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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