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October 18, 2006

Comments

The true detriment of the game will come if the player is rewarded for bullying behavior. If the player is rewarded for picking on the nerds, then he will in turn fall into the trap discussed by Miss Black. If however the player's score is adversely affected by bullying, then the player will pursue other paths. This unfortunately raises the issue of the game's success and whether such a moral building script will sell. Regardless, the popularity of this game may in fact be an opportunity to demonstrate to kids that bullying has a negative impact on their lives and of those around them.

Thank you for your comment. While I agree that determinations can not be fully made until all have seen the game, I disagree with the idea that it could be a way to deter children from bullying. Any game that shows a child hitting another child with a baseball bat (regardless of whether or not the bat breaks) is incapable of sending a positive, "no bullying" message in my opinion. If the company wanted to promote anti-bullying methods, Jimmy should walk away from a bully or think about the effects of his bullying on someone else. However, I doubt a game showing a boy contemplating his actions would be the "big seller" that I'm sure Rockstar games is looking for.

But don't we all need an outlet of some kind? Especially for all of those passive aggressives out there? A bully's going to be a bully regardless of the games he's exposed to. However, our hope lies in saving our passive aggressives. If we can provide them with a way to express their frustrations through such simulation-style modes as the Bully Game rather than forcing them to resort to physical violence, we will then be able to avoid superfluous bullying.

I say, give a bully the Bully Game, and you'll still have bully. But give a passive aggressive the Bully Game, and you'll prevent a bully.

Note to producers of Bully Game: do you plan on coming out with a 'Beat-a-Bully' game soon? Oh, and more thing... do you think you can create a game like this for the workplace? Thanks.

I loathe items like this on the market! But the bottom line is this: Ultimately, it is the parent who makes the final decision to purchase these items for their children. Not enough parents are taking a proactive stance against violence, whether it be in the school system, at home, or in these disgusting videos. As consumers, we all have an opportunity to stop such nonsense. DON'T BUY IT and they WON'T SELL IT! Wake up Parents! Wake up! In fact, it would seem that most parents aren't even paying attention to what their kids are doing these days.We are responsible for offering our children the best tools and values we can for them to become productive members of society, yet we sit back and allow this trash to hit the markets; and then we BUY it!!! Shame on us. We should be flooding the offices of our elected officials demanding legislation which prohibits the distribution of violent material, albeit in movies, videos, etc. I pity the children whose parents are so irresponsible; because anyone who purchases this type of material clearly lacks good judgement. How very, very sad.

Hi Aaron and thanks for your comment. While you make an interesting point about passive-aggressive kids needing an outlet, don't you think they would be better served doing something constructive such as joining an athletic team? Shouldn't we be focusing on getting our children away from the TV and out into the real world where they can experience life as it truly happens, not as some person at Rockstar Games thinks it happens?

Perhaps if we, as adults, spent more time and energy outside with our kids instead of "bullying" our co-workers we would all be happier people...and then we wouldn't need a Bully game for the workforce.

I agree with you Tammy that parents need to be more responsible for what their children see and watch on TV. Maybe if fewer parents buy the Bully game, fewer kids will be subjected to it. Thanks for your comments!

Kate, thank you for your thoughtful article on the Bully Game and the follow on comments. Our children deserve the opportunity to live and work in an environment that is supportive and free of any distraction that would prevent or restrict their full development. Please keep up your good work!

Thank you all for your great comments. I am pleased that my blog has created such a stir and I hope you read and comment on future blogs!

I recognize that bullying is a far-reaching problem and even an indicator of future criminal behavior.

But blaming a video game for children's behavior is like blaming rock and roll for unwanted pregnancy.

It's up to parents to take some responsibility for what activities their children engage in. Video games are an exercise in role-playing and it's parent's responsibility to make sure their children understand the division between the fantasy and reality.

This video game is rated for people 13 and up but parents should still determine if their children can cope with the content.

Hi Steve, and thanks for your comment. While I agree that it is definitely a parent's responsibility to monitor what their children are engaged in, I also feel that it is the responsibility of society as a whole to not promote behavior which could potentially harm children. I am not blaming Rockstar games for their video, merely suggesting that they could create a game where children are not being violent toward other children. Or, instead of making the rating on the game 13 years of age and older, have a higher rating so younger, more impressionable children may not be as exposed to the violence they portray.

Maybe you should get a few facts straight about Bully. The main character you play as is not a bully at all, the game doesn't teach children bullying because it is not a required option to progress in the game, and the storyline is about Jimmy trying to get all the cliques to get along because they're all pretty much deviants to begin with and yes so are the nerds. The player does use violence in the game as a means of defense or justice but if you're caught by adults, the police, or administrators you are sent to detention or jail where you'll have to do labor for your crimes in other words it's up to the players if they want to be bad or good. If there's anything in Bully that teaches kids how to handle their problems it's standing up against bullies. The world doesn't need anymore passive aggressive kids at school who resort to guns to deal with bullies. They need to learn how to stand up for themselves and if anyone else wants to bad mouth this game because of what they saw on the internet maybe you all should go out, buy it, play it, and stop complaining!

As a player of the game you have some interesting insights. Thank you for sharing these comments with us.

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