Bully Bashing Moves to Australia

April 17, 2008 -
The public outcry over the recent release of Rockstar's Bully: Scholarship Edition has largely been confined to Canada.

Until now.

The Syndey Morning Herald reports that Australian educators and parent groups are giving Bully a bit of a wedgie. Jane King, head of Parenting Australia, is a Bully critic:
It's scary, it's outrageous, it's gross. I do think the [game content] classification system needs to be reviewed. I would be very concerned if my 13-year-old son played a game like that. I think the message of solving violence with violence is extremely disturbing.

Jane Roberts, president of Young Media Australia, also voiced concerns:
I'm not sure about what the developers of this game don't get. We have had major efforts right across Australia in schools trying to get the message across that violence doesn't solve anything. For people who have been the victim of bullying, there is nothing entertaining about it.

Australian Education Union head Angelo Gavrielatos added:
What we are concerned about is the continuing production and development of such games that glorify violence and bullying. There's a point where the corporate world must take some responsibility to regulate these games. In a world where the issues of bullying and violence are a concern, the production of these games is not acceptable.

However, a spokesperson familiar with how Bully: Scholarship Edition was rated for the Australian market told the newspaper:
During the game the player is not encouraged to attack innocent bystanders or undertake acts of bullying and is not rewarded for doing so. The missions players undertake are generally about thwarting acts of bullying, exploitation or discrimination. If the player does bully another player out of context a punishment type bar increases and when full it causes the character to be apprehended by authority figures.

Comments

Why won't the Aussie government admit what the true problem facing the big island is: Zombie Crocodiles! They will eat your mum and rape your pie!

Australian government: I don't understand what John Steinbeck intended to do with "The Grapes of Wrath." His message that grapes are a violent race of fruit hellbent on destroying our Christian civilization in a reign of terror is sending the wrong message to Australian school children. The author ought to be ashamed of himself for spreading this violent fruit message, and I for one hope my 15-year-old son never reads it.

Critic: It's just the f*ng title, you twit. The book is about people.

Yeah...I am burnt out on this retarded controversy...

In the immortal words of Stephen Colbert on the Obama pastor story, "Why won't that story die?"

>There’s a point where the corporate world must take some responsibility to regulate these games.

Perhaps some sort of age-based labelling system, maybe? Oh, wait.

Hooray for the spokesperson - SHUT DOWN all of those critics who haven't actually played the game

[...] wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptThe public outcry over the recent release of Rockstar’s Bully: Scholarship Edition has largely been confined to Canada. Until now. The Syndey Morning Herald reports that Australian educators and parent groups are giving Bully a bit of a wedgie. Jane King, head of Parenting Australia, is a Bully critic: It’s scary, it’s outrageous, it’s gross. I do think the [game content] classification system needs to be reviewed. I would be very concerned if my 13-year-old son played a game like that. I think the message of solving violence with violence is extremely disturbing. [...]

I agree, no one seems to ever play these games, but will condem them quicker than, well anything I have ever seen. Until you actually play the damn game, then I think everyone who crtizes it should shut the heck up.

exactly.

play the thing.

You might even (gasp) enjoy it like I have!!!

"It’s scary, it’s outrageous, it’s gross. I do think the [game content] classification system needs to be reviewed. I would be very concerned if my 13-year-old son played a game like that. I think the message of solving violence with violence is extremely disturbing."

yes, because we know on the world stage everyone gets their issues solved without violence. just look at afghanistan or iraq.


lets face it. ignorance is bliss.

"For people who have been the victim of bullying, there is nothing entertaining about it."

I was physicly assulted by my classmates repeatedly while I was at primary school.

I loved this game.

Nough said...

"I would be very concerned if my 13-year-old son played a game like that." Well, there was this idea once of... "parenting". This whole "parenting" thing was all about making sure you have a generally good idea of what your child was up to and regulating behaviors you didn't approve of. Crazy, I know, but it's just a thought.
/sarcasm
It's like they really want parents to believe that there is no reason to be responsible for anything and that the government will raise their children for them.

In a world where the issues of bullying and violence are a concern, the production of these games is not acceptable.

I'm sorry, but who the FUCK are you to dictate what games are and are not acceptable? Are you going to go on to dictate which movies, which paintings, which sculptures, which songs are acceptable?

That is one of the most infuriating statements of ignorance I've seen in a long time. Someone get that ignorant bitch off the stage, please.

I agree that we don't want to promote solving violence with violence...but Bully doesn't do that.

This guy is clearly living in some fantasy land where everyone solves their differences by holding hands and singing Kumbaya.

News flash..some people won't take no for an answer and in a world where teachers won't break up a fight because they'll be sued you can be when I have kids they're gonna be able to defend themselves. If someone hits you, sure try to back out of it, but if you can't...well make sure your punch doesn't miss.

When I was in elementary school (about 10 years ago) if you report a bully, the teachers would ask "where is the proof, I didn't see it", but if a student reports that you said the word 'ass', the principal is all over you, and won't believe a word you say.

The school system is very messed up about bulling, especially in elementary. I talked to my friend's mom about this issue, and she is a VP of a school. She said that elementary schools are all inconsistent, and just makes their job hard for new students to get use to high school. They have to handle each individual to make sure they are fitting in.

When schools care about bulling more then swear words the would only offend people who still live in the 18th century, then they have somewhat a point.

"I think the message of solving violence with violence is extremely disturbing."

Wow..Hey! if thats true then what are wars?

"We have had major efforts right across Australia in schools trying to get the message across that violence doesn’t solve anything."

You study wars in schools? We, over here like to watch stuff about WWII on The History Channel.

Bottom line: Banning a game will not decreasae bullying in schools, than having the game there. You ban it and they'll get it from somewhere else. Look at what having a watered down copy if GTAIV is doing, If you hadn't put in a rating for the demographic of ADULTS of which the majority plays and it keeps a person from getting a game that person wants, he or she will go somewhere ELSE.

It will be interesting to see how the whole GTAIV thing will go over there. :P

- Warren Lewis

I wish people would play the goddamn game before spouting their crap off.
I personally havent bought or played Bully yet, it's one of my 'reserved for Summer' titles for when Ive completely finished with GTA4.

The fact that the PS2 version of 'Bully' has been out for OVER A YEAR really makes me think, "At least ONE of these critics should have played the damn game by now."

isn't every game solving violence with violence.


actually.. don't we solve violence with violence in real life too?

"I think the message of solving violence with violence is extremely disturbing."

Curl up into a ball, hope to survive or escape without terrible injuries, then go to the relevant authority. You are not to, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, protect yourself or others unless previously and explicitly given permission by the Ministry of Love in the form of a law enforcement designation.

"I would be very concerned if my 13-year-old son played a game like that."

I would be very concerned if a parent seemed to imply they have no control of their children.

"I’m not sure about what the developers of this game don’t get."

Negative reinforcement. We have a self regulating market.

"We have had major efforts right across Australia in schools trying to get the message across that violence doesn’t solve anything."

Refer to response #1.

"For people who have been the victim of bullying, there is nothing entertaining about it."

Where are these children? If they exist, lets get some feedback from them.

"What we are concerned about is the continuing production and development of such games that glorify violence and bullying."

Which this game is not an example of, but continue...

"There’s a point where the corporate world must take some responsibility to regulate these games."

They do. They have a responsibility to shareholders and investors which they honor by producing games that the market has a demand for. They regulate the content to closely adhere to the target demographics assumed desire.

"In a world where the issues of bullying and violence are a concern, the production of these games is not acceptable."

You #$%@ing clown. Tyrants and 'bullies' only have the power we allow them to have. Once you stand up, they cannot operate in the same capacity. Fear IS their trump card.

I still cannot wrap my head around how it is possible to be offended by a game (or book, or picture, or musical piece for that matter) that you havent seen.

At least this acticle has some balance to it.

Unlike most Australian news papers when it comes to Videogaming...


I have been thinking of writing an opinion letter to my own advertiser when it comes to Community attitudes and Videogaming.

But I am not sure how to start it.

Letter's to the edditor of my local paper has to be limited to 300 pages so if I take some note from some people and what is being said, then perhaps that will help me in trying to say something that is based on wisdom and not something based on ignorance

“For people who have been the victim of bullying, there is nothing entertaining about it.”

I was bullied for over half my school career, partly for being a gamer[back in the day when only nerds did it] and getting the payback I was more or less denied by this ?zero tolerance"crap was actually pretty gratifying.

It’s scary, it’s outrageous, it’s gross. I do think the [game content] classification system needs to be reviewed. I would be very concerned if my 13-year-old son played a game like that. I think the message of solving violence with violence is extremely disturbing."

Yeah, it does need to be reviewed, reviewed and given the 18+ rating that the Australian rating that gamers over there deserve.

The game does not glorify violence or bullying, you don't even take the role of a bully, the australian rating system does need to be fixed, and sometimes violence really is the best way to stop bullying. DONE.

"I think the message of solving violence with violence is extremely disturbing."

Wholey shit, someone actually played the game, or took two minutes to learn that the main character isn't a Bully.

But in other words, standing up for yourself is wrong. Be a doormat, Johnny.

[i]I would be very concerned if my 13-year-old son played a game like that.[/i]

Then don't let your kid play it. The thing is, it's rated "T" here. In Australia, they are justified to give it the.. what was it? 15+ rating? Telling someone that they are not [b]allowed to create[/b] is the start of destroying the muse industry.

I blame Jack Thompson.

Actually, what really hilarious is that when the was being sold as "Canis Canem Edit" it never raised an eyebrow. Now it's being sold under the name of "Bully" and everyone is up in arms. *sigh*

Yes, as an Australian this is very frustating to hear this scare-mongering from heads of corporations who obviously have spent no time playing the actual game. Typical.

Also, can Game Politics.com take it upon themselves to spell 'Sydney Morning Herald' correctly?

Take Two is totally safe here because not once have they claimed that their games are educational and should be taken as what you should carry out in the real world, etc. etc.

Remember the three types of information: entertainment, informational, and persuasive. A lot of media venues claim to be one thing, but are often seen as a mix of two or more things by the general public.

"I think the message of solving violence with violence is extremely disturbing."

A LOT of Americans weould like to speak with you Aussies. Hell, solving violence with violence is PRETECED BY LAWS.

I can't imagine a world w/o self defense.

The above message is what happens without sleep.

Or foresight.

oh my god children see the world as violent and un-forgiving... we have to teach them the truth.. well... our version of the truth... until they grow up... then tell them we lied...

Seriously though why does everyone freak out against a game that teaches that bullying is wrong!??!!? what part of this do people see as a bad message...

P.S. I remember having been the target of 3 bullies the first bothered me for months until I fought him, I was a little kid compared to him but I think I did alright and he transfered to another class or school after that. The second made fun of me for a while which I ignored but when he finally assaulted me, I gave him a beat down and he left me alone. Then I moved to US and a while later was found by another bully, he only bothered me a few times and since I didn't want to fight him in school(and didn't), it escalated(he spit in my face) then when I was walking home he jumped me, and I gave him a beating his broken teeth will always make him remember... 3 bullies, 1 fight for each and no bullying after that... so fighting back has worked every time, after just one display of my ability to defend my self...

Teaching kids to duck and cover when bullies come is about as intelligent as teaching it as a means of surviving a nuclear blast... well, less since they are actually likely to encounter a bully...

Heh, I was bullied to shit at school, mostly because I didn't think violence was the answer and wouldn't stand up for myself.

Epic, epic failure on my part.

If ever I have kids (god forbid) I'd tell them that a quickly popping a bully in the mouth and then getting sent home for the rest of the day is the easiest, most reliable way to prevent further bullying. FACT.

I think it's a huge conspiracy--teachers and government officials fight to keep kids from getting their hands on a game that lets kids defend themselves and those weaker than themselves from bullies because if the bullies aren't distracting the smart kids, they'll figure out how horrible their teachers and political leaders are.

O, I don't believe the conspiracy part, I'm sure it's just willful ignorance and/or stupidity.

@shady

Uh, you do know that ducking and covering won't help you worth squat during a nuclear blast, right? Unless you're entrenched somewhere with quite a bit of protective layers, nowhere near the blast, and outside of the range of EMP and radiation problems (radiation spreads after the blast); ducking an covering might save your eyesight and reproductive capability if you do it in advance, but if you're close enough, the blast will still kill you, and if you're not quite that close, everything else will (or seriously screw up the remainder of your abbreviated life).

Just saw this on Slashdot..

"The Australian government is pushing a bill to force all telecommunications providers to facilitate lawful data interception across fixed and mobile telephone systems, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Instant Messaging (IM) and chat room discussions. Sweeping reforms will make it easier than ever for law enforcement to intercept communications if amendments to the Telecommunications (Interceptions) Act are agreed upon by a Senate standing committee. This follows from a story earlier this week where the Australian government is legislating to allow employers to snoop on employees' email and IM conversations."

1984.. GG. Too bad you all outlawed your firearms. I imagine you might be regretting that fairly soon...

this is just plain ignorance, no one has to right to make a publicised statement about a game or anything material for that matter without directly experiencing it first.

I wonder where these concerned citizens where when Bully was first released, I don't recall any controversy back when video games weren't political.
 
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