and when I was, and my parents found out, they did not go down to the school and demand retribution.. they didn’t let me hide at home.. they pushed me out the door every single day. When I discussed being bullied with my father, the message was simple… sometimes, as a kid, other kids say and do hurtful things, they do so as an adult as well, you have to learn to ignore it. That, or hurt them back, since when you are a child is the only time you can get away with that.

    Being bullied, frankly, is part of growing up for anyone who is going to live their life as anything that main stream society considers “strange”. As gaming becomes main stream, gamers will be less of a target.. but there will still be those who are. It only scars people for life if truly terrible actions are taken, far beyond being called names, the odd punch or kick or having your head flushed, or.. and this is the far more common one.. everyone fusses over you and tells you how terrible it must be.

    For those about to rail against what I am saying and call me out as unfeeling or not understanding.. take a close look at almost any social, pack, creature in the natural world… wolves, lions, monkies… their young, as they grow up, fight and pick on one another, establishing a pecking order and teaching each other the basics idea that life isn’t fair… Bullying, is our version of that.

  37. 0
    Neeneko says:

    @Ian Cooper

    Sweep under the rug?

    Teachers, administrators, and parents have an interest in allowing bullying to continue. Sure they want to maintain an appearance of being against it but when it comes down to it bullying is a part of the social system that keeps all three happy and they generally don’t want it disrupted.

  38. 0
    Ian Cooper ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    You know what single thing contributes most to “encouraging kids to target other kids, to be a bully with other kids”? Teachers!

    Yes, that’s right – the dirty secret of the education system is that bullying is engendered, not by video games, but by teachers not paying enough attention to the social situation the kids are in while they’re in school. The game Bully does a lot to point out a problem that has existed in school literally for centuries, and it’s a problem that will not get solved by teachers banding together to sweep the issue under the rug.

    It’s about time that the blame for the poor environment that promotes bullying was placed where it really belongs – on the teachers who let bullying happen on their watch.

  39. 0
    Soroki says:


    Nonsense! Everyone know bullying comes from games. You can also download guns from the internet and use them to shoot people.

    Lol, just kidding. The gun thing is directed at JTs pathetic attempts to blame CS for shootings. “I just downloaded this Glock from the internet, let’s go shoot up a school or two, because CS taught me how!”

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

    Thanks Ichi.

    Personally, I wasn’t shocked by Prof. Hoechsmann’s rants against Army of Two and the game industry’s lack of originality, even though I didn’t totally agree. And I was sad to see how much he was bashed. To me, it was unfair and misguided. We should accept game critics, even though we disagree with them as long as they come from honest people.

  41. 0
    evilrockstu says:

    My wife watched me play through a large chunk of the PS2 version.

    She could not for the life of her understand what all the controversy was about, she just could not believe there are people in the world who would put so much time into condemning it. It actually made her despair that there are so many people in the world who are so vocal, but so very, very stupid.

    For the record, she is a teacher, and a damned good one at that.

  42. 0
    Taylor says:

    I bought this game as well and what bianca says is true
    this game is the exact opposite of what all the big political idiots are saying it is. its not glorifying bullying in school it is actually about a person who is trying to stop the bullying by showing the real bullies how it feels to be bullied for once. i salute rockstar for this despite games like GTA.

  43. 0
    Condemned 2 Maniac ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    These misinformed people are more then likely worried about the Wii version the most because they think that it will teach kids how to harm teachers and students.

    From my experience of letting out anger on video games I would have to say that the Wii version would be good for students acting like they are taking on a Bully with the motions rather than go shoot the school up.

    I think to myself would these people rather have mad students take their anger out on virtual bullies or do something big in real life.

    People like Jack Thompson are too ignorant to ever understand that.

  44. 0
    DeusPayne ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    500? Think about city public schools that have thousands upon thousands. Yeah, bullying and fights in school will always happen. And that’s ignoring the fact that this game DOESN’T promote bullying. But why would we expect an informed opinion from teachers, it’s not like they need to be role models to children or anything. /sarcasm

    Perhaps if they paid more attention to the kids and less attention on scapegoats, they’d actually be more aware of kids who are bullies and are being bullied in schools.

  45. 0
    Ichi says:

    Just so you guys know I am actually in the process of interviewing Michael Hoechsmann and I will have a post out soon, I am going to try to get it submitted online to sites like this.

  46. 0
    Matriculated says:

    They seem to be under the illusion that something can be be done to stop bullying.

    Of course you can stop individual cases but bullying as a whole isn’t going to go away. It’s part of life.

    If you put 500 people in building every day for several years do you really think there’s not going to be some kind of confrontation?

  47. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 2 ) says:

    @ Robert Gauss

    The biggest delusion of all is the assumption that business ethics are the same as human ethics. The goal of business is to make money. As long as it is legal to sell, it is ethical.

    Try reading consumerist.com and tell me that. You can make money legally and still have it be unethical.

    But as for this. I find it hilarious that the same guy who railed against Army of Two is supporting this game. But they are in two different ballparks.

    This is yet again a case of concerned people lacking any symblance of intelligence regarding what they are arguing against.

  48. 0
    Robert Gauss ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “We’re asking retailers to be responsible. Yes, they can sell it and make a buck out of this, but is this the kind of marketing that they want to be [doing], selling games that glorify violence?”

    The biggest delusion of all is the assumption that business ethics are the same as human ethics. The goal of business is to make money. As long as it is legal to sell, it is ethical. The responsibility of the buyer is to apply their own ethics to their purchases.

    While it is reasonable to ask parents not to buy the game if they find the content objectionable, it is unreasonable to require companies to do that for you. The biggest reason is that they will have to charge you more if they add this overhead to their marketing costs, just like the ESRB costs get added to the cost of a game.

  49. 0
    Waffles ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Someone needs to ask these people how they can prove that bullying has increased or has become more present since the PS2 version of the game was released MORE THAN A YEAR AGO, and if they can’t, they fail.

  50. 0
    some guy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Yes, they can sell it and make a buck out of this, but is this the kind of marketing that they want to be [doing], selling games that glorify violence?”

    Uh, yes?

  51. 0
    Glen Haupt says:

    People can have whatever opinion they want about Bully. It’s not my (or anyone else’s place) to try to shut them up. But don’t limit anyone’s ability to subject themselves to this so-called glorification of violence.

    I mean, come on. Have we forgotten that we live in the United States? I find it highly disturbing that I’ve had to bring this up twice in the last 2 stories, but it seems as if these people decided it’s okay to replace the provisions Constitution with their desire to impose their beliefs on everybody else.

  52. 0
    Bianca ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    We have a copy of this game. I watched my husband play it. Contrary to what these talking heads are saying, it’s not that extreme. Yes there is violence. However, it’s not against the weak, it’s against those who are doing the bullying. As the protagonist, you have to act within certain parameters or risk everything. You have curfews, responsibility to get to class; these classes unlock special skills. You run errands for the cafeteria lady. It’s not all gratuitous violence. It has a decent story. And of course, what these moronic people forget to mention is that when your character first arrives, you’re tormented so you’re rebelling against an unfair system.

  53. 0
    Mark of Cain says:

    People just don’t get it. Then again the teacher coalitions view on this shows one thing, they can’t do a damned thing about real world bullying.

  54. 0
    Condemned 2 Maniac ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ kurisu 7885

    I get what you are saying because Jack Thompson is a major lier.

    Just because there was the Hot Coffee mode in GTA San Andres out of all the other Rockstar games Jack tries to make it seem like Rockstar would add unlockable guns which is a bunch of nonsense.

    Since a few of you are talking about bullying I would like to say that I was abused by family and bullied by both students and some teachers that saw me as a soft target when I was a nervous loner and I to this day in my mid twenties have no criminal record and I play extremely violent games.
    I would have to say that violent video games have kept me out of trouble from attacking bad people. After playing a violent video game for a while I notice that I feel like alot of pressure is off of me and I do not have negative things going through my mind on what happened to me until a while later and then I would just pop in a violent video game like Halo 3 and have a good time letting out my anger with other people online.

    Jack Thompson needs to just shut up when it comes to people training on games because there is no evidence in any case other than a certain violent game was in someones house. Wow, a violent video game is in someones room just like millions of other rooms.

  55. 0
    Thomas ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    See, now you’re actually discussing it with me rather than insulting me, I appreciate that 😉

    I do agree that it must beat the top of the list of stimuli that trigger such things. However, I believe that the approach of many people in regards to children and childhood in general is fundamentally flawed.

    Childhood is not a magical fairy land where everything is sweet and innocent, nor is it meant to be. People constantly trying to protect their children from things are doing them no favors in life at all.

    Bullying, like falling over when you spin around in circles, or breaking your arm when you fall out of a tree that you were told not to climb but did anyway, is simply part of learning about life.

    Now, I’m not going to deny that if someone is getting seriously hurt, especially physically, something needs doing.. and yes, I know there is a grey area. However, society in general and especially schools are slipping FAR to far into “we must protect children from everything bad in life for as long as possible!”… especially if you consider that, at least in certain areas and societies, we are forcing young adults to be children far to long as it is.

  56. 0
    Neeneko says:

    @Ian Cooper

    Because the game does not in fact glorify bullying, but fighting back against abusive behavior. THAT is what they want sept under the rug.

    That and keeping up appearances. If teacher’s unions come out saying ‘this game is bad because it encourages bullying! stores shouldn’t sell it!’ then they keep up the image of being against bullying without risking anything.

  57. 0
    Ian Cooper ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I’d say that asking game stores not to sell Bully is an attempt to sweep the issue under the rug, yes. I mean how else would you characterize it?

  58. 0
    Neeneko says:


    Actually I have found that most of the time the teachers are well aware of the bullying and who the bullies are. Unfortunately they often choose, for a variety of reasons, to allow it to continue.

    Groups usually choose both alpha and omega members, and it is in a school’s best interst to keep the _group_ stable, which means letting the alphas (who often also have parents willing to kick up a storm if you punish them) be alphas and keeping the omegas as omegas (who’s parents rarely cause the school trouble).

    I have a feeling what _really_ pisses people off about this game is it encourages omegas fighting back, which is something american socicaty (and esp the educational system) tends to be very against. After all, how are we supposed to train our next generation of leaders if they don’t have worthless people to treat like explitive? I’ve often seen parents justify bully behavior has ‘well, it’s encouraging him to be dominant!’, and unforutnatly I’ve also seen attempts of omegas to even escape as ‘well, we need them socializing out there!’ which is code for ‘my little billy needs people to be better then! how dare they not make themselves available! it’s not like they are people, they don’t even have an SUV!’

  59. 0
    Skyler ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “If there was a peaceful schools committee at the Bullworth Academy, maybe Jimmy would have joined the committee.”
    Oh yes, talking through your problems will be a best-seller.

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