Banning Bully

By Elizabeth Rich — March 06, 2008 1 min read
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Canada’s Globe and Mail reports that a worldwide coalition of teachers’ unions is denouncing this week’s release of the video game Bully: Scholarship Edition for “condoning bullying in school.” The Wii and Xbox 360 game features a boarding school bully who harasses students by assaulting them, pushing their heads in toilets, and photographing them naked. Emily Noble, the president of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation which is spearheading the protest, said the game “doesn’t help us as teachers in the work that we’re doing at school.” Teachers’ unions in the U.S., Canada, Britain, South Korea, and Australia, among other countries, want stores to ban the game.

Sam Houser, the game’s creator, defended Bully: Scholarship Edition, according to “It’s really difficult to make a compelling comedy action game about anything, let alone about the experience of being at high school, and we think we achieved something unique with Bully.” Noble believes otherwise, “What it does is it encourages kids to target other kids…” Michael Hoechsman, a McGill professor and expert on the role of violence in video games, doesn’t think a ban on the game will do much. “As tempting as it may seem, I’m not so certain that banning this will somehow result in a more peaceful and more loving school population.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.