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Blair Bullied Over Bully 71

Following up the banning of Bully by British retailers, UK BM Tony Blair faced criticism from Parliment members over the Rockstar title. During the daily 'Question Time' the PM faces, Leicester East's Keith Vaz called for a meeting on the game, and investigation of the title. From the article: "'I know that the Minister for Creative Industries and also the Minister responsible for the industry are very happy to meet with him and stakeholders to discuss it. It's obviously an important issue. I know there's a lot of concern about it. It is, I think, right to say that the video games industry, or certainly a very substantial section of it, have made significant strides and advances over the last few years, but he's quite right, it's important that's maintained,' Blair said."
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Blair Bullied Over Bully

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  • by voice_of_all_reason ( 926702 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @01:52PM (#16505625)
    "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed"

    So yeah, I have a way to solve this problem without a bunch of emo hearings and speeches:

    1) Ask the citzenry what should be done.
    2) Do it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by j00r0m4nc3r ( 959816 )
      Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
    • by rwven ( 663186 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:14PM (#16506071)
      The funny part about all of this is that everyone is trashing it without having the slightest idea of its content, story, or anything about it at all for that matter. All they know is that it's made by the "evil hot coffee people" and it's called bully... That MUST mean that you play this terrible bully who goes around killing people...which is actually quite the opposite...

      morons....all of them.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by bri2000 ( 931484 )
        The strange thing is that that the statutory British Board of Film Censorhip (or Classification, as they prefer to cal themselves these days) who, amongst other things, have legal responsibility for age ratings for video games HAVE played Bully and rated it as a 15, meaning they really don't find it that bad.
        • They don't actually have any legal power but it's given to them by default by local councils. On occasions the BBFC has been overruled over certain ratings by local councils. Westminster banned Crash and numerous council down graded the first Spider man film from a 12 to a PG so younger children could watch it. This directly lead to the 12A rating being installed.
    • Good quote, but Jefferson was an American, this is a British political deal. He did plagiarize much of the declaration from Locke's work, though.
    • 1) Ask the citzenry what should be done. 2) Do it.

      Yeah, because the majority is always right. ::rolls eyes:: Oh damn, what the majority believes changes every week. Well, that's OK, the government should just keep passing / reversing a law as the opinion polls change.

      How about this: The government leaders ignore the ignorant masses and do what they think is right, and we periodically either reelect them or we don't depending on the outcomes or how we like the decisions they make?

      Sorry, lost my head for a second. You're right, the mob is always right.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by slidersv ( 972720 )
      How about oppression of the minority?
      Media create too much false information these days, so instead of rationally based decisions, the result will be what media wants, not what people want.

      I'm not talking about issues people understand about. I just see my parents, and their uninterest in games - the only information they ever get about games are game violence reports from TV and other news sources. How can those people make correct decisions?
    • by Haeleth ( 414428 )
      I have a way to solve this problem without a bunch of emo hearings and speeches:

      1) Ask the citzenry what should be done.
      2) Do it.


      So you want the country to be governed by what the tabloid papers tell people to think? Thanks, but I prefer a system with checks and balances.
  • Nothing To See Here. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Thansal ( 999464 )
    The game got a 15+ rateing, some guy (aparently likend to Thompson) does not like it, so they are going to have a meeting about it.

    Out of curiosity, can Parliment ban a game/movie?
    And is The British Board of Film Classification a govn't organisation, or is it like the ESRB?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by kirun ( 658684 )
      The BBFC's ratings have legal force, but they are only applied to a small proportion of games (though all films, except most documentaries that get E for Exempt, are rated). It isn't an industry-led body like the MPAA or ESRB. I recall seeing one interview with them when they related the case of a horror film that the producers asked for an 18 rating to be applied. Problem was, the film wasn't very scary, so they only gave it a 15. So, it seems to be able to resist industry leaning on it. (In the end, the f
    • Out of curiosity, can Parliment ban a game/movie?

      In any country where the presid^H^H^H^Hime minister's word is law, I'd say that's a fair bet.

      And is The British Board of Film Classification a govn't organisation, or is it like the ESRB?

      It's non-government. For what it's worth, Wikipedia has this [wikipedia.org] to say (unsourced): video games

      are exempt from classification, unless they depict human sexual activity, human genital organs or gross acts of violence

      -- which certainly isn't the case with Bully, from everythi

  • Who cares about the controversy, its manufactured (on both sides!). Is the game any good?
    • by interiot ( 50685 )
      Looks like the reviews [gamerankings.com] are giving it pretty good marks. Though the screenshots [1up.com] look pretty pedestrian compared to most games. Maybe the Sims crowd will like it.
    • My big beef is load times. A lot of time you're going from the outdoor zone into the main school building (or another peripheral bldg) and it's

      Always

      Loading

      Which can be a pain in the ass. It will really depend on if it drops off past chapter 1. Chapter 2 I just started (which according to most reviews is where the game officially "starts") and it's pretty neat.

      The school classes you must attend are all minigames, some good some bad. (Art is very similar to the arcade classic Qix . . . and is much fun)

      I

  • Libel? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by interiot ( 50685 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @01:59PM (#16505753) Homepage
    At what point does it become libel/slander to describe Bully as anything approaching a "columbine simulator", when it's rated T(Teen) and has no guns in the game? If we're going to bother Tony Blair about a game, shouldn't it at least be over one of the many rated-M games?
    • i dunno about over there, can you really commit slander against an object?
      • by interiot ( 50685 )
        Maybe it's tortious interference [wikipedia.org]? Whatever it is, saying things that are knowingly false about a product, causing stores to stop carrying a Teen (!!!) game, thereby causing the company to make less money (not theoretical losses, and not losses from vague FUD, but intentionally grossly mischaracterizing a product), that seems to me to be more serious than simply defaming one individual.
    • by gdshaw ( 1015745 )
      "At what point does it become libel/slander ..."

      It doesn't. According to the article the comments were made in the House of Commons (during PMQs), and as such they would be covered by parliamentary privilege - even if they could be shown to be both untrue and malicious.

      IANAL etc.
  • by hurfy ( 735314 )
    Just because Blair's buddy is a bully doesn't mean he has anything to do with the game.

    Oh well, never stops the gov't types from forming a committee to look busy.

    Think of the children, well the 16 and 17 year-olds that have never seen a bully, since it's rated 15 and up already.
  • by OakDragon ( 885217 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:03PM (#16505843) Journal
    Blair Bowled by Bounders Bashing Boffo 'Bully'!
  • by Generic Player ( 1014797 ) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:03PM (#16505857)
    Whackjobs like Jack Thompson have a huge impact. He has convinced the media, politicians, and alot of the public that this game is some horrible, extremely violent game about a kid killing schoolmates. Of course that's not even remotely close to reality, but the people wanting to ban it are never going to actually try playing it. I keep hearing gamers say we should just ignore Jack, because responding to him makes him seem credible. Ignoring Thompson is not the way to go, we need to loudly, publicly and frequently tell people the truth about whatever game he's attacking this month. People find him credible because they aren't hearing the truth.
    • He's a nutjob. I don't care who bans it. That's not my fight. The controversy was actually how I found out about the game (and I'm buying it for my PS2 this weekend).
  • Bullied? I realise it's an attempt at a pun, but he was just asked a question about it in Prime Minister's Questions, by a member of his own party.

    I just wish US presidents were made to answer questions in a similar fashion.
    • Agreed. Seems a lot like Bush avoids the point whenever he's questions. He'll be asked a very direct question and just go off on one... Mind, the conservatives do it here.
    • I just wish US presidents were made to answer questions in a similar fashion

      You should watch it sometime.

      In years of watching PMQs (Prime Ministers Questions) I have rarely, if ever, seen a sitting PM actually answer a question. They reply to them certainly, but that's not the same thing as answering them.

      For instance, at a recent PMQs, David Camaron, the opposition leader, asked Tony Blair (who, if you don't know, will be stepping down next year) "Does the Prime Minister support Gordon Brown as his
  • by cyanics ( 168644 )
    No matter what happens, Rockstar will win. They have gotten so much publicity in recent years, that even if they released a tame title, it would probably be a hit, just cause people want to see what all the hype is about. If the game gets held back, they can sue for censorship. If the game gets released, everyone wants to see what the hype is about. If the game gets held back, they can re-release with "special adults only product" purchasing, where you buy a special license via a credit card (online for le
  • by Thangodin ( 177516 ) <.elentar. .at. .sympatico.ca.> on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:19PM (#16506179) Homepage
    You get penalized in this game for resorting to violence at all--and that violence amounts to fisticuffs. The game is about outwitting bullies and coping at a dysfunctional school, not about being one. In fact, it's one of the most interesting game concepts to come out in a while. These people are reacting because of its name, and because it was made by Rockstar, who also make the GTA titles. Beyond that, they haven't a clue.

    Once again, another example of politicians grandstanding with no idea of what they are talking about. Did you know, by the way, that the premise of the terrorist plot which recently hit the headlines--the plan to mix chemicals on the plane to produce explosives--was completely unworkable? You need a reasonably well equipped lab to control the reaction, keeping it at low temperatures, otherwise the chemical mixture will go off prematurely and all you'll get is a loud, smokey fizzle--enough to draw a lot of attention to yourself, but not enough to actually kill anyone, let alone bring down a plane. But none of the politicians could actually be bothered to ask a chemist about that, either. So now people can't bring any liquids on a plane, because our leaders are just too fucking lazy to do a little research...
    • by Jboost ( 960475 )
      These people are reacting because of its name, and because it was made by Rockstar, who also make the GTA titles. Beyond that, they haven't a clue.

      Actually, the game is called "Canis Canem Edit" here in Europe, so it must be Rockstars 'reputation'.
    • Just another example of lemmings rushing over the edge for a reason unbeknownst to them. How often do we see this type of behaviour from so-called respponsible adults who are supposed to be representing the people? It's embarrassing, or at least it should be to the population of Great Britain.

      It's the Marilyn Manson syndrome, though it certainly didn't start with him.

      Of course now the game will sell amazingly well where it's legal. More so than without all this pointless hullaballoo. I'm going to come

    • Since that's the line that was fed me as well.

      I've played the game for a few hours. While you can't hit girls and get away with it (mostly - you CAN get away with it but it's really tough to do) you're a bully in a school of bullies.

      You're not helping the little guy in any meaningful way, except in side montages propelling the plot forward.

      You're beating people up all the time. You can humiliate them and while it raises your threat level incrementally, it doesn't impact the game through the first 2 chapt

      • by interiot ( 50685 )
        So... compare that to the thousands of movies with guns or explosions in them, or where the plot involves murder. How is the game worse than any typical spy or murder mystery story?
        • I don't know what point you're trying to refute, or anything. Nor do I care.

          My point (which you seem to have missed entirely) was that the whole apologetic "you're FIGHTING the bullies!" is a bullshit story.

          I made no judgement on whether the content of violence in Bully is excessive or whatnot, simply that the whole battlecry of the GP is off base.

    • Hey bonehead...they stopped the liquids, because the public doesn't know it wouldn't work. They have already allowed some liquids again in the U.S.

      Also, of course you are going to arrest people trying to do terrorism with unworkable plans.
  • During the daily 'Question Time' the PM faces,...

    Prime Minister's questions happens weekly, for half an hour on Wednesdays. It used to be twice weekly for 15 minutes, but Bliar thought it would make for a more mature debate if he only had to face the Commons once in a week. Yeah, right.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Following up the banning of Bully by British retailers"

    1 retail group has banned it - and as the BBC article on the banning reported yesterday, it can still be bought from most of the high street retailers, thus is not going to cause anyone who wants the game any problems.

    "During the daily 'Question Time' the PM faces"

    While it would be fun for it to be daily, it is actually weekly, midday on a Wednesday during parliament.
  • Obligatory Links (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Posting Anonymously for non-karma whoring.

    Go to straight to the source: Official website of PM's Question Time. [numberten.gov.uk]

    Direct links of the Oct 18 session:
    Windows Media [twofourtv.com].
    Real Player [twofourtv.com].
    Transcript [the-statio...fice.co.uk]
  • "'I know that the Minister for Creative Industries and also the Minister responsible for the industry are very happy to meet with him and stakeholders to discuss it. It's obviously an important issue. I know there's a lot of concern about it. It is, I think, right to say that the video games industry, or certainly a very substantial section of it, have made significant strides and advances over the last few years, but he's quite right, it's important that's maintained,' Blair said."

    That just totally cleared
    • I would think you'd have to read the question to understand the answer. That's why its called 'Prime Minister's Question Time'. Its usually in the form of "MP asks question like 'Would the Prime Minister agree that the British game industry has made significant strides over the last few years to clear up its image and become one of the most successful areas of British Industry. Blah blah blah bully bad blah blah blah also agree to a full review into banning it'. Blair responds as above".

      I guess its like Jeo

  • Oh dear. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jb.hl.com ( 782137 ) <joe@PLANCKjoe-ba ... minus physicist> on Thursday October 19, 2006 @04:33PM (#16508713) Homepage Journal
    The media in the UK is, with the exception of maybe three newspapers (The Guardian, The Independent and the Morning Star (which is hardly a major player)) and TV and radio, extremely right wing, with an almost fanatical devotion to "family values". The major newspapers, like the Daily Mail, the Express, the Sun, are extremely able to whip up people into angry, paranoid frenzies against just about anything. And it will happen with Bully.

    They'll stomp and cry and scream in their usual way, not for any real purpose or end, not because they think it'll do good, but because it sells newspapers, and then their readers will stomp and cry and scream, and it'll end up with Bully being banned. Joy.

    Boy do I LOVE living in a tabloidocracy.
    • by BenjyD ( 316700 )
      Exactly. I bet the "Tonight with Trevor MacDonald" team are preparing another biased, scare-mongering, innaccurate anti-game half-hour right now.
  • This excessively protective attitude towards children in the West is why we're going to end up with a generation of wimps. This issue just a small reflection of a more significant problem.

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened. -- Winston Churchill

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