Please help me understand why Bully is such a bad game...

Okay I just saw this video of Protest on Bully by Rockstar.

I saw the trailer myself, and I really didn't find the game all that offensive... Am I just turning into a wacko of some sort?

Edit: Suppose it is the incarnate of the devil or something like that, we CAN still choose to not purchase it right?

I predict this thread will be moved to P&C.

The game is bad because it's (I believe) running on a barely modified GTA:SA engine and will probably be another repetitive bore-fest once the novelty wears off.

Morally? Because someone says so. From the trailer I saw it seemed to be more about fighting back against a bully filled school with no doubt lots of schoolboy humour in typical Rockstar fashion, but I think some have misinterpreted it as a game that encourages bullying. I think it'd help to actually see the game and what mechanics and morals lie behind it, rather than be reactionary and decry it as end-of-days as some have. It's more likely you are fine, the protestors are wackos or at least a little over-zealous.

Personally I really don't think it's a game that'll be particularly new or innovative, though I imagine it will be popular if only for the controversy it causes. I really think far too big a deal is being made out of it.

People get upset about kids. Remember the fallout 2 stuff they had to do to make sure that you couldn't kill children?

Bully is a game where I bet you get to beat up kids. Sure it is another kid but still people get upset about imagies of children being beaten.

If we allow Bully to hit the shelves, kids are going to imitate it and start picking on each other, something that is totally unprecedented throughout human history.

LobsterMobster wrote:
If we allow Bully to hit the shelves, kids are going to imitate it and start picking on each other, something that is totally unprecedented throughout human history.

Dry as the desert

I don't know if its a moral issue at all. I guess it just strikes a chord with the many adults(now) that were once bullied children. Its a horrible situation for a kid to be in, and happens enough as is.

I dont know anything about the game, havent really followed it, but if it does allow folks to roleplay a bully, portraying it as entertaining to bully weaker or different kids and maybe even empowering then I can understand the concern that kids may act out on it.

Personally, I'm ambivalent and not really interested in it one way or the other. It shouldnt be censored, just rated appropriately. I dont think violent video games are murder simulators either.. a few months past I even wrote the great time my 5 year old and I had as we cleared Halo1&2 in coop.. and a few discussions / lessons we shared along the way. (and no not, the kind where you stick a plasma grenade on your buddy and tell him to charge... I didnt even realize that trick till we had completed it and I posted about the fun we had)

Please help me understand why Bully is such a bad game...

Its not about the game, its about the protesting group finding a hot button that will get them into the wire-service bulletins and other headlines. This is about political capitol, not games, and certainly not about protecting children in any way. "Rockstar Games makers of the Grand Theft Auto series" "Hot Coffee" and "Bullying" are hot button issues that interest groups can exploit to work the soccer mom vote. I doubt many of these people have actually seen the games.

Oso wrote:
I doubt many of these people have actually seen the games.

Has anyone outside the NDA'ed press seen the game? Does anyone know what this game is really about?

Rockstar has continually said that Bully has more to do with getting good grades, getting the girl, and rising against the bullies of the school than with actually bullying kids yourself. Bully is about a down and out kid rising to the tops of the social ladder of school. Who wants to bet that if Bully was titled differently there would have been zero outcry against it?

The answer to the thread topic is that there is no answer. The people protesting the game have not seen it. They only know its title and Rockstar's track record (by which I mean GTA, not Table Tennis).

Kids...!? Why do people worry about the game... I would highly doubt that the game is going to get anything lower than M rating... so one would expect that kids would not be playing it. (Wishful thinking...!) However, this is not a Rockstar's problem if a kids manage to get their hands on the game. So what is the problem?

I always assumed that the arc of the game loosely resembled the events at Columbine (get picked on > get revenge) and that the continuity was making people fussy.

Of course, I know almost nothing about the game itself.

Nei wrote:
Kids...!? Why do people worry about the game... I would highly doubt that the game is going to get anything lower than M rating... so one would expect that kids would not be playing it. (Wishful thinking...!) However, this is not a Rockstar's problem if a kids manage to get their hands on the game. So what is the problem?

I thought the same thing about the rating and was surprised that Rockstar actually hopes the game will receive a Teen rating. Our assumptions about the rating demonstrate how little anyone knows about this game and how ludicrous it is to protest it so soon, if at all.

Bah, I was bullied as a kid by these two guys who were a year older than me who lived down the road. You know what? Who cares. We were kids, and that's what kids do; be assholes.

Irongut wrote:
I dont know anything about the game, havent really followed it, but...

vbl wrote:
Of course, I know almost nothing about the game itself.

And this is exactly the problem. I'm not picking on you guys at all, just pointing out that ALL of this supposed furor is based one a 2-3 sentence press release from a year or so ago, which thanks to idiots such as Jack Thompson, got blown way out of proportion. Most people don't have any idea what this game is or isn't, what you can do or can't do. I always find it the height of ridiculousness for people to try and ban something before they've even seen it, played it, listened to it, etc.

The newest issue of GAME INFORMER has a 10 page or so in-depth preview of the game, and I personally think it looks great and can't wait to play it.

The game has you playing a kid who's gotten into trouble in the past coming to a new school. To be successful, you have to attend class (different subjects give you in game benefits and skills), navigate the four "cliques" in the school, avoid the school prefects, get the girl, pull pranks, do some boxing in the ring, visit the nearby town, and interact with all the students in the school. The coolest thing about this game for ME is that Rockstar claims that each and every person in this game is a unique individual, with an individual personality and name and all--No GTA style random crowds.

I can see how the "idea" of a game set in a school, done by the GTA guys seems like a really bad idea... yet until it comes out, I don't think anyone has the actual authority to criticize the thing.

I'm actually looking forward to this game and I *hate* GTA. They seam to be putting in real consequences for a players actions. I might pick it up, based on reviews.

Maybe we should make people believe that Uwe Boll is part of Rockstar, so they will also demonstrate against all Uwe Boll movies even before they know what they are about.

If this game gets an "M" rating then they need to give River City Ransom an "M" rating.
*Edit* Oh wait I forgot RCR wasn't made by Rockstar. So no M rating.

Koning_Floris wrote:
Maybe we should make people believe that Uwe Boll is part of Rockstar, so they will also demonstrate against all Uwe Boll movies even before they know what they are about.

I think we're onto something here!

1Dgaf wrote:
I predict this thread will be moved to P&C.

Yup, and I think I'm going to give it a little push. Sorry guys.

The first interviewee is an idiot. Here's his reasons it should be banned, and my thoughts as I watched:

1) They're selling it online (not uncommon), and some kids have debit/credit cards.

You know what? If you think you're kid is so stupid as to be influenced to beat children after playing a video game, maybe he/she isn't responsible enough to have a debit card, which you had to sign for, because no bank/credit institution is going to hand out an account to a minor, without an adult cosigner. They're bad credit risks.

Not to mention, your kid buying it does not mean you can't take it away from them. It's the parents responsibility to raise a child, not a company that's just out to make money.

2) It hasn't been rated by the FCC.

OK, first off, software is out of the scope of the FCC's control. That's why we have the ESRB. At least if you're going to gripe about ratings, know who's rating them. Why trust a rating from a group you've never taken the time to research? Hell, for all this guy knows, they could be rating games Teen which he thinks are Mature.

Second, from the fact that you're protesting it's violence, and the message it's sending to children, what the hell do you think they're going to rate it? Everyone? Teen? And yes, I realize that kids who can buy it aren't going to care about the rating. It all comes back to that parental involvement thing again.

3) There's real world violence in the area that he lives.

Umm... the game hasn't been released yet. It's highly improbable that this game caused the violence he speaks about. And, again, if you feel your kid is so stupid that he/she would become more violent after playing a video game (and make an already bad problem worse), maybe you should get involved in his/her life (wow... that's becoming a broken record of sorts), and find another outlet than video games, which typically consist of killing things anyway. Maybe it's just that I grew up watching Tom&Jerry, and playing Doom and Quake, but a game about beating people up just doesn't seem that violent to me. In fact, it's a little benign compared to some of the FPS's out there.

[watches trailer]

OK... now that I've actually watched the trailer for the game (had heard a little about it, but hadn't actually seen anything).... is it just me or does a bunch of black people protesting a game, where one white kid gets his ass kicked in a high dollar, private, all white school, with no black people in it, seem a little ironic? If they were protesting racism, I'd have to agree... the trailer didn't even have a token black guy.

Besides that, even the things you might be able to consider violence, were extremely benign. A wedgie? Shooting a slingshot? Oh no... that's a hell of a lot worse than running around the depths of hell with nothing but your trusty shotgun, shooting anything that moves, like demons and whatnot. Please save us from "Bully"!

This is probably the weakest Rockstar game I've seen yet. If you really want to protest, go after GTA... yeah, it's been done, but having sex and then shooting the hooker to get your money back just seems a little worse than this entire game.

The "Hot Lead" code.

PurEvil wrote:

OK... now that I've actually watched the trailer for the game (had heard a little about it, but hadn't actually seen anything).... is it just me or does a bunch of black people protesting a game, where one white kid gets his ass kicked in a high dollar, private, all white school, with no black people in it, seem a little ironic? If they were protesting racism, I'd have to agree... the trailer didn't even have a token black guy.

There ARE students in the game of all races, from the pictures I saw in the GAME INFORMER article.

So now ill-informed morons of all races and creeds can protest a game before it's released and feel secure in doing so

Wow, PureE, I never gave that interview that much thought. Now that you pointed those things out, I found the protest even more out of place...

SommerMatt wrote:
PurEvil wrote:

OK... now that I've actually watched the trailer for the game (had heard a little about it, but hadn't actually seen anything).... is it just me or does a bunch of black people protesting a game, where one white kid gets his ass kicked in a high dollar, private, all white school, with no black people in it, seem a little ironic? If they were protesting racism, I'd have to agree... the trailer didn't even have a token black guy.

There ARE students in the game of all races, from the pictures I saw in the GAME INFORMER article.

So now ill-informed morons of all races and creeds can protest a game before it's released and feel secure in doing so

Oops, there were 3 black kids (or maybe just one in three shots... couldn't tell because they were the shortest clips of the trailer... chances are I blinked and missed them ).

I love how in all of Jack Thompson's interviews, articles, etc. he not once mentions that fact that game is rated "M" for mature. If he would take a minute to pull his head out of his a**, maybe he'd finally realize that game developers are not responisble for adult titles falling into the hands of underage gamers - period. Then, he could stop harassing Rockstar and maybe shine some of the "blamelight" on the parents who ignore ratings and other warnings and let little 7 year old Timmy play GTA.

SommerMatt wrote:
To be successful, you have to attend class (different subjects give you in game benefits and skills), navigate the four "cliques" in the school, avoid the school prefects, get the girl, pull pranks, do some boxing in the ring, visit the nearby town, and interact with all the students in the school.

Sounds a lot like those Japanese dating sims, except "get the girl" isn't the final goal and likely isn't anything more than going to a dance with her or the like.

For those that haven't read the Game Informer article, I'll second that you should look into it. Judging by what I could make of the article, activists are just trying to ban the game because a) it's ROCKSTAR and b) it's a school setting and has some violence. The game has 0 fire arms throughout the game, no blood, no death, no cursing, and the worst melee weapon is a bat which is destroyed after a couple swings. They are working on getting a Teen rating, and I think it could achieve it. Even with the mild sexual conotations that they're including.

Its amazing how much attention a wedgie game by Rockstar can get. I just spent several hours this weekend killing cops, innocent bystanders and opposing gang members (while cackling with dark glee) in the Saints Row demo which is available to anyone for free on the Live Marketplace and there's not a whisper of controversy about this game.

There are pretty impressive parental controls on the 360 that will prevent the game from being played, but most 'parents' probably have no idea. The word 'parent' should assume some level of responsibility goes with it. Its not just a biological association.

The thing that none of the ignorant protestors get is that the protest is only going to sell more copies of the games. 25 to Life was a terrible game that was universally bad in reviews. The manager of Eidos USA even said that the game likely would have been a flop were it not for the tons of free press it got from morons protesting it. That's why despite the fact that Bully is due out soon, Rockstar hasn't done much active marketing, certainly not the amount we'd see for most titles by this point. Why spend the money when the daily protests give you all the free press you could ever want? These people have now guaranteed Bully's success.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:
The thing that none of the ignorant protestors get is that the protest is only going to sell more copies of the games. 25 to Life was a terrible game that was universally bad in reviews. The manager of Eidos USA even said that the game likely would have been a flop were it not for the tons of free press it got from morons protesting it. That's why despite the fact that Bully is due out soon, Rockstar hasn't done much active marketing, certainly not the amount we'd see for most titles by this point. Why spend the money when the daily protests give you all the free press you could ever want? These people have now guaranteed Bully's success.

Good point Parallax. In a recent article (sorry I don't have the link), Jack Thompson demands that Rockstar present him and his cronies with a private copy of the game so they can play if for themselves and determine whether it's fit for the public. Here's a short clip from his recent interview of G4 where he debates the game with Adam Sessler and some other guy. http://youtube.com/watch?v=yREGBKZggwA

I wouldn't be suprised Jack has a secret room in his house with a kick a** gaming rig and shrine of Rockstar where he worships them.