Journalist: Teacher Group’s Bully Bashing Deserves an F

Steve Tilley, who covers games and gadgets for Canada’s Sun newspapers, writes that he is disheartened by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation targeting of Bully: Scholarship Edition.

Steve, we feel your pain.

As reported by GamePolitics earlier this week, the teachers’ group called for retailers to be responsible – whatever that means. Usually it means following the rating guidelines, and Bully: Scholarship Edition is rated T, suitable for those 13 and older. Said Tilley:

What’s really unfortunate is seeing the people responsible for teaching the importance of critical thinking to this country’s kids making attacks on something they clearly haven’t taken the time to fully experience or understand.

Tilley took issue with Emily Noble, president of the CTF, who said, “This is a game that glorifies bullying and glorifies violence and we’re saying that is not the way to do it.”

I’d certainly agree with Ms. Noble that glorifying violence and bullying is a bad thing. Thing is, Bully, in fact, does neither… Doing well in your classes is essential for getting ahead in Bully…

The game doesn’t glorify the serious issue of bullying in schools any more than the movie Heat endorses bank robbery or Star Wars encourages civil insurrection…

Just because a piece of entertainment is about a thing doesn’t mean it condones that thing. Why does this even need to be said, especially to teachers of all people? And why do we give kids so little credit for being able to distinguish between fiction from reality?

For that matter, why do video game opponents get away with calling for bans on games they’ve never played? Why do we not treat them with the same scorn aimed at people who try to ban books they’ve never read?…

One can sense Tilley’s righteous indignation in the Sun piece. He really gets on a roll, making excellent points which are too numerous to list here. It’s definitely worth a full read.

REAL Bully problems: We note reports of freezing and frame rate problems in the Xbox 360 version of Bully: Scholarship Edition. In fact, GP’s own copy locked up on an early mission to hack a bully’s combination lock. Rockstar is said to be “horrified” by the tech issues and working on a fix.

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  1. 0
    MacBoy says:

    This is ironic, because my copy of Bully works perfectly and I was one of those mysterious players whose Halo 3 didn’t work on their system. Quite nice to be on the other side for a change.

    P.S. – Teachers were educated to TEACH, not to give out opinions on video games and popular culture. So, GET BACK IN THE CLASSROOM!

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

    @ SeanB

    Well, this IS a little worse, since the Golden Compass (the book; haven’t seen the movie, but it’s based on, so assuming here) actually DOES poke at religion quite disdainfully and evidently, so much that some would say it “preaches” against religion in general. That being religion, the institution, primarily. Nice real-world irony there, though, with the pastor telling his flock what to think about a subject matter ostracizing religions for telling people what to think (or not to think at all).

    But this is categorically worse. This is people who are supposed to teach us critical thinking and enable us to examine reality in a manner that lets us come up with our own conclusions telling us not to play a game because they’ve assumed, based on the title and hearsay, that it must glorify bullying. This is teachers crying “she’s a witch! Burn her!” and book-burning and chest-thumping instead of doing the minimal amount of research constituted by following the links in a Google search.

    I have to admit, though, I like the irony of this more. The people who are supposed to teach us critical thinking are giving in to reasonless instincts of bleating and burning ideoclastic principles that the very “classic literature” one would assume they’ve at least glossed over (or read the Sparks Notes) decries and warns against. Such blatant and ignorant (not to mention, very public) hypocrisy just enhances the amusement factor.

  3. 0
    Shaesyco ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Jonnyboy

    Lets be honest proof is necessary to make a claim. As long as you are trusted people will believe you regardless of the truth.

  4. 0
    Jonnyboy says:

    Man, this man makes a great point… And it always makes sence… critics never even play the game or understand it. They just make stupid assumptions without even watching anyone play the game through. Its being completely biased.. They can barely support themselfs with proper evidence.. Whenever they make stupid claims like that lady did, they just can not justify their statement well enough for it to hold its own water without being quickly disproved.

  5. 0
    SeanB says:

    “For that matter, why do video game opponents get away with calling for bans on games they’ve never played? “

    My mother in law (a very religious type) recently refused to watch “The Golden Compass” with us. She said that her priest had asked the congregation not to watch it. Now, asside from the fact that this is EXACTLY the message the movie states, I found it almost insulting that someone who hadn’t watched the movie, would tell others not to watch the movie, because he’d “heard” that it was bad for religion.

    This is the same thing, almost to the letter.

  6. 0
    mogbert ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    No bugs in the Wii version, right?

    Anyway, keep in mind that the vocal component of a group isn’t always the majority. I don’t think all teachers would trash the game without playing it. Just ones like english teachers and most history teachers. Science teachers will play it first, as well as most math teachers. Art teachs won’t care one way or another, and physed teachers don’t play games.

    I grew up in the school system, and teachers are all pretty different, but gravitate to certain fields. I’ve known pretty cool english teachers that might play it (but he was married to a science teacher, so he is liek a english teacher v2.0, Hi Mr and Mrs Bell!)

    So just because some stupid teachers got the mic, don’t hate on all teachers.

  7. 0
    Laughing Man says:

    That’s a relief. I thought my disc drive was about to croak. I had several lockups and read errors playing.

    The QA guys are your friends.

  8. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Glad I didn’t buy it yet, with all the problems.

    Hopefully, by the time I can put it on my list of things I can buy, it’ll be fixed with an update or something. But, yeah, I DO want it.

    NW2K Software

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

    Wierd…Steve Tilley’s writings usually get circulated among other papers, this morning all I got in my local paper was a round-up of future console games. I would’ve much rather read this article over my breakfast.

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

    Props to Mr. Tilley… A teacher group that must call attention away to their poor teaching skills! Oh wait, I never experienced their teaching methods, so how do I know how they teach? Isn’t that hypocrisy? Probably not, since they surely aren’t spending it teaching kids anything, but rather doing something out of their job description by calling attention to an imaginary horror. I think teachers are supposed to teach kids to not judge a book by its cover, not commit the act.

    As for Bully problems, its seems to be a hit or miss thing. I’d say a batch of games weren’t pressed properly by a bad image or a lag during the writing process. It’d be a major problem if this has happened because it means GTA4 may have similar problems… I hope the problem is fixed since it’d be a PR disaster, and their company is basically riding on GTA4’s release…

  11. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 2 ) says:

    @ Xen

    This guy is a games journalist. Of course he is going to be a critical thinker.

    I would like to say that I think that these adults who claim that kids and teenagers can’t tell the difference between fantasy and reality are themselves forgetting what it was like to be a kid.

    My son who is just two months shy of four years old knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He has a great imagination, but I don’t think he really believes he is a dog. After all, he turns back into a boy when it is time to eat dinner.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  12. 0
    Christian Astrup ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Steve, i applaud thee.

    Its really depressing that a Teacher Group sinks to this level, and it hardly bodes well for the mentality that is being passed on to the younger generation.

    “The game doesn’t glorify the serious issue of bullying in schools any more than the movie Heat endorses bank robbery or Star Wars encourages civil insurrection…”

    Brilliant passage, right there.

  13. 0
    jonc2006 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “And why do we give kids so little credit for being able to distinguish between fiction from reality?”

    to people like that, the only reality that exists for us is the fantasy. they feel that to us, their is no distinction. the fantasy IS the reality. which is downright stupid and defys any sort of logic because thats basically saying we are a bunch of mimes with no individual though whatsoever and we imitate everything presented to us even if we dont understand it.

  14. 0
    Jonnyboy says:


    I Guess you are right about that.. It would be better though if they actreally had some good points that could not just be knocked off as pointing the blame at something else. Being biased makes someone seem uneducated… if you could at least address the otherside, it would at least look better…

  15. 0
    Shih Tzu says:

    Yay! Real journalism! Was this printed in a newspaper, though, or only published on Tilley’s blog? I’d imagine that the readership of his apparently game/tech-themed blog is mostly the game-literate minority.

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