Feeds

'Columbine simulator' victory claimed over Wal-Mart

Campaigner wants a go

Top three mobile application threats

Wal-Mart has stopped taking pre-orders for the controversial Bully computer game following a legal demand for evidence to be used in a lawsuit against the firm, the petitioner claimed.

Jack Thompson, a Florida lawyer who campaigns against violent computer games issued a "petition for a deposition to take action" on Tuesday, demanding to see a copy of the game he calls a "Columbine simulator".

"Wal-Mart pulled the game the day it was sued," said Thompson.

Wal-Mart had been pre-selling the Bully computer game at least as late as early August. It has since stopped, though the firm could not confirm whether it had stopped because of the petition.

Bully puts the player in the role of a bullied school child getting through the day. Pre-released screen shots have shown child-on-child violence that includes one kid having his head flushed down the toilet.

Thompson said he wanted to assess the game before deciding to take action against its release in Florida under public nuisance laws. But Take Two Interactive, the game's publisher, had refused to send him a copy, despite giving viewings to what he said were sympathetic games journalists. So he demanded a copy of the game through the courts.

The Register understands that Take Two has not yet submitted Bully to the US Entertainment Software Rating Board for classification.

Thompson argues in his petition that therefore retailers should not be taking pre-sales for Bully because they would not know if they were selling to children a game that would be later classified as adult only.

"This flies in the face of promises by Wal-Mart, by the ESRB, by Take-Two...that the game rating system can and should be relied upon by parents to make intelligent game purchasing decisions," Thomson said in his petition.

"Yet here we have the two respondents pre-selling a controversial, violent game to children prior to its October 1 release with no age rating whatsoever. This is akin to a pharmaceutical company selling a new and controversial drug without prior FDA approval," he added.

Other retailers that are taking pre-sales orders for Bully include Amazon, Gamestop adn Toys R Us. Thompson sent letters to the CEOs of Amazon and Gamestop today, demanding they stop selling the game until it had been rated.

"Please be advised that your company is improperly, possibly illegally, pre-selling the violent Columbine simulator video game, Bully, to anyone of any age, despite the fact that it has not yet received an ESRB age rating," he told them.

The same petition was issued against Take Two Interactive, Bully's publisher.

The firm was unavailable to comment for this article.®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.