Teachers call on parents to boycott BULLY videogame

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Teachers call on parents to boycott BULLY videogame



[url=http://www.bctf.ca/NewsReleases.aspx?id=15256]Teachers call on parents to boycott BULLY videogame[/url]


The British Columbia Teachers’ Federation, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, and teachers from throughout the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and North America are calling on parents to boycott the mean-spirited and harmful video game: Bully–Scholarship Edition to be released on March 4, 2008. The producer of the video is the Vancouver-based Rockstar.

“Instead of ridding the schoolyard of bullies as the promotional materials claim, this video trivializes vicious bullying,” says Irene Lanzinger, president of the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation. “It stereotypes female students as either sex-pot cheerleaders or overweight losers.”

In both the 2006 version of Bully and the Bully: Scholarship Edition, the American Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), a non-regulated industry rating group, commented that the Bully video game depicted scenes of violence, crude language, sexual themes, use of tobacco and alcohol, and crude humour. The 2008 version also warned parents that the game shows “animated blood.”

“With bullying and school violence high on the agenda of public concerns, teachers and parents increasingly question the impact of violent interactive media on children’s growing minds and bodies,” says Emily Noble, president of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation. “The proliferation of cyberbullying via cell phones, the Internet, and blogs, means that victims can now be bullied anywhere with devastating consequences for the victims.”

Gay Activist

Great. Another instruction manual for homophobes.


There's something wrong with our youth? Quick, blame popular culture!

Le T Le T's picture

I call on students to boycott teachers.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

My daughter has been the brunt of playground bullying this year, and I hate that there are video games that give the stamp of approval to that kind of behaviour. It's hard enough to have to teach your child how to manage being bullied, that it has nothing to do with her worth and value and to find ways to discourage the would-be bullies without having them practice at home.

[ 17 March 2008: Message edited by: Timebandit ]

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

I remember a tall, geeky, acne-scarred kid bullied unmercilessly until he committed suicide at my highschool in Oakville. Sadly, I don't remember his real name; only what everyone called him: Bubbles.

I remember admonishing a couple of friends for engaging in this 'school sport'; but I never had the nerve to befriend him, or to confront the 'jocks' who harassed him even more regularly.

Bullying is a very serious phenomenon, and shouldn't be the subject of a videogame. Its creators are very likely sociopaths who need help themselves.


That company has produced more offensive games than this one. But I don't believed Grand Theft Auto has induced any cop killings, either.

martin dufresne

GTA [b]has[/b] trivialized exploiting women in situations of prostitution:
[url=http://gamepolitics.livejournal.com/207127.html]Sex Workers Protest Grand Theft Auto[/url]

Le T Le T's picture

There are two people sitting on the bank of a river. All of a sudden they see a baby float past. One jumps in to rescue the kid. Just as they are safely to shore another baby, they save that one too. When the third baby floats by one of the friends starts to run away. "Where are you going?" shouts the other friend "We've got to save these babies or they'll drown!". The other friend turns and says, "You stay and grab the babies, I'm going up the river to stop whatever is throwing them in."


Nothing wrong with calling these games offensive, because they are. Immensely so. Running down pedestrians, shooting cops, engaging in ethnic gang wars, and GTA:San Andreas had a special sub-game that you could unlock with a software hack allowing interactive sex with prostitutes.

Sadly, the sex scene was the only one of those that would push the ESRB to give any one of those games an 'Adults Only' rating.

But I call BS on the whole [i]impact of violent interactive media on children's growing minds and bodies[/i] thing. This is the cover puritans use to work for mass censorship of games, music, films, and TV. It also provides shelter for parents and governments who don't want to deal with the [i]real[/i] causes of child-related social problems.

Try to find real empirical evidence of a causal link between violent video games and violent crime. There isn't any. Though we might find it interesting that the rise of violent video games in the 90s (starting from Wolfenstein 3D, then Doom, Quake, Duke Nukem, Unreal, etc etc) coincides with a major drop in violent crime rates in both the US and Canada.

I certainly never thought to blame Donkey Kong for the bullying I received as a child.



Originally posted by Proaxiom:
[b]Try to find real empirical evidence of a causal link between violent video games and violent crime. There isn't any.[/b]

I dunno. Something about Call of Duty-4(it's "Teen-rated") and shooting people in the head with a high-powered rifle and realism of the kill doesn't seem like a constructive or even useful way for kids to spend their time. For one thing, U.S. marines and SAS mercenaries aren't [i]really[/i] able to "spawn" back to life again once they've had their brains splattered all over a brick wall somewhere in the former Soviet Union.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

My objection to the bullying game is not so much the violence (although I don't like it), but the fact that the bully/victim dynamic is being promoted and reinforced by further practice. It's the game, and you learn to get better at the game. Don't they get enough practice in RL?

Le T Le T's picture

It's crazy that people think this game is going to help bullies get better or whatever. As Fidel points out there are some really fucked up video games out there and people have latched on to this one because it is seen as less political.

You really have no way of proving that the video game increases bullying at all. How are we to know that victims of bullying don't use as a form of coping or resistance? We don't because adults always make policy for youth based on their suspicions and very rarely see what young people are actually doing or how they think about issues.

Do you think that violent video games teach your kid to be a bully? Or is it maybe the incredibly violent society that s/he lives in?

Check it...

[url=http://www.pinkyshow.org/archives/episodes/060420/]Listen to the cats, cats.[/url]



My objection to the bullying game is not so much the violence (although I don't like it), but the fact that the bully/victim dynamic is being promoted and reinforced by further practice.

Hard to call what the target audience is for this video game... The darker humour and references made are really only going to be caught by people who are post-university (ok, perhaps post-highschool). My younger sister (in her 20's attending university) thought this was the funniest game she's ever seen.

I agree with the boycott for parents... But no more than parents should be watching the ratings for their children. Most that can be made is a case for a 17+ rating instead of a teen.

If anything, this public boycott is basically operating as free publicity for the game. I think a youth will be more likely to go try to play the game that someone told them not to ^^
Heh, atleast I would.


I think a boycott would be more effective if it was the students calling for it, not teachers. As Noise says, forbidden fruit is that much more tempting.