Pocket-lint reported yesterday that Rockstar Games has announced it will release its “Bully” video game in October.
Bullying Online, a charity set up to stop bullying, is now calling for “Bully” to be banned in the UK following the release of a screenshot that shows one boy kicking another.
The charity had already registered complaints about the game a year ago in the hopes that the game would not be released, according to Bullying Online director Liz Carnell.
“Bullying is not fun, and it’s not a suitable topic for a game”, said Carnell in a statement.
“Youngsters copy what they see on TV and in games. When wrestling was popular on TV we had numerous complaints about young children hurting others by copying the behaviour they had seen on the screen.”
However, according to those who have been treated by Rockstar to a preview, there’s no blood, bruising, or death; the game is played from the point of view of a boy who decides to stick up for himself after being bullied.
for the Rocky Mountain News, Brian D Crecente writes, “While Bully includes fighting, the heart of the game is an exploration of the complex social interactions at most high schools.”
He also says that random acts of violence by the character, or misbehaviour like skipping classes, is punished in the game.
Part of the reason that the game has garnered so much attention is that Rockstar Games also produces Grand Theft Auto, which is a violent and brutal game.
Critics immediately decried “Bully” as bringing up associations with the Columbine massacre, before they even knew what the game was about.