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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A computer game called Bully, due to be released in time for Christmas, has attracted the ire of anti-bullying campaigners and those convinced of a link between game playing and real-world violence. A fuss about nothing or the beginning of the apocalyse?

Columbine Simulator? They've made a simulator of an average school day that involves high-powered automatic weapons? God bless America........

Haven't we come a long way from Horace Goes Skiing.

I am just saddened that there could be a human being anywhere that would suggest the idea of a game called "Bully".

Why not "Paedophile" or "Airplane Bomber" or "NecroSeXXX 2006" ? It's just fu*cking disgusting. Can we PLEASE draw the fu*cking line somewhere. Preferably somewhere just left of Daley Thompson's Decathlon. Fu*ck!


I must say, Jack Thompson is doing a fantastic job of promoting the game! I'd not even heard of this game up until two weeks ago, and now it seems to be in the news almost every day. Take Two Interactive will be laughing all the way to the bank with this one. I can't wait - the game sounds wicked!


I usually see games and movies in the same slot. I rememeber one child had to get counselling due to nightmares after playing Doom - he was 9. His parents ignored the 18 sticker on the box, and simply did the usual 'oh, computer games are for children' thing. He was NINE!

It's not limited to games. A friend of mine runs a rental store, and someone tried to hire Legend of the Demon Womb out for his children, and wouldn't take no for an answer - 'It's just for kids'. Legend of the Demon Womb features plenty of tentacles raping people. I wouldn't want any child to watch that, but simply banning it won't make it go away. Banning things only tends to make them more interesting and more exciting for people.

I worked on Burnout, a game focussed around car crashes, and BBC news referred to it as 'horrific car crashes', whereas the team saw it as 'toy cars smashing into eachother'.

I'm fully for regulating games from children - the same way that they also shouldn't be smoking, drinking, driving cars, or watching Demon Womb - and they do all of those things. Simply hang around a bus stop at 7pm and you'll see a selection of 13 year olds drinking and smoking - surely this is a far worse problem than then playing a game with pixellated blood?

> > > Adam

<quote> "The implications of the research are far-reaching," said Vaz. "Every precaution should be taken to ensure that children are not exposed to games that will diminish their sensitivity to violence." </quote>

The point that Vaz appears to be missing is that these games are not for children. I think this should have been stressed in the article. Rockstar games like GTA are certified 18. The main precaution to be taken is for parents to take responsibility for their children and not allow them to play games unsuitable for children. A second consideration is for stores that sell 18 rated games to refuse to sell them to kids. Shop staff seem happy asking for ID before selling alcohol, why not 18 rated games too?

Adults can, normally, morally differentiate between controlling an avatar in a game to perpetrate violent acts on virtual opponents and performing those same acts in the real world on real people. Those that can't see that acts of violence against others are wrong pose a danger to the public irrespective of whether they invoke the spurious "computer games made me do it" defense.

regards James

"Liz Carnell, director of Bullying Online, said there were plenty of examples of copycat violence committed by children who played violent computer games. Kids who had played a wrestling game beat up another with similar moves. Parents of children who have been murdered have seen parallels with computer games. Happy slapping, the dark art of recording beating someone , is all.up on a camera phone, caught on quickly because people copied others who posted their recordings on the net."

Sorry I can't be bothered to make this a particularly interesting flame, but have to point out that it's a rubbish bit of reporting.

To say there are plenty of examples of video game copycat violence and back it up with one slightly dodgy example of kids copying wrestling moves (um, did they watch wrestling on tv too? Anybody ever copy Judo moves after watching the Olympics) and two examples that have nothing at all to do with copying games, but might vaguely be related to something a bit computerish...well, it's just a bit rubbish, really.

Ta :P russ3ll

"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 ESRB is a voluntary rating system. Just like the movie rating system. It's not illegal to sell an AO game to a 3 year old, just like it isn't illegal to allow that same child into the R rated movie without parents. And it's improper only if the person and/or community deems it to be.

Jack needs to get his facts straight. Yet again. bmw

Thompson's comments in his "petition" are factually incorrect. The ESRB ratings in the US are completely voluntary and are not federally mandated at any level.

It is not "akin to a pharmaceutical company selling a new and controversial drug without prior FDA approval" because the FDA is a federal administration and the ESRB is self-regulatory (not to mention there are several drugs advertised in the US as "Not FDA Approved" so the comparison is even further bunk).

It is also not "possibly illegal" for these retailers to accept preorders on the game so soon because, again, there are simply no laws governing ESRB ratings. Thompson is a sensationalistic "attention whore" that twists words and facts while stamping his feet like a child. Pandering to him is something I thought The Reg was above.


Mark responds:

I agree with most of what you say, dealing as you are with the facts. But you're off the mark if you think we're pandering to Mr Thompson. It's an interesting issue, one I'm enjoying exploring, and one in which Thompson, regardless of what any gamer thinks of his campaigning methods, has made in himself a key player by sheer hard work. By dint of that, he is sometimes the news.

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