Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/08/10/bully_game_uproar/

Anti-bully group gives Bully game publicity boost

Well done, Rockstar

By Lucy Sherriff

Posted in Bootnotes, 10th August 2005 15:30 GMT

Not content with picking a fight with Middle America with the so-called Hot Coffee version of Grand Theft Auto, games developer Rockstar has launched an assault on sensitive Brits too, with a soon-to-be-released offering called "Bully".

Anti-bullying campaigners are truly up in arms about the game, screen shots of which show one pupil kicking another, while a third stands by and watches.

Liz Carnell, director of Bullying Online told The BBC that the game's anticipated 18 certificate won't stop younger kids from playing it. She argued that bullying is not an acceptable theme for a computer game, as it "diminishes the suffering of the victims".

"Such games give the impression that these types of experiences are normal. We are very concerned that they have an effect on young people. We are contacted by up to four children a day who are suicidal, and many many more who have suffered injuries and trauma."

She went on to say that Bullying Online had received dozens of complaints about the game.

However, this whole reaction is based on screenshots of the game, and screen shots only. It is not scheduled to be released until October. We can't help but feel that Bullying Online has very neatly fallen for a tried and tested publicity technique on this one.

As have we. Dammit. ®