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"Bully" Computer Game


John Simkin
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Rockstar Games has created a new computer game called "Bully". Players adopt the persona of Jimmy Hopkins, a 15 year old thug who attends a boy’s boarding school. Points are scored by terrorising other pupils with a range of physical and psychological abuse. Pupils use their on-screen persona to kick and punch other pupils and even to spit in their food. They use weapons such as baseball bats and can flush pupils’ heads down lavatories.

The charity, Bullying Online, is trying to get the game banned. Do you agree?

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Yes I do, I think that not just the education system, but society as a whole needs to tackle the issue of bullying. Video games such as these will not help the issue. I admit, about two years ago that I used to be a bully and did not have a good reputation in my school, thankfully I have changed now, but I think my bullying was a combination of family problems I had at the time as well as video games. I never had a game where I was the persona bullying people, but the message was present in all my video games to kill and harm others. I still occasionally enjoy these games, but I think there should be stricter age restrictions placed upon them, or other measures to prevent children either playing them and/or increased awareness of bullying not only at school, but also in the home.

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Guest Stephen Turner

John, as I know you are aware, anything that turns a buck in the Capitalist system is just fine,the justification for this and myriad other abuses is "The free market"Adam Smith must be turning in his grave.Part of my work is the psychological assesment of young offenders,some come to us with the reputation of young thugs,ALL have at some stage in their lives been bullied or abused,either by peers or parents,it doesnt matter who does the bullying the result is the same, as is the underlying emotion, fear,usually masked by aggression. Yes this GAME should be banned,but I some how doubt it will....Steve.

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